Constipation is defined as the inability to defecate normally and can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous for your dog. Most dogs defecate between 1 to 4 times a day which is normal. But some dogs can go 1 to 2 days without defecating and that is alright. Dogs, like people, also suffer constipation. In dogs the constipation problem is dietary but there are several other reasons why your dog can get constipated.
For instance, he can be constipated if he does not get enough exercise. Likewise, he can be constipated if he gets excessive exercise or activity. The drugs and medication that you give your dog can also constipate him. If your dog has hemorrhoids, he may refuse to use the bathroom because it would be too painful for him to defecate and as a result, he could become constipated.
Feeding your dog bones or not feeding him the correct food can constipate him. Also, if there is an increase in a pancreatic activity he can become constipated. There are also many diseases that your dog can suffer from that could cause him to become constipated. However, in many instances, the constipation problem is temporary.
If you always walk your dog and you notice that he is not having his usual bowel movement during these walks it could be that he is having some problem defecating. If you notice that this goes on for a day or two you may see that he is stressed out and realize that he is having some problems. Even if you do not always take your dog out for a walk, if he is unable to use the bathroom, somehow he will let you know that he is uncomfortable and expect you to help him.
Some more signs that you can look out for to indicate to you that your dog is constipated are listed below:
- General exhaustion
- Lack of appetite
- Infrequent defecation
- Passing hard, dry feces
- Straining to defecate
- Occasional vomiting
- Passing a small number of liquid feces after a prolonged strain
- Biting at his sides or looking at his stomach or flanks as though something is wrong
If you suspect that your dog has constipation, give him a couple of spoons of canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling that has spices that can be detrimental to your dog. The pumpkin will help your dog to have a bowel movement within a short period of time and relieve him from ordinary constipation.
However, if you notice that your dog suffers constipation because of his diet, then change his dog food to one that has more fiber. Fiber adds bulk to your dog’s diet and makes it easier for him to digest and eliminate. The amount of fiber contained in the food is listed on the side of the bag in the guaranteed analysis which is required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) if the food meets their standard. It will also include the maximum percentage of fiber contained in the food.
Whatever changes you do to your dog’s diet make sure you do it slowly especially because of the delicate time he has been having with his system. However, if your dog continues to have constipation, take him immediately to your veterinarian so that he can diagnose the cause and change any medication that you may be giving him and recommend adequate medication.