What can I give my dog for constipation?

Our question this week was:

What can I give my dog for constipation, we notice he was struggling to use the bathroom, after we brought him home from getting groomed?


Cynthia Fernandez


Hi – thanks for your email. I have a few questions. First, what exactly is he doing? Is he straining to have a bowel movement? Is he scooting? He is eating okay? Has he had constipation before?

Before I recommend a treatment for constipation, I generally want to know if that is the underlying problem for sure or WHY the dog is constipated. Other problems can look like constipation such as anal gland problems, materials caught in the hair around the rectum, prostate problems, colitis (inflammation of the colon causing frequent diarrhea with mucous or blood) or urinary problems (can appear as constipation in some dogs).

First, I'd make sure it really is constipation. If it is, then why? Is your dog eating and drinking okay? Are there any other problems?

You may want to take him to your vet to help get answers to these questions.

As far as IF it is constipation, you can treat it by encouraging him to drink well. You can add water to his food or after extra water bowls, top off the water bowl or add ice cubes to the water to encourage more drinking. Some veterinarians recommend feeding a small amount of canned pumpkin or sprinkling a small amount of Metamucil to his food.

An article that might be helpful to you is Constipation in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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