Dog constipation awareness
Although it’s true that dogs are rather expressive animals, they still can’t actually tell us when something is wrong or when their not feeling well. It’s up to the owner to be diligent in monitoring their dog’s health, and to watch for any signs of complications or problems.
Besides the lack of a bowel movement for one or two days, the most common symptoms of dog constipation include:
- A loss of appetite.
- Signs of nausea or vomiting.
- Lethargy with no interest in toys or playing.
- Small amounts of blood in the stool.
Causes of Dog Constipation
A balanced diet designed specifically for dogs that contains enough fiber to keep their bowels moving as they should is important not only for warding off constipation, but for the overall health of the dog in general. Any age or breed of dog are susceptible to constipation, and dehydration is another culprit of causing the potentially painful condition.
There are also cases of dogs with long hair that have not been properly groomed where the fur becomes entangled and causes a blockage within the bowel. Many dogs also tend to eat whatever strikes their fancy, so it’s important to make sure that no foreign objects have been ingested which may be causing the constipation or blockage.
One method of alleviating dog constipation is to add a teaspoon or two of bran to your dog’s food, which will help them move their bowels easier as it adds moisture to the stool. A half teaspoon twice daily of psyllium added to your dog’s diet will also help to soften the stool.
Yet another option for treating your dog’s constipation is mineral oil, which is used if the dog has a build-up of hard stools that they are unable to pass on their own. The recommended dosage is two teaspoons twice a day for no longer than one week.
Of course if your dog’s constipation does not improve after a week, you should take him to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will be able to tell if the constipation is due to some underlying medical condition, such as a blockage within their bowel, or because of some other ailment including mega colon, which is a painful inflammation of the colon. A veterinarian can also prescribe a medication or laxative to help ease their pain and regulate the bowels if needed.
There are several things you can do to prevent dog constipation from affecting your best friend. The most important components for a long, healthy life are daily regular exercise and an adequate diet. Adding a little warm water to your dog’s dry kibble will help. A little raw meat and vegetables will also aid with constipation, particularly for older dogs who may have more trouble digesting their food.
Although some feel that feeding a dog table scraps or human food may contribute to digestive issues, table scraps in moderation are an added treat and not generally a problem. Dog owners must use good judgment when it comes to their dog's diet and avoid certain foods all together such as pork. The bulk of the diet should be that of a healthy blend of an all natural premium canned and dry dog food.
With regular check-ups, an adequate supply of fresh water at all times, a balanced diet, and regular exercise, you can be sure that your beloved dog is happy, healthy, and enjoying their life with you.