Why is My Dog Constipated? What To Do

Dogs of any breed, size, age or lifestyle can become constipated. This is one of the most common digestive issues our East Setauket vets see in pets. In this post, our veterinarians discuss some causes of constipation in dogs and how it can be treated.

Is my dog constipated?

If you notice that your dog is passing hard, dry stools or mucus when trying to defecate, or that he has not had a bowel movement in 48 hours or more, he's likely suffering from constipation. 

Constipated dogs often strain, crouch or whine while attempting to defecate. You may even notice string, grass or matted feces around your dog's anal area. 

Today, we'll list some common causes for constipation in dogs, along with signs, and share advice on what to do next. 

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms of constipation, see your vet in  East Setauket right away. 

What should I do if my dog is constipated?

Is your dog showing any signs of constipation listed above? Seek veterinary care for your pup right away, as constipation can be an indicator of an underlying health condition or medical emergency.

What causes constipation in dogs?

There is a wide range of things that could cause constipation in dogs. Some of these causes include:

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

How is constipation in dogs treated?

When you bring your dog to the vet for constipation, they will perform a full physical exam and possibly some diagnostics to determine the root of the ailment. Based on the cause of the constipation, your vet will prescribe medical or some other at-home remedy.

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

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 displaying signs of constipation? Contact our East Setauket veterinarians for an appointment.