Why is my dog constipated? What should I do?

Dogs of any age, size, lifestyle or breed can become constipated. In fact, constipation is one of the most common digestive issues we see in pets. Today, our vets in Charlotte offer some tips on what to do if you think your dog might be constipated. 


Is my dog constipated? 

If you notice that your dog is passing mucus or hard, dry stools while attempting to defecate, or has not had a bowel movement in 48 hours or more, they are likely suffering from constipation.

Dogs that become constipated often whine, strain or crouch while trying to defecate. You may even notice matted feces, string or grass around your dog’s anal area.

In this post, we'll explain common causes for constipation in dogs, along with symptoms. We'll also advice on what you should do next.

If your dog displays any of these signs of constipation, see your Charlotte vet right away. 

Constipated Dog, Charlotte Vets

What to Do If Your Dog is Constipated

If your dog is exhibiting any symptoms of constipation listed above, it’s imperative to visit your vet as soon as possible, since this is a veterinary emergency that requires immediate, qualified care. Many symptoms of constipation can also indicate other health issues.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Dogs may become constipated for numerous reasons. Some of the most common factors that contribute to constipation include:

  • Pain due to orthopedic issues when trying to defecate
  • Ingested items such as toys, grass, fabric or dirt
  • Tumors, matted hair or masses around the anus
  • Dehydration
  • Abscessed or blocked anal sacks
  • Insufficient daily exercise
  • Insufficient fiber in diet
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Ingested hair from excessive self-grooming

Treatments for Dog Constipation

Once your vet has examined your pet and identified the cause of your dog’s discomfort, we can recommend the best treatment for your dog’s specific case.

The vet may prescribe one of several common treatments for constipation in dogs, such as medication to increase the strength of the large intestine, dog-specific laxatives, increasing your dog’s daily exercise and increasing the amount of fiber in your dog’s diet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of constipation? Please contact our experienced Charlotte vets for urgent and emergency care during our regular business hours.

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Providence Animal Hospital has been providing comprehensive veterinary care for your cherished pets in Charlotte since 1993.

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