As your canine companion gets up in age, you may notice the condition of constipation becoming a more frequent occurrence in his daily digestion and elimination processes. Constipation in your senior dog is not funny for him or you and nothing to be ignored but unfortunately, there Brown Mastiff Looking Up at Meno way to predict it. Knowing a good home remedy for a constipated dog can go a long way in helping him GO.

Why is my dog getting constipated?

AGE

What constipation actually means for your dog is that on any given day, he is unable to defecate normally. This can happen to any dog at any age, but much like people, older dogs are more prone to it. As your precious pup ages, the muscle tone in his digestive tract tends to weaken and this combined with a decrease in metabolic rate can contribute to your pet’s digestive discomfort and inability to poop.

LACK OF EXERCISE

Another common cause of constipation in senior dogs is lack of exercise. In humans and dogs alike, exercise stimulates the bodily functions, including healthy digestion. The transit time of your dog’s food through his body is a key factor in his digestive health. If your dog is mostly sedentary and inactive, this can result in a slower than normal transit time, also contributing to constipation.

DIET

Diet is also a major player in your dog’s digestive health. You may think that since he’s been on the same food for years without any problems whatsoever, that his diet cannot be the problem. But if you take into consideration the above two factors, age and exercise level, and do not compensate with an increase in dietary fiber, his ‘young dog’ diet could indeed be a contributing factor to more frequently occurring bouts of constipation.

ANAL GLANDS

Infected or impacted anal glands in your dog can also cause constipation. Dogs have two small sacs on either side of the anus. These sacs fill with a thick oily brown fluid that has a very strong, distinctive and unpleasant odor, at least to us humans. Dogs, however, love the smell and it’s the reason they’re always sniffing each other’s butts.

Dogs use this smelly fluid to mark their territory and identify one another. Usually these glands are squeezed empty when a dog poops and thus his scent is laid. It’s when the anal glands don’t get entirely emptied that problems can start. The liquid left inside the glands gets thick and dry and plugs up the opening, resulting in anal gland impaction.

Signs that your dog has an uncomfortable anal gland impaction are: scooting his anus across the floor or ground, constantly licking or biting his rear end, a bad odor, or he’s straining to defecate (constipation.)

Luckily, impacted anal glands are easy to treat. The glands can be expressed with a firm but gentle squeezing with your fingers. Your dog’s vet can do this and he or she can show you the proper and easiest way to do it yourself. Some dogs need this done more frequently than others, some never at all.

CERTAIN DRUGS:

If your dog is taking a certain drug for a specific condition, there are some that can cause constipation:

  • Antihistamines, such as Atarax or Benedryl, are used to treat allergy symptoms in dogs.
  • Antacids are sometimes prescribed by a veterinarian for the treatment of stomach disorders or to lower high phosphorous levels in dogs with kidney problems.
  • Furosemide (Lasix) is a diuretic commonly used to treat heart disease in dogs.
  • Iron supplements are used to treat iron deficiency or anemia in the canine.

If your dog is on any of these drugs, be sure to consult your veterinarian about the likelihood of constipation and which home remedy is best; More than likely it will be a good home remedy for a constipated dog among those listed below.

OTHER CAUSES

There are other more serious causes of course, and in such cases, it’s not the time for a home remedy for a constipated dog. Masses or internal tumors, an enlarged prostate gland, or an FBO (foreign body obstruction) can be the cause of your dog’s constipation. Such causes often have lethargy and vomiting as accompanying symptoms. Time to get your dog to the vet.

What are the signs that my dog is constipated?

The most obvious symptom of constipation in your dog is of course, excessive straining with little or no stool produced. If you look out into your backyard and see your dog in the hunched “poop position” for a longer than normal time with no apparent action happening, it’s likely that he’s constipated. Small amounts of diarrhea mixed with blood and mucous may also come after prolonged straining, or small chunks of hard, dry feces. Black and White Dog In Defecating Position

If your dog waits for his morning walk with you to do his business and you notice him going one or two days without a bowel movement, that is a sure sign that he’s constipated. He may cry out or exhibit signs of discomfort during elimination. He may become lethargic and refuse food.

It is always a good idea to call your veterinarian and seek advice as soon as you become aware of the problem. He or she may advise you to bring your dog in for an examination; But there are things you should know and stuff you can do in the meantime to help your poor old buddy out.

What’s a good home remedy for a constipated dog?

It is important to note here that these home remedy treatments for your dog’s constipation should not be used together. Pick one treatment to avoid over treating and causing diarrhea. If symptoms persist, a trip to the vet is in order.

