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9 Natural Remedies for Dog Constipation

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If your dog is having a hard time relieving himself, he may be suffering from constipation. This uncomfortable condition can cause your furry friend to strain while defecating, have a decreased appetite, or even experience vomiting. While it's always important to consult with your veterinarian for any health concerns, there are also some natural remedies you can try at home to help alleviate your dog's constipation.

In this article, we'll discuss nine natural remedies for dog constipation and how they can help improve your pup's digestive health.

The Bane of Blocked Bowels

Constipation in dogs can be a troubling experience not only for the pet but for the owner, too. It's usually a sign of an underlying health issue and can lead to discomfort, loss of appetite, and in severe cases, even more severe health problems.

Identifying the issue is the first step in finding a solution; be on the lookout for infrequent bowel movements, straining during a BM, or a decrease in appetite.

Why Is My Dog Constipated?

Before we jump into how to solve the problem, it’s crucial to understand the why. Several factors can contribute to dog constipation. Common culprits include:

  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water will lead to a shortage of fluids in the intestines, resulting in hard stools and a constipated dog.
  • Poor Diet: Low-fiber diets are often the blame — think meaty meals with a lack of plant-based roughage.
  • Inactivity: Just like humans, sedentary lifestyles can slow down the digestive system.
  • Rooted in Medicine: Certain drugs, such as painkillers, can cause constipation as a side effect.
  • Age and Ailments: Seniors and dogs with back issues may not move around enough to encourage regular bowel movements.

The Constipation Conundrum and Canine Health

Understanding the broader impact of constipation is vital. It's not just a case of an uncomfortable tummy. 

Here are nine stool-softening solutions you can incorporate into your dog's daily life to keep their tails wagging freely.

hydration as a remedy for your dogs constipation

1. Hydration, the Backbone of Bowel Health

It's surprising how often we forget the straightforward solution to problematic pooping — water! Ensuring your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times can be the first and most crucial step in treating and preventing constipation. A dehydrated dog is much more likely to have bowel irregularities.

To encourage more water intake, try these tricks:

  • Add a splash of low-sodium broth to your dog's water.
  • Use a pet water fountain, as dogs are often more interested in moving water.
  • Moisten their dry food before serving.

How Much is Enough?

The right amount varies depending on size and weight, but as a general rule, dogs should be drinking about an ounce of water a day for each pound of body weight.

2. The Fiber Fix for Fido

The right type of dietary fiber can work wonders. It acts like a broom, sweeping the colon free of waste and absorbing water to add bulk to the stool.

The Fiber Do’s and Don’ts

Not all fiber is created equal. Good sources include canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!), green beans, and sweet potato. Bad sources are high in sugar or difficult for dogs to digest, like nuts and grains.

3. Coconut Oil: The Slippery Superfood

A spoonful of coconut oil can lubricate the digestive tract, making it easier for your pup to pass stool. It's also packed with healthy fats which are great for the skin and coat.

Coconut Oil Consumption for Canines

Start with small amounts, with a ⅛ of a teaspoon for small dogs and up to a tablespoon for large breeds, and gradually increase to avoid tummy upsets.

4. Supplements for Optimum Health

Vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health, including digestive health. Consider incorporating these supplements into your dog's diet:

Digestive Enzymes to Get Things Moving

Digestive enzymes help the stomach break down food, making it easier for your dog's body to absorb nutrients. They can also reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.

Psyllium Husk: Nature’s Laxative

Psyllium husk is a natural laxative that can help regulate bowel movements and soften stool. It's available in powder form, making it easy to mix into your dog's food.

Multivitamins for Overall Health

Multivitamins can fill in any nutritional gaps in your dog's diet and support overall health, including digestive health.

5. A Spoonful of Canned Meat

Veterinarians often recommend adding a spoonful of canned cat food to a constipated dog's meal. Its high moisture content and palatability make it easier for dogs to digest and can help stimulate their appetite, increasing their water and food intake.

Why Cat Food?

