How to spot, treat, and avoid dog constipation

February 7, 2023

Having a constipated dog can be stressful and worrying. No-one wants to see their best friend in pain or discomfort. Below, our head vet Jürgen offers a few simple steps you might consider taking to understand, treat, and help prevent constipation in your dog.

However, if you are worried and you think your dog is constipated, you should contact our Chelmsford Road team for advice.

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Jürgen’s advice below focusses around three elements that are common to the causes, treatments, and preventative measures you’ll need to take to help a constipated dog.

  1. Water and hydration
  2. Exercise and movement
  3. Diet and things they eat but should not

What are the most common causes of constipation in dogs?

If you’ve ruled out a foreign object potentially blocking the digestive tract, Jürgen recommends looking to the common causes of constipation:

  1. Dehydration – Does your dog have easy access to fresh, clean water? If your pet is not drinking water on their own, try adding some to their food bowl. This will encourage your dog to get hydrated and should help to soften the stool.
  2. Exercise – Is your dog getting enough exercise? If they are not walked regularly and given plenty of chances to poo, you may want to review their routine.
  3. Diet – Is your dog getting a diet with an adequate amount of fibre in it? As with humans, a lack of fibre in the diet will make pooing more difficult.

How can I treat my constipated dog?

Jürgen advises that you should make sure your dog drinks a good amount of water and goes for some long walks. If you don’t do this already, try adding a small amount of wet dog food to their next meal for added hydration.

If you bring your dog into our vet surgery in Purleigh for a check-up, we may suggest that you add a probiotic to their diet. These help to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut. You could try giving your pup a warm bath to help relax their muscles – this can help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with constipation.

Please Do Not … give an enema, milk, or any laxatives unless prescribed by a vet.

How can I prevent my dog from becoming constipated?

Constipation can affect all types of dogs, but it can usually be avoided by focussing on the elements we mentioned above. Make sure your dog has: plenty of water, regular exercise, and a balanced and appropriate diet. Then, if the problem persists, contact our vets. We may suggest additional treatments, medications, or supplements, to help relieve your pup’s condition. In the meantime, if you are worried and you think your dog is constipated, please contact us for help.

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