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Dogs like to have fun, but they also thrive when they have an established routine.
Maggie knows when she gets bathroom breaks while we’re home, but if we’re visiting family, she may be inside or outside more often than usual.
Keeping an established routine is better for dogs, especially since it’s easier to note when something’s wrong.
If Maggie doesn’t have her usual two bowel movements each day, I know there’s something that needs to be fixed.
In those moments when your dog struggles with constipation, don’t panic.
It’s normal for it to happen every once in a while.
Read about these home remedies for a constipated dog so your pup can get back their regular bathroom routine.
Possible Causes for Your Dog’s Constipation
It isn’t always possible to guess the cause of your dog’s constipation and get the answer right away.
There are a number of different factors that can keep your canine from pooping, so you may need to run through a list of possible options.
The first step is to think through your dog’s routine.
See if they do each of these things every day:
- Enjoy exercise like walks, time at the dog park, or fetch
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat full meals
Sometimes not drinking enough water or only eating half the food you put out for them will slow down their digestive tract.
The same goes for exercise, which stimulates their digestive system with increased bloodflow.
If your dog does all of those things every day, consider less frequent constipation causes like:
- Medication side effects
- Bone shards or pieces of toys that don’t pass through the digestive tract easily
- Clumps of hair in the stomach, thanks to frequent self-cleaning or floor licking
Elderly dogs can also get constipated because of their age, so take that into consideration as well.
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Canine Constipation Symptoms
Your dog missed one or two normal bowel movements, but what if they just didn’t need to go?
Check for these symptoms that indicate constipation:
- Frequent squatting with no positive results
- Whimpering while trying to poop
- Pieces of stool that appear small, dry, and hard
- Loss of appetite
If any of these symptoms last longer than 24 hours, you can try some home remedies to help your pup before calling the vet.
Natural Home Remedies for Canine Constipation
Don’t worry about getting an expensive prescription to help your dog’s bathroom routine get back to normal.
Try some of these easy home remedies that could solve the problem overnight.
Drink More Water
Water naturally flushes unnecessary nutrients and toxins from the body.
As it moves through your dog, it also lubricates their digestive system.
You can encourage your dog to drink more water by providing it fresh from the sink or giving them crushed ice cubes as a treat.
If they’re totally uninterested, whip up some frozen treats that will help get more water in their systems with a bit of extra flavor.
Enjoy More Exercise
Sleeping on the couch all day may feel relaxing, but it does nothing to circulate your dog’s blood flow.
Instead, take them outside more often or get out their favorite toys and encourage them to play until they tire out.
It will naturally encourage bowel movements and also make them want more water at the same time.
Change Their Diet
Even though your dog dances in circles when it’s time to eat, their kibble may not have the nutrients they need for regular bowel movements.
Test out these easy changes to their diet to wake up their digestive system and get the ball rolling.
Add More Fiber
Unless you purposely look for high-fiber food for your dog, you probably have a blend that focuses on protein or carbs.
Add fiber to the dog food you already have at home by giving your dogs cooked peas, carrots or broccoli.
Start with a little bit at first so you don’t shock their system.
Switch to Canned Food
Canned dog food could be higher in fiber, but it also has much more water.
It’s a simple way to hydrate your dog while they’re hesitant to drink water.
Look for Food Additives
Food additives could be what your dog needs to get their bowel system back on track, but where should a dog parent start?
Check out these simple additives that most dogs can’t resist.
Probiotics heal and restore healthy gut bacteria.
When your dog has a healthy gut, they absorb nutrients and process waste better.
Check your local pet store to see which forms they have to choose from and find one that your dog will enjoy.
They come in multiple forms, like flavored treats and powders.
Unlike water, chicken broth has a distinct flavor and smell.
It isn’t super nutritious on its own, but it’s a great way to trick your dog into better hydration.
Soak their kibble in it for fifteen minutes before meals to encourage them to eat more too, which will push their constipation out the door.
It isn’t unheard of for a dog to shy away from chicken broth, but canned gravy is an easy replacement. There are more flavor options to choose from that may entice your dog to eat, hydrating their digestive tract.
The jug of milk in your fridge could help your dog, as long as it’s strictly from a cow or goat.
Toss a little into their next bowl of food and see if they like it.
The liquid may help their body ease back into their usual routine, but only if they can digest it.
Some dogs are lactose intolerant, so start with a small serving and stop if your dog has any loose stools, vomiting, or rashes.
Pumpkin is soothing to the gut, which is why it helps with both constipation and diarrhea.
Buy a can of unsweetened pumpkin puree and let your dog lick a spoonful for a treat.
Pumpkin has soluble fiber that’s easy to digest, so it should move things right along.
Anyone who’s enjoyed food with coconut oil drizzled on top knows how it cleans out the gut.
It can do the same for your dog, if given in small doses.
Avoid using medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, as it can be super potent.
Don’t have coconut oil in the house? A small serving of olive or vegetable oil can also work.
When your dog is sad and uncomfortable because of their constipation, try these home remedies to see if they fix their pooping problem.
If the constipation symptoms last longer than two days, call your vet for extra care, as your dog may require an IV or medication.
Still Have Questions?
Ask a Vet!