What to Do If Your Puppy Is Constipated

By Bethney Foster

While there are home remedies for a constipated puppy, you don't want to let the condition linger for too long. If your puppy's condition hasn't resolved itself within a couple days, you'll want to get your pet to the veterinarian.

While constipation in dogs and puppies isn't common, it can occur as a result of anxiety, change in food, lack of water and lack of exercise.

Symptoms

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Recognizing the symptoms of constipation is the first step toward helping your puppy to feel better. Constipation is most likely to occur in small and toy breeds and small and toy breed mixes. You will notice your dog straining to have a bowel movement, or passing small, dry feces occasionally.

Adding Fiber

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If your puppy is constipated, try adding a little fiber to his or her diet. One of the most popular home remedies is canned pumpkin. Add about a tablespoon to his food. This should be 100 percent, unsweetened pumpkin.

Another option is to add Metamucil to his food. You'll add about a half teaspoon to each meal for a few days.

Oil

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Adding oil to a puppy's diet can also help to relieve constipation. It softens the stool and makes it easier for him to have a bowel movement. A half-teaspoon of olive oil is usually effective if given with meals for a couple of days.

Milk

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You shouldn't normally feed your puppy cow's milk because it can cause diarrhea in dogs. However, it may be just what a constipated puppy needs. Give your puppy a quarter to a half-cup of milk once a day for two days to see if the milk will resolve the constipation.

Emergency

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If your puppy has swallowed a foreign object and is showing symptoms similar to constipation, you should get him to a veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately. The foreign object may have caused an intestinal or bowel obstruction that can be life threatening.

Prevention

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Preventing constipation in puppies includes ensuring their diet has some fiber and ensuring they drink plenty of water. Make sure your puppy has fresh water available to him all day long. It's also important that your puppy be able to get lots of exercise. An inactive puppy is more likely to become constipated.

In addition, ensure that if you are in the process of house training or crate training your puppy you get him outside for a bathroom break often. Puppies are said to be able to hold their bladder and bowels for the number of hours equivalent to the number of months old they are. For example, a two-month-old puppy needs a break every two hours. Holding the need to defecate for too long can lead to constipation.