Your dog’s health is an important aspect to consider when taking good care of your pet dog. A healthy dog means an active, alert, and enthusiastic home buddy that will surely bring smiles to your face. However, dogs sometimes get sick. The most common illnesses dogs experience are colds, fever, and irregularities in bowel movement like diarrhea or constipation.
Dog constipation is a common illness that usually happens when your pet dog eats a variety of food. Constipation means your dog experiences difficulty or pain in defecating or has rock-hard stools, sometimes with blood in them for chronic to severe cases. This may sometimes happen naturally, especially for dogs who lack fiber in their meal. However, longer periods of constipation or frequent experiences of such condition require your full attention as the owner.
Causes of Constipation among Dogs
The main cause of constipation among dogs is the impairment of peristaltic waves. This is a process in the colon where fecal material are moved after water, nutrients, and electrolytes are absorbed. Slowing down the peristaltic waves in the digestion process would cause the feces to stop moving and begin to lose moisture until it becomes impossible to move towards your dog’s rectum.
The slowing down of this process might be caused by the lack of fiber in their daily diet. Other possible causes include their inactivity, age, dehydration, and even stress and anxiety. Constipation among dogs may even tell you that your dog has other internal organ issues such as tumors in the intestine, anal glands, metabolic diseases, and other diseases.
Signs and Symptoms that Your Dog has Constipation
You’ll know that your dog is experiencing constipation once it begins to look uncomfortable when you ask it to go out for potty. Other symptoms include:
- Having little or no defecation for at least two consecutive days
- Dog stools that are impacted and dry and feels like pebbles when picked up
- The experience of tenesmus where the dog strains to defecate with no feces coming out. At some time, dry impacted feces would come out with blood stains on them.
- Dyschezia, where dogs would wince in pain when defecating.
First Aid for Dog Constipation
The best way to help your dog get through constipation is through constant hydration and feeding him or her with fiber-rich dog food. You may also want to feed him or her a pumpkins, ginger, brans of wheat, psyllium seeds, and even olive oil. Also, walk your dog and keep him or her less sedentary as possible.
Better Check with a Veterinarian
In case of blood-stained stools, it is best to bring your dog to your veterinarian in order to fully assess your dog’s health. This way, you will know the full status of your dog’s condition and give him or her the right and proper treatment to cure constipation and protect him or her from other complications.
Your pet dog is also an important member of your family and it is right to give him or her the proper treatment like any dog. Additionally, taking good care of your dog’s health will result in a happier relationship with your pets and a happier home to live in.