PUMPKIN

A great home remedy for a constipated dog, with a consensus among veterinarians, is pumpkin. {By this I do not mean giving your dog chunks of the Halloween jack-o-‘lantern or a slice of the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.} You can use canned pureed pumpkin from the grocery store, but the benefits of pumpkin for treating digestive problems in dogs and cats is so widely known that most pet supply companies carry a canned variety. Pumpkins

Pumpkin is a wonderful source of fiber and is very high in water content. Keep a few cans in your canned goods cupboard for your geriatric friend, even if he isn’t having problems right now. As I said, with older dogs, constipation is unpredictable.

A small to medium size dog (say up to 25 lbs.) can have a tablespoon of pumpkin daily. Larger breed dogs (25 to 50 lbs.) can have 2 tablespoons per day to relieve constipation. For toy or giant breeds, adjust the amount accordingly. This wonder food for dogs can also be used as a preventative for constipation. You can offer it to him 2 to 3 times per week at 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight. Most dogs consider it a great treat! I use Nummy Tum Tum Pure Pumpkin for Pets!

OLIVE OIL OR VEGETABLE OIL

This home remedy you don’t want to use that often because it can cause diarrhea; So don’t use it as a ‘preventative’ for constipation but rather as a treatment when your dog is having problems. During these times, add a tablespoon of either oil to your dog’s supper bowl and mix in. Of course, always make sure to have plenty of fresh water available.

CANNED CHICKEN BROTH + GINGER = RELIEF!

Adding these two ingredients together works wonders to settle your dog’s upset stummie and help move things along. Mix a half cup of canned chicken broth with 1/4 teaspoon of ginger. You can add it to his supper bowl or let him lap it up. Everything should come out alright!

SWITCH TO ONLY CANNED FOOD FOR A BIT

If your old friend is strictly a dry food kind of guy, adding extra moisture to his diet during times of constipation can get his bowels moving smoothly again. Make sure it’s a good quality canned dog food and you can also add water to the mix for extra ‘gravy’.

ACTUAL GRAVY

Gravy in a jar or can from the grocery store can also help relieve your precious pup’s bathroom blues. Don’t overdo it though. A couple of teaspoons for small breeds to a few tablespoons for larger breeds should do the trick.

CANNED GREEN BEANS OR CARROTS

Adding extra fiber to your dog’s diet will help with constipation and most dogs love vegetables! If your dog is finicky and doesn’t like ‘surprises’ in his supper bowl, you can mash the veggies up and mix well with his regular food.Green String Beans

Get the kind with no salt added. Green bean and carrots are both nutritious and full of fiber and can also be used as a preventative for constipation when offered 2-3 times a week.

MILK

If you’ve had your senior dog for most of his life, chances are you and your dog’s doctor are fairly well acquainted. You may remember he or she telling you not to give your dog milk to drink, just fresh water. This is because milk causes diarrhea in dogs beyond the infancy stage of life.

So in times of constipation, milk can serve as a canine laxative. Just a small bowl will suffice and will usually relieve your pet’s constipation within hours.

MIRALAX

Miralax is a human laxative that some vets use to treat constipation in dogs, very conservatively; So totally disregard the human dosage instructions. You should not exceed 1/2 teaspoon per 10 lbs. of your pet’s weight over a 24-hour period to avoid causing diarrhea.

Make sure your cuddly canine isn’t taking any other medication at the same time, and that he has access to plenty of fresh water and is well hydrated. If diarrhea does occur, you can also offer him a bowl of Gatorade or Pedialyte.

CAT LAX

If by chance you also have a fabulous feline in your household, you may have a paste in your pet supply cupboard for the prevention and removal of hairballs. This can also be used as a mild laxative in dogs. It tastes good and is enriched with vitamins.

All’s well that ends well

O.K., so your geriatric dog’s digestive tract is not that of a young pup anymore, but now you know there are measures you can take to treat and prevent his eliminatory woes.

As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so make sure he’s getting enough regular exercise to keep his normal body functions humming along at a steady pace.

Add more fiber to his meals with pureed pumpkin or green beans a few times a week. Switch to or add canned dog food to his bowl or add water flavored with a bit of gravy to provide more moisture content; And of course make sure he always has access to plenty of fresh water.

You should always call your veterinarian when you suspect your dog is constipated to make him or her aware of the situation. If you both decide that it is just the occasional bout of senior dog digestion difficulty, choose the best home remedy for the situation and your dog should be GOOD to GO!Smiling Pointer Mix Running on the Beach

 

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