How Safe Are Glycerin Suppositories for Dogs?

Glycerin suppositories are a type of laxative that can be inserted into the anus to help aid in relieving constipation. They work by causing irritation to the lining of the intestine, which increases fluid release and makes it easier for stools to pass. These suppositories are generally recommended for children, but are a safe option for using if your dog is constipated.

When to Choose Glycerin Suppositories

Glycerin suppositories are one of the many choices available for relieving your dog of constipation. If your dog has any known allergies to ingredients contained in suppositories, their use is not recommended. Additionally, if the dog appears to be in pain, especially in the abdominal area, or has a known blockage or other cause for constipation, other options may be more suitable for treatment. Dog constipation can be caused by many factors, both mild and severe. If other side effects are present, such as blood in the stool, fever, vomiting, lethargy or loss of appetite, something more serious may be causing the problem and testing for disease, infection or other underlying conditions is recommended.

Causes of Acute Constipation

There are many things that can cause mild cases of acute constipation in dogs. Most cases of dog constipation that are not recurring, or have suddenly developed, are not serious and can be treated at home with glycerin suppositories or other more suitable remedies. Successful treatment choices may depend upon the individual dog and owner preferences. Acute constipation may be caused by ingestion of substances such as rocks, sticks or toys. Insufficient fiber, poor diet and lack of exercise can all contribute as well. Dehydration can be curbed by offering fresh water on a consistent basis, and avoiding poor quality commercial foods can increase the overall health of your dog.


For a dog that is experiencing acute constipation and is showing no other symptoms, there are a number of options for relief, in addition to glycerin suppositories. Many pet owners find that plain, canned pumpkin is extremely beneficial in relieving constipation. Pumpkin is high in fiber and dogs generally enjoy the taste, making it easy to feed. Be sure to avoid pumpkin with added spices, salt or preservatives. A teaspoon with food can be added daily for a long-term plan. For acute constipation, feed 1 to 2 teaspoons, 2 to 3 times per day until results are seen. Some natural and organic dog foods can be purchased to assist with digestion and lack of fiber. Food brands containing omega-3s, probiotics and added fiber are recommended. Carefully read ingredients labels to be sure the first ingredient is protein-based and not made of grains or corn products. For more severe cases of constipation, dogs can be given a stool softener, such as lactulose. Herbal remedies and formulas created especially for pets may also be beneficial. Since these are made with natural ingredients, they can often be combined with other treatment options for best results.