Just like humans, dogs can get...for lack of a better expression...backed up. As a pet parent, it’s difficult to see your pup in pain or feeling uncomfortable, regardless of the cause.

Constipation is an infrequent or difficult passage of stool and is generally temporary for your pup. Because constipation can sometimes be a sign of serious health conditions, however, the condition is something to keep an eye on. It’s best to do all you can to help your pup become regular again.

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How to Tell If Your Dog is Constipated

There will be a variety of signs pointing to whether your dog is constipated. If your pooch has one or more of the following symptoms, it’s likely your pup is backed up.

- Your furry friend hasn’t pooped in two or more days. Most pups poop one to two times a day. If your dog seems to be skipping regular bathroom times, that can indicate constipation.

- If there is blood in the stool when your dog does manage to poop. Bloody poop is likely caused by excessive straining.

- The poop is hard and dry in consistency and may be small in size compared to what’s normal for your pup.

- Your pup strains and seems upset when they try to use the bathroom. Some dogs will circle excessively when they’re constipated.

- Lack of appetite. This is a less common symptom, but your dog may not want to eat.

Tense abdomen. If your pup’s abdomen is tight and your pooch seems to be in pain, this may be a sign of constipation.

Okay, So Your Dog is Constipated. Now, Here’s What You Can Do

Of course, you want your pup to become regular as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do to help your pup go poop and stay on schedule.

- Exercise. As your dog’s body moves, so do their intestines. A good walk or a game of frisbee may get your pup pooping once again.

- Plenty of water. Access to fresh water is important. The more water your dog drinks, the more likely your pooch is to go to the bathroom.

- Use fiber with Veterinarian approval. Consult with your veterinarian regarding adding powdered fiber supplements to food to help with constipation.

- Add some pumpkin to your pup’s food. Plain, unsweetened canned pumpkin can help with constipation. At each meal, add ½ teaspoon of pumpkin to food for small dogs and up to a tablespoon to food for large dogs.

- Feed a small amount of unsweetened plain yogurt or probiotics. Both can help replace gut flora and get your pup’s intestinal tract moving again.

If your dog’s constipation problem seems severe or isn’t resolved within a day or two, consult your veterinarian, as it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Dog Constipation Causes and Prevention

There are many reasons why dogs become constipated, and some causes are more common than others. The most common reasons tend to be benign ones. If your dog is stopped up, it could be a result of one or more of the following.

What causes dog constipation?

- Dehydration. Just like us humans, your pup needs water to keep their system running smoothly. Water helps break down the food your pet ingests and aids in the secretion of enzymes used in the digestive process.

- Obstruction. Many dogs ingest items that aren’t food, including hair, toys, grass, and small pieces of trash. It’s possible for such items to become stuck in the dog’s intestinal tract, causing blockages that prevent your dog from pooping. Such obstructions can be dangerous for your pet. 

- Bone ingestion. If your pup eats a bone, parts of the bone may get stuck in the intestinal tract, causing constipation.

- Medication side effects. Certain medications may irritate your pup’s intestinal tract, causing constipation. When your veterinarian puts your pet on a new prescription, find out if constipation is a possible side effect.

- Sedentary lifestyle. A lack of activity causes a dog’s overall system to slow down. This can contribute to constipation.

How to prevent constipation in your pup

A healthy diet goes a long way toward keeping your pup regular. Nutrient-rich dog food containing a well-balanced amount of fiber, protein, and nutrients can help prevent constipation in your pup. Puppo’s creates food that is formulated to offer complete, well-balanced nutrition that can help ensure your pup stays regular. 

Take our quiz to find the perfect formula, serving sizes, and feeding schedule for your pup’s unique needs. 

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