How to Fix Constipation in a Dog

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A dose of fiber can often remedy constipation in dogs.
A dose of fiber can often remedy constipation in dogs. (Image: Dog image by Jan Zajc from Fotolia.com)

Dog constipation is a common occurrence that may result from dehydration, matted fur or poor digestion. For instance, if your dog swallows an indigestible food or object, like a piece from a dog bone, constipation may occur. The problem is seldom a cause for alarm, but if you notice that your dog goes for an extended period of time without a bowel movement, seems highly uncomfortable or defecates small amounts of blood, you will want to take action quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • High fiber dog food
  • Mineral oil
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Milk
  • Eye dropper

Feed your dog a plate of high fiber dog food supplemented with 1 to 2 tbsp. of mineral oil. You can add extra mineral oil for large dogs. Mineral oil works as a natural laxative and can work quickly to relieve constipation. You may also add 1 or 2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin for additional fiber.

Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water, as constipation may result from dehydration. Make sure the water bowl remains full, and try to get the animal to drink as much as possible. Adding 1 to 2 oz. of milk can encourage your dog to drink -- milk also helps to lubricate the colon, providing further benefit -- and simply placing the bowl in front of the dog can help as well. If the dog refuses to drink, use an eyedropper to insert water into its mouth.

Visit a veterinarian if constipation continues for more than 24 hours. The veterinarian may need to perform an X-ray to determine the problem, and may need to perform an enema to loosen the stool. In certain cases, constipation may indicate a more serious health issue.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prevent constipation from recurring, feed your dog only high fiber food, avoid giving table scraps and dog bones. In addition, avoid giving the dog snacks between meals, as this can hinder the digestion process. Groom long-haired dogs regularly to prevent the accumulation of hairballs and provide daily exercise to ensure bowel regularity.
  • If the constipation physically affects your dog's ability to eat, walk or function in any way, contact a veterinarian immediately.

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