What Is the Best Laxative for Dogs?

When your dog is constipated you may want to find the best laxative for canines. While dogs have various responses to various products, there are some selection guidelines that you can use to get the laxative that will relieve the constipation and will not cause additional problems in your pet.

Constipation in Dogs

Before you start looking for laxatives, you need to have a clear diagnosis. Constipation may often be due to certain ingredients consumed by the pet, but may also be indicative of a more complex condition such as intestinal occlusion or a colon tumor. For this reason, you have to think back about your dog’s behavior, his diet and whether he may have ingested any ingredients or objects that may have not agreed with his stomach.

Dogs typically eliminate feces once per day or every second day, if he receives a low residue diet. If your dog is constipated, he may also:

  • Be bloated
  • Have stomach pain
  • Have gas
  • Lack appetite

Laxatives for Canines

Laxatives may be prescribed to dogs that experience constipation. Laxatone is often recommended to canines with constipation. Other vets may recommend medicinal paraffin. There are also a series of natural products that can help in stimulating bowel movement. Some of these natural ingredients include:

  • Olive oil or fish oil
  • Pumpkin, which contains fibers that will facilitate the elimination of the fecal matter
  • Wheat products, which are also rich in fibers
  • Milk or yogurt

Laxatives may be available without prescription, but you should consult your vet and see if the constipation is not among the symptoms of a more serious disease. Administering laxatives without the recommendation of your vet may cause diarrhea or more severe problems.

Selection Guidelines for Canine Laxatives

When you choose the laxatives for your pet, you will have to consider a few factors:

  • The product you get has FDA approval for use in pets
  • The compounds are mostly natural ingredients, which are less likely to cause side effects
  • The side effects, which should be mentioned on the labels of the products you are considering
  • The conditions your pet may be suffering from — several medication administered for constipation (e.g. Propulsid or cisapride) are not recommended for dogs that have a kidney problem or a heart condition
  • The severity of the constipation – if your dog has not eliminated in 24 hours, you may try some natural remedies, which may help your pet defecate. Prescription laxatives will be recommended if your pet is constipated for over 48 hours.

In some cases, laxatives will not be effective and you will need additional help from a vet. A more severe case of diarrhea may require an enema, which is an injection that is administered in the rectum and contains fluids that will cause the elimination of the fecal matter and cleanse the colon. Surgery may be needed if your dog has an intestinal occlusion.