Because felines require a higher moisture content in their food to stay healthy, canned cat food does the job best.

pet honesty probiotics to help your dogs constipation

6. Probiotic Power in Pet Health

Introducing probiotics can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut, fostering healthy digestive functions. They’re especially beneficial if your dog's constipation was a result of taking antibiotics.

Choosing a Canine Probiotic

Look for a probiotic that is formulated for dogs, ensuring that the strains are beneficial for their particular digestive system.

7. Healthy Herbs for Hounds

Nature comes to the rescue again with herbs known for their digestive health benefits.

Herbs for Help

Ginger can be calming to the digestive system and can help relieve gas, while dandelion root stimulates the liver and acts as a gentle laxative.

8. Exercise Equals Excretion

Incorporating regular exercise into your dog's routine can do wonders to keep your dog’s digestive system on track. Taking your dog for a brisk walk to the dog park can often help move things along. For the particularly stubborn cases, consider yoga-inspired poses like "Reclining Hero" (Supta Virasana) or "Wind-Relieving Pose" (Pawanmuktasana).

9. Massage and Manipulation

Gentle abdominal massage can stimulate the bowel movement and dog poop through the colon. Circle your fingers around your dog's belly and massage in the direction of the colon, which starts on the right side of your dog’s abdomen and circles around.

Keep It Gentle

When performing a massage, always be gentle, and if your dog expresses discomfort or the abdomen feels hard or bloated, it's time to consult a vet.

The Next Steps in Preventing Recurrence

While treating constipation is essential, preventing it is the long-term goal. Here are some measures to keep in mind:

  • Balanced Diet: Ensure your dog's diet is rich in fiber and appropriate for their age and size.
  • Regular Meals: Established eating times will help regulate bowel movements.
  • Good Habits: Encourage regular bathroom breaks, as holding in stool can lead to constipation.
  • Health Checks: Regular vet visits help catch and treat underlying health conditions early.
  • Supervision: Keep an eye out for any odd bathroom behaviors or changes in stool.


Q: What if my dog is still constipated despite trying these methods?

A: If your dog has been constipated for more than a few days, or if they are showing any other concerning symptoms, it's best to consult with a veterinarian. They can advise on proper treatment and rule out any underlying health conditions.

Q: Can I use over-the-counter human laxatives for my dog's constipation?

A: No, it is not recommended to give your dog any over-the-counter medication or laxatives without consulting with a veterinarian first. Some human medications can be harmful or even toxic to dogs.

adding fiber to your dogs food helps constipation

Q: How can I incorporate more fiber into my dog's diet?

A: Some high-fiber foods that are safe for most dogs include pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, and spinach. You can also try adding a fiber supplement or switching to a dog food specifically formulated for digestive health.

Q: Can stress cause severe constipation in dogs?

A: Yes, stress and anxiety can lead to changes in a dog's bowel movements and may contribute to constipation. It's important to manage your dog's stress levels and provide them with a calm and comfortable environment.

Q: Are there any specific dog breeds that are more prone to constipation?

A: While any dog can experience constipation, certain breeds may be more at risk due to their anatomy. These include small breeds like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, as well as large breeds with deep chests like Great Danes and Mastiffs.

Q: Is there a difference between acute and chronic constipation in dogs?

A: Acute constipation refers to short-term or sudden onset constipation, while chronic constipation is an ongoing issue. Chronic constipation may be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition or infection and should be addressed by a veterinarian.

Q: Can I prevent my dog from becoming constipated while traveling?

A: Changes in routine, food, and water can contribute to constipation while traveling with your dog. To prevent this, try to maintain a similar feeding schedule, bring along familiar foods or treats, and ensure your dog eats and stays hydrated during the trip.

In Conclusion

Dog constipation is more than just an inconvenience. It can signify more significant health concerns and lead to discomfort for your four-legged friend. By understanding the symptoms and causes, you can identify and treat the issue promptly.

Natural remedies offer an effective and gentle way to alleviate constipation, but remember, not all remedies are one-size-fits-all. Always consider your dog's medical history, current health status, and any allergies before introducing something new.

And remember, if your pet is in pain, it's important to seek professional help. If constipation persists, is accompanied by other symptoms, or becomes a chronic issue, consulting with a veterinarian is crucial.