Home remedies are a better go-to as a first response in such cases, instead of going to the vet for mild constipation and ending up with a list of unnecessary charges and vet bills.
In this article are the top 10 home remedies for dog constipation that you can employ to provide quick and simple treatment to your canine friend for constipation.
What are the Best Home Remedies for Dog Constipation?
Most of these treatments require only basic ingredients that might already be available at home; if not, you can buy them from any grocery store.
Dehydration or lack of enough water intake is one of the most common causes of canine constipation, so it is rightfully the first go-to.
Water is essential to keeping your dog’s digestive tract properly lubricated to allow for easy removal of waste from their body.
Though there is no fixed amount of water that a dog should drink every day, a simple rule of thumb to follow is 1 ounce of water for every 1 pound of body weight of your dog.
Ensure your dog has access to ample fresh drinking water at all times.
If your dog is reluctant to drink water regularly, add a few Spoonfuls of chicken or bone broth to encourage your pup to gulp some water.
Adding water to your dog’s food will also help in maintaining the moisture and hydration levels of your dog.
Try giving them a few ice cubes as treats on warm summer days!
Insufficient daily exercise can lead to dog constipation.
Physical stimulation is necessary to keep your dog’s digestive system fit.
Dogs generally need around 30 to 90 minutes of daily exercise to stay active and avoid health problems.
Adding an extra mile to your dog’s daily walk or spending more playtime with them might compensate for the lack of exercise and help love along the stool in your dog’s gut.
Bring out the ball or frisbee and have a fun game of fetch with your dog!
Enough dietary fiber intake is necessary to keep things running smoothly in your dog’s digestive system.
Fiber adds weight to your dog’s stool and makes it bulkier, making it easier to pass through the digestive tract and regulate digestion.
Leafy vegetables and whole fruits are the best (and most natural) sources of fiber that you can add to your dog’s daily diet; not to mention the additional vitamins and minerals your dog will derive from them.
High-fiber foods that you can give your dog are:
These fruits and vegetables can be given to your dog by adding the boiled veggies directly to their regular diet or as homemade treats. Practicing caution is vital because too much fiber can lead to dog diarrhea.
Pumpkin is a superfood for dogs, so it deserves to be our top pick.
High in soluble fiber content and moisture content, it is a useful home remedy for treating both constipation and diarrhea in dogs!
And its great taste is only an added benefit for your dog’s taste buds.
Pumpkin is safe for dogs of all ages, so you need not be concerned about giving it to your young pup or senior dog.
The Merck Veterinary Manual suggests that mixing 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin into your dog’s regular food helps in easing symptoms of dog constipation.
You can add pumpkin to your dog’s diet in any form:
100% pumpkin puree for dogs
Canned pumpkin for dogs
Roast a pumpkin at home
Make sure to give your dog pure pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling.
Commonly mistaken for pumpkin, pumpkin pie filling contains added spices, sugar, and preservatives that can be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Well, oils are actually natural stool softeners and act as laxatives for dogs.
They help in lubricating the digestive tract and make it easier for your dog to excrete.
Make sure to introduce oils into your dog’s diet gradually and not all at once as it may cause dog diarrhea.
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which make it a superb natural solution to many health problems in dogs.
Apart from easing symptoms of constipation, coconut oil is also immensely beneficial for your dog’s skin and will give them a shiny coat!
Add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your dog’s food bowl or feed it to them directly.
Olive oil also works wonders in softening your dog’s stool and inhibiting symptoms of constipation in dogs.
Olive oil is an apt alternative if you do not have coconut oil at your disposal.
Olive oil boasts a variety of health advantages for your dog, from giving them healthy skin to helping in the prevention of cancer!
You can give olive oil to your dog as a supplement added to their diet and use it to make homemade treats.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is a natural probiotic and promotes the growth of good and healthy bacteria which are necessary to maintain the microbial balance in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
A bit of apple cider vinegar can go a long way in alleviating your dog’s constipation!
You can add a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s daily drinking water.
However, many dogs are repulsed by the foreign smell and taste of vinegar, so it might be better to mix apple cider vinegar directly into their regular food.
