Dog Constipation

Updated: March 15, 2024

Your fur-baby's inability to poop regularly is known as dog constipation. Though this can happen to humans too, it should not be taken lightly. Learn the signs of dog constipation, the causes, and ways to manage this condition.

Signs of Dog Constipation

As a pet parent, you know your furbaby very well. If you are used to having your pup poop on a regular schedule but notice they haven't gone, your dog may be suffering from constipation.

When your dog struggles with constipation, they are unable to pass normal stool on a regular schedule. While all dogs are different, it is common for dogs to go once or twice per day.

Signs of dog constipation are obvious and easy to look out for:

  • straining to poop with little to no stool at all
  • straining that results in excreting small fecal matter with the presence of blood
  • lack of defecation activities for days
  • physical distress
  • stools that look like pebbles; they're also very dry and hard

It is important to identify the cause of dog constipation, as it may be a warning sign of a more serious, or life-threatening, health condition such as a urinary tract infection or a blocked bladder. 

Keep in mind some signs of dog constipation may include painful pooping, passing bloody mucus, vomiting, or sudden loss or decrease in appetite. These could also be signs of an underlying illness. This is why it is very important to have your fur-baby checked by your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment plans.

What Can Possibly Cause Dog Constipation?

Dog constipation can be caused by a lot of factors. It can be caused by:

  • ingesting food or non-food items that are difficult to digest (like plastic or bones)
  • hernias
  • swollen prostates
  • kidney diseases
  • passive intestinal processes
  • digestive tract issues

There are different kinds of dog constipation:  

Intrinsic Constipation. This is characterized by neurological disorders or hormone imbalances in the body leading to constipation. 

Intraluminal Constipation. This happens as the result of a blockage in the colon that prevents the passage of stool. 

Extraluminal Constipation. This type of dog constipation refers to the blockage of the colon due to an exterior source. 

Breaking it down to different factors, dog constipation can be because of your fur-baby's:

Age. Your dog's age can be the reason why they are having regular episodes of constipation. Senior dogs are more prone to this. 

Diet. Some dogs are fond of eating non-food items. This can create blockages and irregular fecal transit. Your dog's diet may also be lacking with fiber or may contain too much source of dietary calcium; thus constipation happens. 

Water intake. The food your dog eats makes its way from the stomach to the large intestine. If your dog doesn't have enough water in their body, the large intestine soaks up water from the food waste. This makes your dog produce hard stools that are difficult to pass. 

Psychological problems. If something causes your dog stress or anxiety in their environment, it can lead them to ‘hold’ it. 

Managing a Constipated Dog

First, you will want to examine the severity of the condition. You constantly pick up after your dog when they poop, so you should be able to notice any irregularities. You also know them best. Does it seem like they are they in a lot of discomfort? Have they completely lost their appetite? Have they not pooped for more than three days? Observing all these things in your dog, it is best to take them to your veterinarian immediately to avoid any hazard, or injury, to the GI tract.

causes of Dog Constipation

Water. You should also increase their water intake. Water plays an important role in avoiding dog constipation. Your dog's body constantly absorbs water and if there's not a sufficient amount of water in the body, the body will begin reabsorbing water from poop, making it hard to pass.

Canned dog food. Provide your dog with canned dog food, especially if your furbaby is not a fan of drinking water. Feeding canned dog food that has an elevated moisture content may help to regulate their system. You can also try mixing kibbles with a small amount of water will be of great help.

Exercise. Exercising can help promote proper function and movement of the GI tract of your dog.

Fiber. Increasing the amount of fiber in your dog's meals, or through supplementation, can assist in getting rid of dog constipation and preventing it. Fiber adds bulk to your fur-baby's stool, making it pass quicker.

Pumpkin is great for helping with dog constipation as it is high in moisture and fiber! 

Probiotic supplements. Probiotics promote bowel movement in your dog's gut. This can help with any constipation issues your dog may be struggling with.

How Can Pet Parents® Help?

Providing probiotics to your constipated dog can be very beneficial. Not only does it strengthen your furbaby's gut health, it also boosts their immune system. Probiotics are known to better bowel movement and facilitate detoxification in the digestive tract

With many options, finding the right probiotic supplement for your dog may seem overwhelming. That's exactly why our Probiotic SoftSupps® are an easy choice. Probiotic SoftSupps® support proper digestion in your dog and help their body's properly distribute vitamins and minerals.

Our SoftSupps® contain more active ingredients than other options, and lead with whole meats and veggies. 

Another great addition to your furbaby's diet is Turmeric & Curcumin SoftSupps®. These supplements contain pumpkin. Pumpkin is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which support the digestive tract, aid digestion and relieve an upset stomach. Turmeric and Curcumin help with gut inflammation and permeability, two measures of digestive efficiency. It also helps with abdominal discomfort and improved bowel movement patterns in your furbaby.

Dog constipation is something you can't overlook, even though it can be a common problem. Preventing dog constipation can help your furbaby live a happier and healthier life.

"A good diet for your fur-baby's skin and coat health includes Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and ingredients that are of high-quality and jam-packed with essential nutrients like Biotin and Zinc."