Many of us know how uncomfortable it can be to be constipated. Now, imagine what it must be like for your dog who can't communicate those feelings. If you see your dog straining to produce a bowel movement or experiencing gas or a lack of appetite, he may be constipated. The good news is there are several foods to help get things moving naturally, and all can be easily administered for relief.
Pumpkin and Other Fruits and Vegetables
Pumpkin is not only pleasing to the dog's palate, it can also help with constipation. For this remedy, you will want to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling) to the dog's food for two to three days. Other fruits and vegetables that can be used to get things going include green beans, zucchini, carrots, squash and cauliflower. Fruits and vegetables work to improve the digestive system through the use of fiber and their water content.
Bran and Grains
Whole grains and bran work the same way for dogs as they do for humans. Their powerful fiber punch may be just what your dog needs to defecate properly. You can choose to add a tablespoon of bran to your dog's food or you can choose to add plain cooked oatmeal. If you're using a wet dog food, the bran will easily mix in and go unnoticed. However, if you're using a dry food, you may want to soften the bran in warm water to make it more appetizing.
While water isn't a food, it should not be overlooked when trying to treat a dog's constipation. Dehydration is often the cause of constipation, but can easily be remedied by adding water to your dog's dry food or making their drinking water more appealing by adding a few drops of 100 percent apple juice. Ice cubes are also a great way to get your dog to drink more. Dogs love to play with them and they are an excellent way to help keep dogs hydrated in the summer.
Mineral oil is another great remedy, but it should only be used in severe cases of constipation and should be used sparingly. It is recommended to give your dog 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds. The oil should be mixed into the food and never placed directly on the tongue. Again, this should be a last resort as mineral oil can prevent the absorption of important nutrients.
By Amy Brantley
About the Author
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.