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Constipation Causes in Dogs

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Constipation in dogs can be caused by a variety of things.  Often if you can identify the cause of constipation, you can prevent.

  1. Not enough fiber intake

Fiber absorbs water in the digestion process and helps waste material to form into stools.  Low fiber intake makes it difficult for stool to form.  Increasing your dog’s intake of fiber may help prevent constipation.  Many dogs like cookies, muffins, or biscuits made with bran.

  1. Dehydration

Dogs need adequate fresh drinking water.  Some dogs can be finicky and will not drink stale water out of a dirty dish so provide clean water.

  1. Excess stress.

Stress may slow the dog’s digestion system and cause constipation.  With stress, muscle tension may increase and inhibit the passing of stool.

  1. Eating indigestible objects.

Some dogs may eat objects that are not digestible.  These objects can be plastic bags, food dishes, paper clips, shoelaces, shoes, rubber balls, ink pens, television remotes, sticks, stones, parts of their bedding, chew toys, and plastic utensils to name a few.  Some of these items may pass normally, while most of these objects require a veterinarian visit and possible surgery.

  1. Poor Quality Dog Food

Some types of commercial dog foods do not contain enough fiber, while other contain ash which causes constipation.

  1. Fur or Hairballs

Some dogs will lick themselves excessively causing hairballs to form.  These hairballs can block the dog’s colon.

  1. Some prescription medications.

Always ask your veterinarian if a new prescribed medication can cause constipation and what you can do about it.

  1. Enlarged prostate.

An enlarged prostate may press against the colon and narrow the passageway for stool.  Removal of the prostate and neutering the dog may correct this.

  1. Surgery.

Surgery can cause constipation.  Ask your veterinarian if there is anything that can be done to prevent constipation after any surgery.

Now that you know the most common causes of constipation in dogs, you may be able to prevent future occurrences.  By giving your dog quality food, adequate fresh water, and a low stress environment, you may have a regular dog with a healthy digestion system.

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