cat sleeping

Signs Your Dog is Constipated and How to Treat It

constipated dog

Has it been a few days since your dog last went for a number two? Bowel movements are an important bodily function for both humans and animals alike. However, struggling to pass stools, also known as constipation, is one of the most common digestive problems among dogs, and it can affect canines of all breeds and ages.

​​​​​​​The fact that we are responsible for clearing up our pet’s poop makes it relatively easy to keep an eye on how often they go, and if there is anything unusual about their stools. This is useful when it comes to determining if your dog is suffering from constipation. It can also help you to get her the treatment she needs before it becomes a painful or dangerous problem.


What is constipation and what causes it?

Constipation is a term used to describe difficulty or inability to have a normal bowel movement. There are many different factors that can contribute to a dog becoming constipated, and some of the most common causes include:

  • Dehydration
  • Insufficient fiber in her diet
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Eating non-food items such as hair, grass, or packaging
  • Side effects
  • Kidney problems
  • Hernia
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Presence of a tumor or mass around the anus
  • Blocked or abscessed anal sacks

Signs that your dog may be constipated

The most obvious sign that your dog may be suffering from constipation is a lack of poop. Most dogs have a relatively efficient digestive system, so if your dog hasn’t defecated in two or more days, there is a strong likelihood that she is constipated.

Other signs to look out for include straining, crouching and dragging their rear along the ground when trying to pass feces. You may also notice the presence of matted feces around your pet’s anus.

It is also important to notice signs that could suggest impending constipation, such as reduced frequency of defecation, or producing feces that are small and hard.

How you can help your constipated dog?

If you believe that your canine best friend may be suffering from constipation, the first thing that you should do is arrange an appointment at our office as soon as possible. This is because it is important to determine the underlying cause of the constipation, how it should be treated, and how to avoid reoccurrences.


Depending on the exact reason why your dog is constipated, we may recommend a variety of treatments that could include:

  • Increasing the amount of fiber in your pet’s diet. This could mean moving her onto a different food or adding natural supplements.
  • Increasing the amount of exercise that you are currently giving her. Exercise is a great way of getting the improving body functions, including those in the digestive system.
  • Increasing her fluid intake. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation, and the more your dog drinks the easier she should find passing her stools.
  • Medications such as a laxative or stool softener.
  • Medications that strengthen the large intestine.
  • An enema.


If you are concerned that your dog may be constipated, don’t delay seeking a professional opinion. Make an appointment at Care Animal Hospital today at 951-370-1200 to ensure your pet feels healthy and comfortable again.

Pet Diets for Better Oral Health

Categories:DentalAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-10-30
Like humans, a pets' diet can improve or hinder their oral health. Learn the best pet diets for better oral health for your dog or cat.

How to Care for Dogs After Spaying Surgery

Categories:DogsAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-09-30
After spay surgery, dogs will need to rest, recovery, and have their wounds looked after. Learn more on how to care for dogs after spaying surgery.

Dental treats you can make this summer

Author:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-08-31
Want to save money on pet dental treats? Learn about these easy dental treats you can make for your pet this summer that will improve their dental health.

Is microchipping safe for dogs?

Categories:DogsAuthor:Date:2018-07-31
Many dog owners are concerned with the safety of microchipping. Learn about pet microchipping, how it works, and how it can help keep your pet safe.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home and On Your Pet

Author:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-06-30
Flea infestations can be difficult to eradicate, especially in warmer months in Temecula. Learn these tips for ridding fleas from your home and your pet.

What are common veterinary emergencies for pets?

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-05-31
Keep your pet safe by staying prepared for emergencies by knowing the most common veterinary emergencies for pets and when to seek treatment. Learn more here.

Tips for Treating Hairballs in Cats

Author:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-04-26
As self-cleaners, hairballs are a common issue in cats. Learn the symptoms of blocked hairballs, and tips for treating hairballs in cats.

How to Choose an Animal Hospital

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-03-31
Choosing the right animal hospital for your pet can be a nerve-wracking process. Learn these tips on how to choose the best animal hospital for your needs.

Signs Your Dog is Constipated and How to Treat It

Author:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-02-28
Constipation in dogs can often a sign of a bigger health problem. Learn how to tell if your dog is constipated, and how to treat constipation in dogs.

Parasite Prevention and Control for Pets

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2018-01-26
An important part of being a pet owner is making sure your pet stays safe from internal and external parasites. Learn more about parasite prevention here.

Importance of antioxidants in dog food

Categories:DogsAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2017-12-29
One way to keep your dog in good health is by feeding it dog food that is rich in antioxidants. Learn more about the importance of antioxidants in your dog's diet.

What to Do If Your Pet is Vomiting

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Care Animal HospitalDate:2017-11-28
Are you dealing with a sick pet? Learn what to do if your pet is vomiting, and how to keep your pet healthy at Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, CA.

What Causes a Dog’s Stomach to Swell?

Categories:DogsAuthor:Dr. Joe AlcornDate:2017-10-26
A dogs stomach might swell from overeating, sickness, or more. Learn about what causes a dogs stomach to swell, & how to treat stomach swelling.

Pet Skin And Allergy Care

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-09-12
Pet allergies are often caused by the same things that cause allergies in humans. Learn more about pet skin and allergy care here!

How to Know When your Cat is Sick

Author:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-08-25
Read more if your cat is sick or not and how to provide enough care for your loved pet. Give us a call and schedule an appointment today.

How to Make Your Dog and Cat Get Along

Categories:Dogs, CatsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-07-11
Do your cat and dog hate each other? Learn why cat and dog behaviors don't mesh well, and tips to help your dog and cat get along,

How Much Should You Feed Your Dog?

Categories:DogsAuthor:Date:2017-06-11
Knowing how much and when you should feed your dog can be a hard routine to follow. Learn the healthiest eating habits for your dog.

Leia M. (Read More)

Categories:Success StoriesAuthor:Date:2017-05-25

Abigail (Read More)

Categories:Success StoriesAuthor:Date:2017-05-25

Why your dog is throwing up

Categories:DogsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-05-25

What is the Best Diet For Pets with Dental Problems

Categories:DentalAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-05-25

Dental Sticks and Bad Breath in Dogs

Categories:DogsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-04-26

Is Spaying and Neutering Safe?

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-02-25

Why is My Pet Scratching

Categories:Cats, DogsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-02-01

Exercising Your Pet More Often

Categories:Dogs, CatsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2017-01-17

Is Your Pet Not Eating Their Dry Food?

Categories:GeneralAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2016-11-29

Saving Your Pet from an Itchy Problem: Fleas

Categories:Cats, DogsAuthor:Dr. AlcornDate:2016-07-15