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How to resolve constipation in puppies?

Updated on April 8, 2012

Constipation in puppies is not very common. What most puppy owners are concerned with is diarrhea as severe and recurring bouts of passing watery stool can result to the death of the pet. Generally, constipation is not life threatening. Nevertheless, puppy owners would not want the condition to linger. It would be heart rending to see the poor puppy straining to pass hard and dry stool. The puppy’s constipation can be resolved. Treatment would depend on the cause. It is therefore necessary for a puppy owner to have an idea what makes the pet constipated.

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What causes puppies to be constipated?

As mentioned, constipation is not very common in puppies although this defecation difficulty is common in toy breeds. A puppy nervous of the new environment or new home may refuse to defecate for a day or two. This will cause the stool to dry up and harden. Puppies have different personalities. While some very curious puppies would investigate the new surrounding using their mouth so that foreign objects are ingested, fearful puppies would practically be couch potatoes as they would refuse to budge from their crates. Foreign objects that can create a blockage and insufficient exercise are both possible causes of constipation. The inability to pass stool can be due to an external obstruction. Long haired breeds can have longer hairs on the anal area. Hairs that get matted with dirt and feces will prevent the puppy from defecating. The constipation of the puppy can be due to medications like anti histamines. Expect a puppy that has had diarrhea to have defecating difficulties a day or two after the diarrhea was resolved.

Increase fluid intake

The most common cause of constipation is dehydration. A puppy will suck from the mother’s teats any time it wants to. The puppy may not realize that drinking from the water bowl is necessary as well given the fact that owners would usually add a little amount of water to the dry kibble. The constipation can be resolved by coaching the pup to lap water.

Fiber in the diet

If you are feeding your puppy poor quality puppy food, expect that your pet will not be provided with all the necessary nutrients. The diet may be low in fiber as well. A tablespoon of canned pumpkin or bran added to the puppy’s meal can effectively resolve the pet’s constipation.


Oil is proven to be an effective stool softener. Add half a teaspoon of olive oil to the dog’s meal. Mineral oil can be used too but this must not be used for more than a day as it can cure constipation but trigger diarrhea as well.


Cow’s milk is not normally given to puppy as it causes diarrhea. Half a cup of milk given to a constipated puppy will soften stubborn stool.

These home remedies will generally resolve the constipation of the puppy after a day or two. If the home remedies proved to be ineffective, it would be best to take the puppy to a vet. The pet’s constipation may be caused by an intestinal blockage that would need to be surgically removed.

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