Dog Feeding Tips for Preventing Canine Constipation

Canine constipation, like constipation in any animal, is the condition of an inability to defecate, or a profound difficulty in defecating. Constipation is not usually a very serious condition in dogs, but if left untreated it can lead to extreme discomfort on the dog's part, and possibly even more serious problems. Constipated dogs can often be cured of this uncomfortable condition using a change in the dog's diet.

Causes and Dietary Treatments

Because fiber is the nutrient that promotes bowel movements and strengthens intestinal muscles, a lack of fiber in a dog's diet could weaken the muscles in the large intestine to the point that the organ is no longer strong enough to pass waste. Another common cause of constipation in dogs is dehydration. A certain amount of liquid required for the gastrointestinal tract to work properly.

Lots of water is needed in the large intestine to ease the passage of the waste through the large intestine, and if there is a shortage of water in the dog's body, sometimes, there is not enough water for the large intestine to pass waste, and waste collects and gets clogged in the gastrointestinal track. A good way to treat constipation in your dog is to switch to a more fiber-rich brand of dog food. The best high-fiber varieties of dog food to use in the treatment of canine constipation is dry dog food. Since dehydration is another major cause of constipation in dogs, it is also important to remember to keep the water bowl topped up.

Symptoms of Canine Constipation

Canine constipation is, in most cases, not noticed by the dog's owner until the condition has progressed for a while. For the most part, this is because the early signs of constipation are only observable when the dog is trying to defecate, so unless a pet owner is in the habit of frequently watching his or her dog defecate, it is unlikely that the pet owner will notice the problem until more obvious symptoms have had time to develop.

If you are looking for symptoms of a relatively new and less developed canine constipation condition, the best thing to do is to watch the animal try to defecate. Constipated dogs will strain when trying to defecate, and their stools will be hard and impacted. After a case of canine constipation has been allowed to progress for a long time, more obvious symptoms, such as a bloated stomach, a loss of appetite, or abnormally high sensitivity in the abdominal area. It is not until these later stages that pet owners usually recognize that the dog is suffering from constipation.

While there are few reports of constipation severely damaging a dog's body, it can become a serious health risk to dogs if left untreated for too long. Also, the condition is extremely uncomfortable for the affected dog, and a pet owner should always try to make his or her pets as comfortable and happy as possible.