How to Help Your Constipated Dog Find Relief 

constipated dog in Port Hadlock, WA
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How to Help Your Constipated Dog Find Relief 

Just like humans, dogs can experience constipation for various different reasons. It is just as uncomfortable and painful for them as it is for humans. There are different causes of constipation in dogs and knowing the cause can help you determine the best treatment plan for your dog. Helping your dog find relief from constipation will help them feel like themselves again. 

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Learning about the causes of constipation can help you determine what may be causing your dog discomfort and bowel issues. A dog’s diet can be a common cause for backed-up bowels. Something as simple as changing brands of dog food can cause constipation if there is a different ingredient that is upsetting your dog’s digestive system. 

Other causes of constipation can be related to lack of movement. When a dog is sedentary for long periods of time constipation can occur. Exercise helps keep food flowing through the digestive tract, so if your dog has had to stop going on walks for any reason that could be a potential cause for lack of bowel movements. 

A blockage in the intestines can also cause constipation. Sometimes the blockage is as simple as something small your dog shouldn’t have eaten. Other times it can be related to a medical cause such as a small tumor or hernia. If you suspect your dog may be dealing with intestinal blockage, it is important to contact your vet. Once you can determine the cause, you can help your dog heal and help prevent future constipation episodes. 

Ways to Help Your Dog Find Relief from Constipation

Depending on the severity of the constipation episode, there are numerous things you can try at home before visiting the vet. However, constipation needs to be treated right away as it can cause intestinal damage if it goes too long without treatment.

Try some of these tips at home. Remember to try only one or two things at a time so that you aren’t irritating your dog’s intestines even further. If your dog hasn’t had a normal bowel movement after a few days, then make an appointment to see your veterinarian for more intense intervention. 

Add More Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet

One of the reasons constipation occurs in the first place is because your dog’s digestive system stops working correctly. In order for food to flow through the digestive system, there need to be certain ingredients to help it move along. Fiber is an important component of a dog’s diet and a lack of fiber can lead to constipation quickly. Give your dog food high in fiber to see if that provides relief from constipation. 

Foods like canned pumpkin are often recommended to try as pumpkin is high in fiber and dogs tend to love the taste. There is also dog food specially made with high fiber that you can get a prescription for from your veterinarian. 

Increase Your Dog’s Water Intake

Being dehydrated can make constipation issues even more uncomfortable for your dog. Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you are wondering how much water your dog should be drinking on a daily basis, the typical rule of thumb is an ounce of water for every pound of body weight. 

Try A Stool Softener

Before you go into your medicine cabinet, make sure you ask your veterinarian what type of stool softener your dog needs to take. It is also important to start slow if your dog has never taken this medication before to make sure their digestive system can tolerate it. 

constipated dog in Port Hadlock, WA

Take Your Dog for Walks More Frequently

Exercise is a known treatment for constipation in humans and animals. Even something as simple as going on a walk can help ease constipation symptoms in your dog. If you already go on a daily walk, consider adding in more distance and strenuous activity during the walk. If your dog is up for it, going on a jog can help get things moving in the intestines which will in turn help relieve constipation symptoms. 

Try Massaging Your Dog’s Stomach

Massage can be a helpful tool in getting the digestive system going. Since many dogs already enjoy belly rubs, using a massage technique can sometimes be helpful for constipation relief. Remember to gently rub the stomach as too much pressure can be painful. Moving your hands in a circular motion can help aid the digestive system in becoming unstuck. 

When to See Your Veterinarian

Typically early signs of constipation can be treated at home with medication or diet changes. If you have tried all the tips and tricks and your dog is still struggling with constipation it is time to see your veterinarian. Your vet will likely try a few different options to help your dog find relief. 

Since dehydration is often a culprit of constipation, your dog will likely receive intravenous fluids when they arrive at the vet to help their body absorb liquid into the intestines. Your vet may also give your dog an enema which will hopefully provide immediate relief. 

When your dog is experiencing constipation it can be painful until they find relief. While it may take some trial and error, eventually they will feel like themselves again. Just remember to go slow with any methods you try. Once your dog is free from constipation, make sure to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle so that it doesn’t occur again. 

For help with dog constipation near Port Hadlock, WA, contact The Chimacum Valley Veterinary Hospital by calling 360-385-4488, or requesting an appointment online today.

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