My Dog is Constipated!

Question from: Chris
Sioux, LA. USA

Help, my Cocker Spaniel dog is constipated!

She has a hard time going #2 sometimes, but it often becomes a real problem. When that happens, she gets so bound up that she is physically ill. 

I took her to see the vet, and he told me that she has colitis.

Can you recommend a puppy laxative I can give to her?

Beautiful orange roan cocker spaniel puppy playing with soft toy on the kitchen floor.My Mom says I'm a constipated puppy...whatever that means!

My Dog is Constipated: Pauline's Answer

Hi Chris,

Colitis is often mistaken for constipation in dogs so I'm not surprised you thought your dog was constipated. 

Natural Remedies for Dog Constipation

I always advocate easing constipation the natural way, without chemical laxatives. If you use nature's laxatives, you won't go wrong.

Here are some natural remedies for dog constipation, you might like to try a couple and see what effect they have on your dog.

  • Adding bran or a few drops of olive or mineral oil to their food may help to alleviate the symptoms.

  • An increase in fresh vegetables (cooked or raw, but raw is better) can also help relieve constipation in dogs (and humans!).

  • If you feed your dog kibble, adding a few drops of warm water to moisten the biscuits can also help to alleviate constipation.

  • Regular exercise equals regular bowels!

  • Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, clean water.

In short, a healthy diet, coupled with plenty of fresh drinking water and lots of exercise, will help to keep your cocker spaniel fit, regular and healthy.

Treating Colitis in Dogs

However, if your vet didn't prescribe a laxative, then I wouldn't use one. She probably doesn't need it. 

(I'm surprised your vet didn't prescribe something for the inflammation, which is often present in colitis. I can only assume it is a mild condition). Did he recommend any changes to her diet?

Just like us humans, your pet's diet should be a healthy mix of nutrition: the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals and oils.

You can follow this link to learn more about the Cocker Spaniel's diet.

You could ask your vet to recommend something for her, or you could increase her fibre and liquid intake, which will go a long way to ensure she's more 'regular'. 

Don't feed your dog junk food (bread, cakes, pizza etc.) because you'll only be making the situation worse. (Yes, we're all guilty of occasionally feeding our cockers such table scraps.)

After a week or so, you should see an improvement in your cocker's bowel movements. However, if your puppy's constipation/colitis continues, I'd suggest you go back to your vet and ask him to take another look at her.

Follow this link to learn more about constipation in Cocker Spaniels.

Visitor Comments: My Dog is Constipated!

My Dog is Constipated!
Comment By: Anonymous 

You could try feeding your dog a little cooked, mashed pumpkin or steamed cabbage leaves. I don't recommend lots. Start with a little, perhaps a tablespoon mixed in with your puppy's food for 3 days. 

If nothing happens, increase it to two tablespoons for the next 3 days. 

If that doesn't work, try the cabbage in the same doses. You should see results from one of them.

If you don't, you may have to resort to using laxatives, but personally, I wouldn't, at least, not without the say-so of your vet. 

If you decide to give your pet laxatives, don't give her laxatives meant for humans.

My Dog is Constipated!
Comment By: Raji

My vet gave him something for the inflamed colon to settle it down, and he recommended changing him on to a hypoallergenic diet and increase the fibre in his diet.

I followed his advice, and within a couple of weeks, he was as good as new!

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to continue feeding him the hypoallergenic dog food, so I had to change him back to his other food. 

It's good, but not as good as the hypo food, but I often give him sweet potato or greens mixed with his kibble.

Hope your puppy is better soon.