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Symptoms, Causes and Treatments of Dog Constipation

Updated on January 18, 2011

Most people have experienced constipation at some point in their lives, and most people would agree that it is extremely unpleasant. Dogs experience the same discomfort when they become constipated. Fortunately, dog constipation is one of the most easily prevented conditions our dogs face.

Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs

  • Your dog remains in the "poop position" (back legs spread slightly and bottom lowered to the ground) for a long time without producing results. Your dog may try numerous times to poop with little success.
  • If your dog does manage to poop, the poop is small, hard and dry.
  • Your dog may exhibit signs of pain and distress while pooping, such as whimpering and quivering.
  • Your dog may show changes in behaviour, such as increased irritability, lethargy or disinterest in activity.
  • Your dog becomes less interested in eating, either by eating less than normal or not eating at all.

Possible Causes and Treatments of Constipation

  • A lack of water consumption can lead poop to become hard and dry, thus difficult to pass. Ensure your dog always has easy access to plenty of clean water to drink.
  • Many cheap dog foods have insufficient levels of fiber, or contain filler ingredients that are difficult for dogs to digest properly, leading to blockages. Always be sure your dog is eating the best quality food available. Avoid feeding your dog "human food", which is often highly processed and difficult to digest.
  • If your dog has a tendency to swallow foreign objects such as chunks of its dog toys or pebbles, it is possible that these items have become lodged in the dog's digestive system. Obstructions like this can block the passage of waste material, leading to a toxic build-up that can make your dog sick. If you suspect your dog has swallowed something it can't digest, promptly take the dog to the vet. Surgery may be required.
  • If your dog has to rely on you to access its toilet, it is possible that it may be retaining poop for extended durations of time if you don't take him out frequently enough. Retaining poop in the colon will lead it to dry out and become difficult to pass. Ensure you take your dog to its toilet area frequently.

Constipation can be dangerous for your dog. Thankfully it is almost 100% preventable with proper care and attention.


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      acisni 7 years ago

      awesome! thanks