A combination of yogurt with apple cider vinegar can also make for some delicious natural medicine for your dog!
It is advised to refrain from feeding vinegar directly to your dog’s mouth.
Aloe vera is known to help facilitate healthy bowel movements and is a natural laxative and anti-inflammatory agent.
Constipated dogs benefit from being given aloe vera juice on a regular basis as it can clear almost all constipation-causing bowel obstructions.
The dosage of aloe vera juice that is generally advised is 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight of your dog in a day.
Avoid buying aloe vera juice with added preservatives which might be harmful to your dog.
If your dog eats dry kibble regularly, it might be a good idea to temporarily switch to canned food or wet food.
High-quality canned food contains comparatively more moisture than regular dog food and therefore, will provide your dog with more hydration and make things go more smoothly in your dog’s gut.
Tasty wet food will also encourage your dog’s appetite if it had been inhibited due to constipation.
The transition from a dry diet to canned dog food should not be immediate but gradual to avoid an upset stomach and give your dog time to adjust to the new food.
You should start by allowing them small quantities of their daily food at first and then switching to a whole canned food diet.
The gastrointestinal tract in dogs consists of good and bad bacteria, microbes that constitute the microbiome in your dog’s gut.
In a healthy dog, a peaceful balance is maintained between the two, but when some malicious interruption disrupts this equilibrium, the bad bacteria and microbes (like that of salmonella) thrive, resulting in negative side effects like dog constipation.
Probiotics are a form of supplemental helpful bacteria that help restore the balance in your dog’s gut health and promote good digestion.
They aid in reducing digestive issues that cause dog constipation and are also an excellent preventative measure against future stomach problems.
Probiotics come in the form of powder, pills, and chewable treats which you can give to your dog.
There are also natural probiotics like yogurt or kefir that are suitable for dogs.
Consulting a vet before administering probiotics is recommended in case your dog has a compromised immune system.
More Natural Remedies to Consider
If it were to happen that the aforementioned remedies for dog constipation were to fail you or you happen to lack the ingredients needed to employ the treatment, worry not, because there are still a few more options left.
As mentioned earlier, yogurt is an excellent natural probiotic as it contains live cultures and good bacteria that encourage healthy microbial fauna in your dog’s gut and keep stomach issues at bay.
Add a teaspoon of yogurt to your dog’s daily meal or feed directly from a spoon, they are sure to love the taste!
Fennel is laden with valuable properties that help stimulate the peristalsis movement, the wave-like motion of the intestines that carries food forward, in the intestinal tract, and is thus a superb alternative to try.
To utilize fennel as a treatment for dog constipation, boil 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in a cup of water till about half the water has vaporized.
Strain out the seed solids and let the water cool down. Give your dog 1 to 2 teaspoons of the fennel water every 12 hours for best results.
Beet juice acts as an awesome tonic in increasing the production of bile in your dog’s liver as gallbladder, which augments the speed at which the waste material moves along in your dog’s intestines.
Administering beet juice will aid in easing the symptoms of constipation in dogs.
You can give beet juice to your dog by adding it to their water bowl and mixing it with their dry kibble and serving it as dinner!
Ginger root is another herbal option you can try as a natural remedy to treat your dog’s constipation.
Ginger root enables healthy digestion and provides relief from stomach aches that might be caused by constipation in dogs.
Ginger root can be added directly to your dog’s regular food or use its raw slices as a component in making homemade treats for your dog to relish!
You can give suppository laxatives, if necessary, to your dog for constipation in the form of rectal suppositories (stimulant laxatives or stool softeners) or oral laxatives.
Laxatives should only be administered to a constipated dog after due consultation with a vet because most laxatives if used incorrectly or under the wrong conditions, can pose a serious threat to your dog’s well-being.
Which home remedy will work for your dog really depends on the breed, age, and overall health of the dog. Almost all the treatments suggested above have negligent side effects, so it will not hurt to try more than one remedy to see which one works its magic in ridding your dog of dog constipation.
If the symptoms of dog constipation persist even after trying several home remedies and your dog’s health seems to be worsening, it is better to consult a vet because as the saying goes: “Better safe than sorry”.