There comes a time in everyone’s life when constipation rears its ugly head. The same holds true for dogs, unfortunately. Lack of exercise and proper diet can lead to bouts of constipation (sound familiar?). While you may seek a variety of ways to “eliminate” this problem in your own life, let’s explore some home remedies for dog constipation which can be utilized in the eventuality it occurs in theirs.
As mentioned earlier, a proper diet and exercise are key components in ensuring your dog has the ability to move his bowels as often as necessary. House dogs usually need to be walked twice a day while maintaining a proper diet. If your dog becomes constipated, one method to alleviate this problem is by adding one to two teaspoons of bran to his meal. This allows for extra moisture in the stool.
Another method to soften the stool would be to add psyllium (Metamucil in the adult world) to his diet. Half a teaspoon twice a day, in addition to drinking plenty of water, will suffice. A third option would be mineral oil. This may be used in cases where there is a large build-up of hard stool. Two teaspoons, twice a day should be added to his meal, but for only a week. There are several other steps you can take to alleviate your dog’s constipation. Keep his food moist by adding a bit of water. If your dog is getting on in years, add some raw meat and vegetables to his diet.
There are certain signs which can alert you to potential problems, and for which you can take immediate steps. Long hair on dogs can cause feces to become entangled; therefore, keep your dog properly groomed. Dogs tend to eat everything in sight, ensure no bones or other material has been ingested. Just as we experience constipation due to certain medications, dogs are no exception. Psychological stress is another indicator relating to constipation.
While it has been suggested that all breeds and dogs of any age are prone to constipation, there are other aspects which you may need to consider, and for which many dog owners are culpable. Never feed your dog from the dinner table. While you may indulge the dog with a few scraps here and there, you are contributing to his constipation.
Foods that contain flour, sugar, rice, dairy and high protein are the main source of the problem. Ice cream, cookies, bread, chocolate, or other unhealthy food items can cause your dog unnecessary pain. As mentioned earlier, a lack of fiber and dehydration are common causes. Another cause for concern would be a condition known as mega colon. This simply means your dog has an inflamed colon which prevents the discharge of feces.
The time to visit the vet will become evident when your dog’s inability to defecate is hampered by a decreased appetite, passing blood in minimal amounts, and overall lethargy. Keep in mind, contributing to the overall health of your dog should be of the utmost importance. A dog’s love is unconditional, therefore, he or she is totally dependent upon you to maintain a healthy and harmonious life. Be ever vigilant to any signs of stress and ensure his diet and exercise regimen is appropriate and on-going.