How Do I Help a Constipated Dog?

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How To Help A Constipated DogDog constipation is often the result of a sudden change in your dog’s diet, and can disrupt your dog’s digestive tract, leading to digestive issues. It can be hard to see your dog during unproductive straining — on the other side of things, it may produce an uncomfortably large amount of feces once it finally does its business. When your dog experiences too many cases of constipation, you’ll probably want to know the answer to the question, “How Do I Help a Constipated Dog?” 

Signs of Constipation in Dogs 

In general, constipation won’t be caused by an underlying cause or serious health problems in dogs. Among the most common causes of constipation are lifestyle and dietary factors, and identifying these issues could be the key to providing your furry friend with the best solution. Things to consider include the following:

  • Low-fiber diets – A good amount of dietary fiber can help to move food along your dog’s digestive system. Without a high-fiber diet, your dog may suffer from intestinal blockage. 
  • Dehydration – If your dog doesn’t get enough water and eats too much fiber then it could lead to a digestive problem. To avoid this, make sure your dog gets plenty of water. 
  • Not enough exercise – A lack of exercise not only shuts down your dog’s movements but also its digestive system. Older dogs that are no longer active are more likely to become constipated. 
  • Medications – Human medications, along with pet medications such as diuretics, antacids, and antihistamines can come with side effects such as constipation.    

Symptoms of constipation in dogs include dry stools, infrequent bowel movements, loss of appetite, a painful abdomen, and dog poop in various spots, which can cause signs of discomfort in your dog. 

How to Relieve Your Dog’s Constipation 

Fortunately, there are various at-home remedies that can help regulate your dog’s stool, soften hard stools, improve the large intestine’s contractile strength, and give relief to your pet. The best way to start is to give your dog pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin puree. Doing this will help to provide moisture that will soften hard stool and give ease to your constipated dog. 

Below are a few treatment options you can consider to give your struggling pet the relief it needs.   

Canned Pumpkin

High-fiber foods such as pumpkin are the best thing you can give your dog since they act as a laxative for canines. Because it contains fiber, it can enlarge their stools and help them to pass easily. Giving your dog pumpkin regularly can benefit its digestive system and cleanse the colon, encouraging bowel movement and preventing constipation in the future.  

Follow your vet’s instructions when it comes to feeding your dog canned pumpkin; most will suggest mixing it with your dog’s food. Start with 1 to 2 tsp according to your dog’s size and wait until your dog recovers from constipation.  


Cooked or raw vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots are great home remedies for your dog’s constipation. Human foods like these vegetables can give your dog lots of fiber to help regulate its bowel movements. Mix these with your pet’s dog food or kibble, and you may also provide them some crunchy carrots after their meal to further aid the digestive system and prevent chronic constipation.  

Regular Exercise

Much like every other muscle in your dog’s body, your dog’s intestines will function better when it gets exercise. Be sure that your dog gets a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of exercise every day. It’s also a good idea to give your senior dogs some kind of stimulation, but don’t work them too hard to avoid the risk of injury.   

Fresh Water

According to the American Kennel Club, it’s best to give your pup plenty of water to help prevent mild constipation in dogs. It’s vital to give your dog access to fresh and clean water at all times, but remember not to give them too much water; dogs can also get moisture from other sources. 

Fast Remedies to Constipation in Dogs 

The moment that your dog no longer has a normal stool, be sure to seek medical advice from your vet to get an accurate diagnosis of your pet. Be sure to make the following changes in your dog’s diet to help it achieve normal bowel movements. 

Switch Over to Wet Food

A lot of times, low-quality dog food can lead to canine constipation; talk to your vet about the right medical intervention so it can get a more premium, high-quality, and balanced diet. Their wet food should consist of high fiber while looking for other factors such as moisture, nutrition, and ingredients such as wheat bran. You can also consider canned food instead of giving your dog dry food or kibble — in this case, you won’t need stool softeners.  

Add Yogurt

Yogurt can provide the gastrointestinal tract with good bacteria which can help your dog stick to a regular potty schedule while preventing constipation. It’s best to give your dog 1 tsp to 2 tbsp of yogurt every day.  

Add Olive Oil

Adding a small amount of olive oil to your dog’s food can help to benefit its digestive tract. Simply add a teaspoon of olive oil to your pet’s meals to soften stool, promote digestion, and keep your pooch more regular.   

How You Can Help a Constipated Dog

When your dog can’t seem to go when it needs to, doesn’t immediately make it a medical emergency. A lot of the time, you simply need to change your dog’s diet to help to pass fecal matter easily; using the various solutions above, your dog should be able to get back to normal quickly. If the choices above don’t work, you can head to your vet, where blood tests and a rectal examination can help your dog get back to normal.