Canine Constipation: Simple Home Cures

Canine constipation is a normal part of your dog's life, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable! Fortunately, with the right diet and lifestyle, you can keep your canine's constipation to a minimum. When constipation does strike, there are some simple home remedies you can use to help your dog feel regular again.

Recognizing Canine Constipation

Constipated dogs strain excessively when passing bowel movements; their stools may be small and hard, or even nonexistent. They may attempt to defecate frequently without actually accomplishing anything; they may bark or yelp with pain during the act. Physical symptoms can include abdominal bloating and loss of appetite.

Causes of Canine Constipation

The most common causes of canine constipation are a lack of fiber in your dog's diet, or dehydration. Insufficient exercise can also be a contributer.

Home Remedies for Canine Constipation

Of course, the best cure for any illness is prevention; make sure your dog's diet has adequate fiber and that he has plenty of water to drink. Adequate exercise is also key to your dog's regularity.

When, despite your best efforts, your dog suffers the inevitable bout of constipation anyway, there are several home remedies you can try.

  • Canned Pumpkin - Many owners rely on a dose of canned pumpkin to help clear up canine constipation. Feed your dog a tablespoon or two for a few days until he's regular again. The best part of this remedy is, many dogs enjoy the taste.
  • Wheat Bran - Wheat bran, or a high fiber breakfast cereal such as Grape Nuts, can help relieve your dog's symptoms of canine constipation. Feed two or three spoonfuls a day, mixed with your dog's food, until symptoms improve. Make sure you don't feed your dog any cereal that contains chocolate or walnuts, as these foods are dangerous to dogs.
  • Metamucil - Metamucil can improve canine constipation as well. Give 1/2 a teaspoon twice a day to small breeds; 2 teaspoons twice a day will relieve constipation symptoms in larger breeds. You can mix the Metamucil with canned food or broth to make it taste better. Be sure to give plenty of water along with the Metamucil, so it doesn't congeal in your dog's stomach.
  • Mineral Oil - You can add mineral oil to your dog's food to relieve the symptoms of canine constipation. Use about one tablespoon per 25 lbs of weight.