Puppy Constipation,
and What to Do About It

Sad to say, even cute, adorable puppies can get puppy constipation. The following information will hopefully help with this problem.

- Symptoms

- Causes of constipation

- How it affects puppy health

- How to overcome it

- How to prevent it

- Orphan puppies

Symptoms of constipation in puppies

Puppies are usually happy and playful creatures, but if you notice your puppy straining, whining, or crying a lot and not having regular bowel movements, then your puppy may be constipated. 

Causes of puppy constipation

Most cases are caused by the wrong kind of diet, which causes the stools to not form the way they should. This can make it painful for them to eliminate.

When puppies lick and groom, they can swallow some hair. This can easily lead to constipation, since it can ball up in the intestines, causing a blockage.

You can never tell what a puppy will eat. They are happy to chew on and swallow just about anything. When a plastic toy or other such item is swallowed, it may combine with fecal matter to partially or fully block the intestines. This can result in constipation, or worse.

When your vet asks you to give your puppy a medication, this can also cause constipation.

Long haired puppies have another possible source of constipation. The hair can become matted around your dog's anus, and actually obstruct stool from coming out.

How constipation affects a puppy's health

Constipation can cause a puppy stomach aches and abdominal pain. It can also take away some of that boundless energy. Chronic constipation in a puppy causes toxins that should have been expelled to be reabsorbed into the blood. These can make them feel a little sick.

A bowel blockage in a puppy can be dangerous. This can be caused by chronic constipation, or by the puppy eating something it’s not supposed to.

Overcoming constipation in puppies

Since there are numerous things that might lead to constipation in your puppy, it is important for you to take some action as soon as you notice that something is wrong.  

  1. Feeding a puppy special treats that are packed with fiber. A popular option for a treat is canned pumpkin.  Pumpkin has a lot of fiber and puppies love eating it!

  2. Give your puppy a gentle laxative like Milk of Magnesia. While you are waiting for it to work, you might want to give your puppy some time outdoors, so that he doesn't have an accident in the house.

  3. Exercise. Try taking it out for a walk or giving her a toy to play with. This movement could be just what it needs to get it’s bowels moving again!

If corrective measures don’t bring about a bowel movement, it may be necessary to take your puppy to the vet.

Puppy constipation prevention

Certain things help to prevent constipation in puppies, like:

  • Feeding your puppy a good steady diet high in fiber

  • Make sure that it drinks plenty of water

  • Make sure that the puppy is getting enough outdoor play time every day

  • Watch if your puppy is eating items it shouldn't eat

  • If the puppy is a long haired breed, make sure to trim around his bottom area

A daily magnesium supplement

There is a mineral supplement for humans that is beneficial for dogs, too. It is high in magnesium, which helps moisten the stool, which usually eliminates constipation. Magnesium also has numerous other health benefits.

It can be used for occasional bouts with constipation, or given to your puppy daily in his drinking water. As a daily treat, we give it to our cats in some milk. That way we make sure they get it all. The extra magnesium can keep a puppy’s bowels working well even if it doesn't eat enough fiber.

Orphan puppies and constipation

Constipation can be a major problem for young puppies that have been taken from their mother. Suddenly you find that it’s your job to nurse them. When they don't drink enough formula or milk they may not be able to produce a normal bowel movement.

Putting a few drops of magnesium supplement in their formula or milk may just take care of the problem. It attracts more water into their colon, which helps them to eliminate.

(Return from Puppy Constipation to Home Remedy for Dog Constipation)

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