What Your Vet Can Do
Based on a conversation with you about your dog’s eating habits and medical history, the veterinarian will run the appropriate tests to determine the cause of constipation. He or she will then prescribe treatments to address any underlying medical conditions, as well as the constipation itself.
Possible remedies that your veterinarian can offer include fluids, enemas and manual removal of feces. In addition, he or she may prescribe stool softeners, supplements, fiber additives or prescription, digestive-formula dog food.
Don’t use medications or foods meant for humans to treat constipation — go to your veterinarian for any prescriptions or diet recommendations. The dosages and formulations that humans use are not always suitable for dogs. For example, phosphate enemas can cause serious electrolyte imbalances in small dogs.
What You Can Do
To help keep your dog regular, make sure he gets daily exercise, is fed on a consistent schedule and has constant access to fresh water. With your veterinarian’s permission, you can also change his diet to one that’s higher in fiber. This can mean changing the brand of dog food you use to a prescription brand, or just simply adding high-fiber supplements.
A source of natural fiber dogs tend to love is pumpkin. Add a little bit of canned or puréed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to his food from time to time to ensure his regularity — he’ll come to think of it as a special treat. Wheat bran and Metamucil are additional options. Just be sure to ask the veterinarian about how much is right for your dog’s size and any other changes to your dog’s diet.
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