Not many puppy owners are heard talking about the pet’s inability to pass stool. Puppies after all, normally passes soft stool. Most puppy owners have dealt with puppy diarrhea but - constipation? No. If your puppy is straining and crying when you take it out to do its business…when it is unable to pass stool - or if it passes only small amount of very dry and hard stool, then you have one constipated pet in your hand. The puppy’s refusal to poop in the designated place is not due to poor housebreaking.
Constipation is actually not a common occurrence in puppies although the condition is often seen in toy breeds. Defecating difficulties can occur for a variety of reasons. Puppies would have different reactions to a new home. A puppy can be so tense and nervous so that it would not defecate for a few days. Parted from its mother and littermates, the sad puppy will have no inclination to do its usual activities. No running and no playing as the puppy would rather stay in its crate. Being inactive can cause constipation. On the other hand, an exuberant puppy will investigate its new home enthusiastically. We know that dogs would learn about its new world using its mouth. Puppies would eat just about anything. Edible and non edible objects will be chewed and ingested. The foreign object that was swallowed may not always be able to exit through the other end. Intestinal blockage is one of the causes of constipation. Hairballs can also create intestinal obstruction. This usually happens to long haired puppies that are constantly licking and biting themselves.
It is rather tricky to figure out the right food that must be given to the pet. Ideally, a puppy should receive the same amount and the same type of food it receives from the breeder. Any change in the type of food has to be made gradually as change in diet can either result to diarrhea or constipation. The diet of the dog can have something to do with the puppy’s defecting difficulties. A diet that is low in fiber can be the cause of constipation. Dehydration is another reason why puppies get constipated. Water intake should be more than twice the amount of food ingested by the pet. However, because a puppy’s dry kibble is usually moistened, the puppy may forget to drink. Defecating difficulties can be due to medications the puppy is taking.
As with any other health concerns, dealing with the puppy’s constipation can be effectively done if the cause is established. Adding fiber to the dog’s diet can resolve its defecating difficulties. Canned pumpkin is proven to be one of the most effective home remedies for constipation. Add one tablespoon of unsweetened pumpkin to the puppy’s food. The same amount of bran can be added as well. Encourage the pet to drink more water. Place several bowls of water in strategic places around the house. A small amount of broth added to the water will give it a pleasant taste and entice the dog to drink more. Exercise is good for the health of the dog. Walking the puppy will be a good bonding moment for owner and pet. It will also prevent constipation.
Over the counter laxatives can treat the pet’s constipation but NEVER give the puppy constipation remedies for humans. Generally, constipation will resolve itself naturally. But if the puppy is obviously distressed with the inability to defecate; if bouts of constipation are becoming frequent it is imperative to take the puppy to a vet for the most necessary diagnosis and treatment of the condition.