Relieving Constipation in Dogs

By Julie James

Symptoms of constipation in your dog include dry, hard stools, frequent bowel movements that produce very small amounts of waste and straining to move her bowels. Lethargy and loss of appetite can also be related to constipation. If your dog is unable to move her bowels at all, or if she is vomiting during the bout of constipation, you need to take her to the vet as she may have a blockage in the intestine, such as a bone fragment, which may require surgical intervention, or another medical condition requiring attention. If possible, take a stool sample with you to the vet. If you believe your dog is otherwise healthy, a home remedy may relieve your dog's constipation.

Ensure your dog has plenty of fresh water available to him at all times. Dehydration leads to hard stools which are difficult for your dog to pass.

Feed your dog quality commercial dog food, limit snacks and do not give him table scraps. A healthy diet prevents constipation and helps relieve it if it happens. If you prefer to provide homemade dog food, do your research to ensure you are providing an adequate amount of fiber.

Add 2 tsp. of bran flakes cereal to his food every day until his constipation is relieved.

Add bran flakes to his cereal on an ongoing, daily basis if your dog is prone to constipation. It will provide the insoluble fiber he needs.

Walk your dog and provide opportunities for exercise regularly. Exercise helps your dog's bowels function properly.

Take your dog out for regular potty breaks. Holding waste in the bowel too long causes it to absorb too much water, which makes the stool become hard. Setting a regular schedule for potty breaks is ideal, if possible.