Every time dog owners see their beloved pet having some difficulties when defecating, the first thing they assume is that their pooch is constipated. But in reality, your dog often strains because he is suffering from diarrhea and not constipation. The truth is that most dogs strain a whole lot more if they have diarrhea because of intestinal cramping.
How to Know If Your Pooch is Constipated
You might notice that your furry friend defecates less frequently despite eating the usual food amount. A constipated dog strains to defecate with not a lot of stool produced. The stool that comes out is usually formed with a dry and hard consistency. You may notice that there is a bulge in his anus but without passing any stool.
If constipation persists for a long time, dogs may lose their appetite. It may also be followed by vomiting because of the back up in the colon.
What to Do When Your Dog Suffers from Constipation
It wouldn’t hurt to try several home remedies to address the constipation of your dog provided that his symptoms are just mild and are going on for 24 hours or less.
If your pet has existing medical issues or is taking some other forms of medications, you can take him to the vet instead of trying different home remedies.
Some of the good laxatives for constipated dogs include the following:
* Canned pumpkin – Make sure you use the plain canned pumpkin. This has high fiber and moisture content. Many dogs also like their taste. You could try to administer 1 tbsp to a dog weighing 20 pounds, 2 tbsps for dogs 21 to 60 pounds, and 3 tbsps for dogs more than 60 pounds. Repeat this dosage 2 to 3 times daily. You can combine pumpkin with your pet’s usual food.
* Psyllium – Psyllium works through water absorption and forming feces within the colon. The laxative action may occur within a 72-hour period. You can purchase psyllium husk powder in grocery stores, pharmacies, or online shops. Choose an unsweetened and unflavored psyllium version. Metamucil is the most common and popular brand-name product today. The recommended dosing for dogs is 1 teaspoon two times a day for dogs weighing 1 to 10 pounds, 2 teaspoons for dogs weighing 11 to 30 pounds, and 3 teaspoons for dogs more than 30 pounds. You can also use a veterinary product available online in tablet form. For psyllium to be effective, you need to give it with lots of water or any other types of liquids.
* Docusate sodium 100mg tablets – Docusate sodium is safe for dog consumption but may cause diarrhea and cramping if given excessively. Be cautious if you are planning to try this. Never give repeated doses if this doesn’t work after a 24-hour period. The suggested dosage for canines is ¼ to 1 of 100mg tablets administered orally, depending on your dog’s size. You can give this one or two times a day. However, if this doesn’t work after 24 hours, make sure you take your pet to the vet. Avoid purchasing products containing ingredients like senna since this could prove to be too strong for dogs.