Dog Constipation: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Have you ever had your poor puppy be in pain? It is not a fun thing to witness.

While there are many different reasons for this pain to be caused, this particular time we are going to talk about Dog Constipation.

This is not a pleasant subject at the best of times but something we as dog owners may go through at one time or another.

Following are causes, symptoms that may help you diagnose this problem, and treatments to help you and your dog be more comfortable.

Popular Read: Small Dog Diapers For Dogs In Heat

Dog Constipation: Causes, Symptoms

What Can Cause Constipation In Your Pooch?

Constipation can happen in any dog or puppy and can be caused by a lot of things.

Below is a list of things that can cause constipation.

As you can see some of these can be avoided through your help and some are things that neither you nor your dog can do anything about.

  • Hair Ingested From Licking Themselves, Floors, Or Bones: Almost all dogs lick, however, there are those who lick more than others. These would be the ones to look out for the most.
  • Pieces Of Toys Or Any Objects Hard To Eliminate: It is always a good idea to get rid of old toys when they are chewed to pieces, not only for this reason but for choking hazards. Also keeping small kids’ toys, etc. out of the way of the dog’s mouth can help.
  • Dirt Or Gravel: Dirt and gravel can tend to get stuck in between the pads of a dog’s feet and their first instinct is to pull them out with their teeth.
  • Medication Side Effects: Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this one, other than increase water intake if possible.
  • Lack Of Exercise:  Just like a human, our pooches can have serious side effects to not enough exercise. So for both your health, this is always a good idea.
  • Dehydration: It can be hard to regulate hydration, but in certain climates, it is a good idea to make sure your dog always has access to water.
  • Missing Meals: This can be due to other conditions, so make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits.

I found some other causes too. Such as the following –

  • Obstruction In The Colon
  • Obstruction At The Anus
  • Certain Disorders (Neurologic, Metabolic Or Endocrine Disorders)
  • Enlarged Prostate Gland (In Male Dogs)
  • Orthopedic Disorders That Cause Pain When Crouching
  • Hernia
  • Old Age

There are more reasons to be found but we listed the main points.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Constipated?

Now that you know many of the causes of constipation, you may be wondering how you can tell if your dog is constipated.

In the early stages, it may not be very clear, but follow the list below and it should help you out. 


  • Circling, frequent squatting with no results, scooting (dragging butt on the floor)
  • Going longer than 2 days without a bowel movement
  • Crying out during bowel movement
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dry stool
  • Sporadic vomiting
  • Lack of energy

Again there are more symptoms out there but these are the main symptoms.

Dalmatian Doggy

Are Certain Dogs More Likely To Get Constipated Than Others?

While all dogs and puppies have the chance to get constipated there are a few that are more likely to.

Older dogs are more likely for constipation due to many factors.

Some of these include inability to chew causing missed or incomplete meals, osteoporosis making it hard or uncomfortable to pass stool, and other age-related complications.

Dogs that have high anxiety are prone to this, as well as dogs who shed a lot and/or have long coats.

There are specific breeds prone to medical conditions that can also have constipation as a side effect.

It is always good to research these tendencies when you are adopting or bringing home a new dog.

Treatments For Your Dog’s Constipation

There are several ways to treat your dog’s constipation depending on the severity.

The obvious ones are any treatment you get from the vet, however, if you choose there are many and more cost-effective ways to treat this problem.



This may sound like an odd one, however, it works! You can either buy premade treats, or you can find many wonderful recipes online.

Canned Dog Food

If it is not a staple in your dog’s diet, canned dog food has more water to it and can ease constipation. 

Powdered Supplements 

Always do your research on supplements and when in doubt ask your vet. But there ones made for dogs over the counter. 

Cane Corso Puppy eating Grass

Certain Foods and Herbs

There are foods and herbs that can help. Again do your own research to find out what can and can not be given to your pooch.

Learn: How Do I Know If My Puppy Is Allergic To His Food?


Water, water, water! Offer it more often than you usually would. 


Take your best friend out for an extra walk or play a little longer with the ball. Whatever you do make sure to get moving.

I have attached a video from a veterinarian to give you some more ideas.

All of these are good ways to treat constipation in your dog, however, be sure to research to find the best one to help your specific breed.

What Can Happen If The Constipation Goes Untreated?

As dutiful dog owners, we are most often very attuned to our dogs and their behaviors and would more than likely notice if something were off.

However, in the event that the signs and symptoms of constipation are missed, the consequences are not good.

Constipation untreated can lead to dried fecal matter obstructing the colon causes stool not to pass. If this happens it can lead to megacolon.

Megacolon is a disease where the colon expands and will not allow anything through and can press against other organs causing more problems.

Treatments for this may include surgery to remove the obstruction or fecal matter. It may also require surgery to remove parts of the colon itself if left for too long.

Not treating your dog’s constipation can ultimately lead to death. So remember to always keep a close eye on your pooch and his or her health.

Read: 27 Ways To Protect Your Dog From Heat Stroke

Five Home Remedies For Your Constipated Dog

If it does not seem like you need to take your dog to the vet for treatment, there are ways to treat them at home. Following are five ways to do just that.

#1 Check the Rear End

One of the simplest ways to help your dog through this is to go right to the source, the butt.

In the event of light constipation, you may be able to remove the obstruction yourself from the outside of the rectum.

Reminder: Always use gloves.

#2 Increase Water Intake

One of the causes of constipation, if you remember, was dehydration.

Perhaps you live in a warmer climate, with this in mind you may need to offer water more often, or round the clock.

Now if it is a matter of your dog just not drinking enough you may need to hand water him.

It may surprise you once he gets going just how thirsty he really is.

Dog’s Exercise Needs

#3 Get Some Exercise

Once you notice your dog is constipated, as much as he might not seem to want to take him for a walk.

A trip to the park might also spark him into moving more. The more he gets moving around, the more his body can kick in to help his colon move things along.

Learn: How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?

#4 Increase Fiber Intake

There are many fiber supplements out on the market, even some made specifically for dogs. Another way to do this is to find a food that is higher in fiber than the one he currently eats.

This change in diet can also help prevent future constipation problems.

#5 Laxatives and Enemas

Should it come down to it and the other remedies aren’t working, it may be time to try a laxative or enema.

These can be purchased for dogs over the counter, but if you are not sure what kind is right, call your vet for his suggestion.

Just to give you more ideas, visit this link to learn more home remedies to help out your dog.

Which One Fact Helped You Most?

So here we are at the end of a tough discussion, but one I hope will help a few of you out there having this problem.

Almost every pet owner will be faced with dog constipation at any given time, so it is always good to know how to deal with it.

Is there a fact in the article that you enjoyed the most? Are there any tips you have already used?

Did they work? Are there any you are going to try now that you have read them? Are there any tips or tricks we missed that you would like to share?

Go ahead and leave me your answers down in the comments. If you liked this article or know of someone who might find it useful then share it up!

Until next time!

Further Readings

DIY Dog Physical Exam: Dog Stomach
Common Dog Health Problems

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