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Dog Constipation… Is it a Big Deal? And When Should I Worry!

Constipation may seem like NBD (or No Big Deal for us non-millennials), but truth is told, it can be a huge deal, especially when your dog is constipated. Now, there are some remedies you may want to try before you rush off to the vet, but remember, we’re talking about the health of your best friend, and since they can’t tell you how they are feeling, you don’t want to take matters into your own hands for very long.

Especially if…

Your dog has “free reign” of the backyard, and you’re not “intimately” aware of their very bowel movement like we “dog walkers” are! Because if you don’t have to walk your dog every time they have a bowel movement, chances are, their “constipation” issues could go unnoticed for quite a bit longer than you might expect. Constipation in dogs can be severe if it goes on too long! This is why we include Constipation in our list of potential medical issues here at IndulgeYourPet. We wanted to take a moment and discuss this issue so that our readers would have a better understanding of this condition and not take its development too lightly!

So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it.

Constipation in Dogs: What is it?

For your dog to defecate normally, he must go at least once a day, sometimes more. Signs of Constipation in a dog include:

  • Straining to defecate, but nothing’s coming out.
  • There are no “new poos” in the backyard.
  • Or no poos on your regular “poo walk.”

These are the primary ways you’ll know your dog is constipated. If it’s severe and you’ve gone to the vet, they may choose to do an ultrasound to help determine how “serious” the Constipation is by determining how “backed” up your dog may be. This can even be done on a cat as well!

Reasons for Constipation and when to worry!

Missing a poo here or there isn’t the end of the world, but if it keeps happening or it’s been days since he’s had a bowel movement, there could be severe issues causing your dog to be constipated. Issues such as:

  • Diet changes: Perhaps your dog has stopped eating or is eating less, which could be an indication of some other medical condition
  • Not enough fiber in dog food
  • Autoimmune issues
  • It needs grooming around the anus
  • Medication side effect
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Being an older dog

Some of the more severe causes could be:

  • Pelvis trauma,
  • Tumor,
  • Neurological Disorder
  • Dehydration
  • Prostate Problems

Remember: Constipation is most often a symptom rather than a sickness! This means that the essential thing in treating the “symptom of constipation” will be first to find out what’s causing the Constipation and then create a treatment plan to focus on the root cause.

Is it Constipation?

If you see your dog or cat straining to go to the bathroom, but nothing is coming out, and you saw them defecate already, the reason may not be Constipation. There’s a chance your pet has swallowed something and is now trying to push it out! You never know! You only need to spend a few minutes on Google looking up the search term: “Things Dogs Swallow” to be amazed that we, as dog owners, aren’t visiting our veterinarians every week!

Which is why…

It’s so tough for us here at IndulgeYourPet to write about this topic because, remember, while we are passionate about the health of all animals, we’re not medical professionals. And we’re certainly not veterinarians! So…

“When in doubt, have a vet check it out!”

But we can tell you that in most cases if your veterinarian has determined that your dog is only suffering from “mild constipation,n” they are likely to recommend that you try to give your dog a natural laxative agent. The most common choices are:

Mixing any of the following in with regular dog food:

  • Canned pumpkin
  • Metamucil
  • Coconut oil (1 tsp per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight)
  • Wheat bran
  • Mineral oil (1 tsp per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight)

Don’t go crazy with any of these, or you can quickly go from Constipation to diarrhea, which isn’t fun! And it is certainly not the desired outcome any of us are looking for.

You may also…

Be advised to try and “adjust” your dog’s diet to a high-fiber diet, particularly if your dog has a reoccurring problem with Constipation. Now, if none of these are working, your vet may decide to give your dog an enema, or your veterinarian may also suggest more potent laxatives. As we mentioned before, your vet will also be “looking” for a root cause of your dog’s Constipation, and depending on what that is, the treatments could vary drastically. If there is cancer, treatment will be a long, emotionally and financially expensive journey. If it’s another disease, it could also be a long process.

Which is why…

Suppose this is the first time that your dog has developed Constipation. In that case, we recommend that you have them checked out by a professional so that they can help you create a treatment plan that will not only help your pet today but also help you prevent this from happening again. This brings us to the last topic we want to discuss in this article: pet insurance. Because we here at IndulgeYourPet feel pretty confident that there are few folks out there who thought on the day that they decided to adopt their pet that one day they would be “researching” what it means to have a constipated canine!

And as a devoted…

Pet owner, this may only be the first of many medical conditions you may find yourself researching over the lifespan of your companion. Now, we don’t want to scare you or make you worry. Still, we like to suggest that in addition to doing a bit of research on the “bowl routines” of an average dog, you may also want to do a bit of research on what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on you furry little buddy so that if they do ever suffer from a “serious” medical condition, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of those veterinarian bills.

For more information on the pros and cons of owning a pet insurance policy, feel free to check out our article, Best Pet Insurance Companies, where we attempt to answer many of your questions about these insurance products.

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