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The Pet Poop Edit | Dealing with Dog Constipation

by Vicky Bassett

Like us, dogs have routines, and as their owners we become aware of this. We learn when they need to go out to either pee or poop, we get used to how many times they will go a day, and when picking up the waste we will become used to the consistency in size, shape and colour.

Yes, I know we are not keen to talk about dog constipation, but let us face facts, poop is natural and it’s something everybody does!

Dog Poop Can Tell You a Lot!

Has your dog not pooed today, or they were trying to go and seemed to be straining to do a bowel movement? Perhaps they did manage to pass some stool, but it was very small and hard. It might even have contained a little mucus or blood? If this is the case, your dog may be constipated.

What is Constipation in Dogs?

Constipation in dogs is exactly the same as it is in humans. It’s the inability to have a bowel movement, and although it is more commonly seen in older dogs, any age or breed of dog can suffer with it.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

• Dehydration
• Eating something they shouldn’t have
• Lack of exercise
• A change of diet
• Lack of fibre
• Blocked anal glands
• Side effect to medication
• Dietary intolerances

What are the Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs?

If your dog is suffering from constipation, the most obvious symptom is that they haven’t pooped in 24 hours. Another symptom is that they can also look like they’re going to poop, getting into the optimum poop position and so on, but they’re unable to produce anything. Some other symptoms of Dog Constipation are:

• Circling, Squatting and Scooting without Producing Anything
• Poop Free for 24 Hours
• Lack of Appetite and Energy
• Stools that are Infrequent, but Hard and Dry
• Signs of Discomfort in their Abdomen or Lower Back

What to Do if Your Dog Doesn’t Poop

Constipation in dogs is just as uncomfortable for them as it is for humans, and it can turn into something a lot worse if it’s left over time. If it looks as though your dog is mildly constipated, there are a few things you can do to try to help.

  • Gentle Exercise

Get moving! Sometimes a bit of activity can get things moving again.

  • Hydration 

Water, water, water! Make sure there is always fresh water at hand. If your dog is not much of a drinker, you could always soak their biscuit to help with water intake.

  • A Fibre Supplement

This can be obtained from you vet or some pet shops. Do not use any products unless they explicitly say they are suitable for dogs.

  • Diet 

If constipation seems to be happening frequently, then perhaps a change of their food is called for. You Should Look for a natural dog food that is highly digestible with a good source of fibre.

Be Aware: It should be noted that if your dog has not past any waste in 48 hours you should contact your veterinarian.

High Fibre Dog Food for Constipation

If you have been looking for a high fibre dog food then the Burns Weight Control range could help. As well as being a great food to shred those unwanted pounds, it can be great choice for dogs needing more fibre in their diet. Packed with nutritious oats as well as being great for digestion, it can keep your dog feeling more satisfied throughout the day.

If you’re finding yourself needing help with your dog’s diet then get in touch with the nutrition team at Burns and we’ll be more than happy to help. Call us on 0800 083 96, email or chat with us live on our website.


by Vicky Bassett

I started in Burns in 2007 and I have worked in various areas of the company. I have been on the nutrition team for 4 years and I love helping people with their nutritional queries, being office based has also given me time to do several courses such as Canine Anatomy and Physiology.