Constipation, which is defined as infrequent bowel movements, difficulty defecating, and hard and dry stools, can be extremely uncomfortable for your dog. If your furry friend is suffering from dog constipation, you may be wondering what you can do to make them feel better.
Most often, dietary changes are necessary to support constipated dogs. This can include home remedies, such as feeding your canine foods full of fiber to stimulate their digestive system, providing them with more water, or administering laxatives. So, what home remedy is good for dog constipation?
In this guide, we’ll cover a few of the most popular home treatments for dog constipation to help your dog’s digestive system get back on track. Read on to learn what remedies are safe for your dog and tips for preventing constipation. You can also use the links below to skip to the sections or remedy options you’re interested in.
Note: While home remedies can be a good option, it’s important to talk to your vet about your dog’s symptoms to ensure you are properly treating their needs. At-home remedies may also not be effective at treating more severe cases of constipation, so a vet visit will be necessary to remove impacted feces.
Home Remedies for Constipation in Dogs
If you’re looking for ways to treat your dog’s constipation at home, take a look at the following remedies below:
Ensure your dog is properly hydrated
Lack of water intake is a common cause of constipation in dogs. As such, constipated dogs should be kept adequately hydrated to keep their digestive system moving correctly. While there isn’t a specific amount of water that your dog should be drinking daily, it’s recommended that dogs drink one ounce of water per pound.2 If your dog doesn’t like drinking water, you can add low-sodium chicken broth to their bowl as motivation.
Help stimulate your dog’s digestive system
From foods packed with fiber to ensuring your dog receives plenty of exercise, there are various ways you can stimulate your dog’s digestive system and keep constipation at bay. Besides daily walks and specialized dog food, you can provide stimulation by massaging your dog’s stomach. Here’s how to massage their bellies to get them to poop:
- Make sure your dog is relaxed and on their back with their paws facing upward
- Gently massage their stomach in small circular motions clockwise and counterclockwise for five minutes
- After the initial five minutes are up, continue massaging for an additional five minutes in wider circular motions
Alter your dog’s food
If you’re feeding your dog a dry diet, it’s a good idea to switch over to canned food temporarily. High-quality canned dog food typically contains more moisture that can get your canine’s bowels moving as they should. If you need help choosing the right dog food, a veterinarian can provide a few recommendations that are safe and healthy for your dog to consume.
Use coconut oil
In addition to being a great ingredient to cook with, coconut oil can be used as a stool softener to relieve symptoms of constipation. You can feed it to your dog on a spoon or mix it into their food. Ensure you don’t go overboard since a little amount goes a long way to ease your dog’s discomfort.
Add olive oil
Like coconut oil, olive oil can make it easier for your dog to pass a stool. This is because the oil can soften the stool and lubricate the interstitial tract. However, ensure you’re not giving your dog olive oil frequently since it can cause diarrhea. Vegetable oil can also provide a similar effect.
The Merck Veterinary Manual states that adding 1-to-4 tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to the diet of a dog suffering from constipation can help ease mild symptoms.3 This puree is high in fiber and moisture, which helps regulate the digestive tract. However, make sure not to confuse 100% pumpkin puree with pumpkin filling. Pumpkin pie filling is full of additional ingredients, such as cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg, which can cause stomach upset and dog diarrhea.
According to the American Kennel Club, fiber is fermented into fatty acids by the bacteria within your dog’s intestine, allowing it to support their digestion.4 From making the elimination process faster to reducing constipation symptoms, there are many benefits to increasing your dog’s fiber intake.
Make sure to check the amount of fiber it contains to verify that it’s enough for your pet. You can also feed your dog whole fruits and vegetables that are packed with fiber5, such as:
- Green Beans
Give your dog probiotics
Probiotics are essential to ensuring your dog has plenty of healthy gut bacteria to digest food. Probiotics alter the acidity of your dog’s digestive tract to create a suitable environment for digestion.6 It can also hinder the growth of harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, and prevent infection. If you’re considering giving your dog probiotics, verify that it’s okay with your vet. Certain dogs, including those with compromised immune systems, should be administered probiotics with caution.
Suppository laxatives can be used to treat affected dogs with constipation. However, long-term use of laxatives is discouraged unless otherwise recommended by your veterinarian.7 Rectal suppositories, such as stool softeners and stimulant laxatives, can be safely paired with oral laxatives if necessary. If you’re administrating suppositories to your dog, make sure to go slowly and ensure that they are calm and compliant.
Don’t give your constipated dog a laxative without first speaking to your veterinarian. This is because many laxatives aren’t safe for dogs, particularly if used under the wrong circumstances or if they’re dehydrated. You may also administer the dosage incorrectly, putting your dog at risk. Some vets may recommend lubricant gels, such as Laxatone.
If your dog is suffering from constipation, you can try to use one of the home remedies above to ease their discomfort. However, it’s always best to consult a veterinary professional prior. Doing so can ensure you’re providing the best treatment solutions for dog constipation. A vet can also relieve discomfort among your constipated dog when at-home treatments aren’t effective. Don’t hesitate in seeking medical attention for your dog if they’re in pain, crying, or whining while straining.
When providing home remedies, you should also be aware of dog food allergy symptoms in case your furry friend has an adverse reaction to human food.
Why Is My Dog Constipated?
Visiting a vet is also recommended when severe cases of constipation develop to identify the root of the problem. There are several causes for dog constipation8, including:
- Lack of water
- Not defecating regularly
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Neuromuscular problems
- Medication side effects
- Not enough exercise
Managing and treating underlying conditions that cause constipation can help your dog feel better and prevent additional health complications.
Home Remedies for Dog Constipation: Frequently Asked Questions
If your dog is constipated, you may be full of questions, especially if it’s your first time navigating this situation. To help you, we’ve answered a few of the most common frequently asked questions about constipation in dogs below.
What home remedy can I give my dog for constipation?
There are many home remedies you can give your dog for constipation, including:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Pumpkin puree
In addition to the remedies above, you can also increase your dog’s water consumption, stimulate their digestive system, and alter their food.
What can I give my dog to help him poop?
It’s recommended you give your dog food that’s full of fiber, can soften their stool, and lubricate their digestive system. Doing so can increase the likelihood of pooping.
What is a natural stool softener for dogs?
Natural stool softeners for dogs include:
- Pumpkin puree
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Coconut oil
You can also boost their fiber intake with fiber-rich foods, such as apples, carrots, and peas.
Can I give my dog olive oil for constipation?
Yes, you can give your dog olive oil for constipation. If you don’t have olive oil on hand, you can substitute it with vegetable or coconut oil.
What can help a dog pass a blockage?
The only way to clear a blockage in their digestive tract is with the help of a veterinarian. While they can sometimes clear on their own, bowel obstructions can be dangerous for your canine when left untreated.
Home remedies for dog constipation can be viable treatment options if you’re in a pinch and want to alleviate your canine’s symptoms quickly. However, if there’s a change in your dog’s defecation habits, you should notify your veterinarian. There are several reasons why your dog could be constipated, making it important to receive a diagnosis.
If your dog is suffering from constipation due to stress, anxiety, and other behavior issues, Dutch pet telemedicine can be a convenient and effective option. Don’t hesitate to schedule a virtual consultation with a licensed veterinarian to help your dog feel better.