5 ways to fix your dog's constipation

  • If your dog is constipated, try giving them high-fiber foods like carrots, kale, or cabbage.
  • Exercising also helps stimulate bowel movement, so take your dog on more walks.
  • You should also make sure to increase your dog’s fluid intake.

It’s not just humans who have to deal with uncomfortable constipation from time to time –– the problem can affect our dogs, too. If it’s been a few days since your dog has pooped, it’s very likely that they are constipated. To keep your pup healthy and happy, it’s important to take action.

Here are five remedies to try if your dog is constipated.

1. Increase dietary fiber

Increasing the amount of fiber your dog consumes may help with constipation.

“Constipation arises when stools are too dry to move easily in the intestines, so they become stagnant and slow things down. Fiber holds onto water and can coat the stools and increase gut motility, pushing things in the right direction,” says Anthony Hall, DVM, a veterinarian with pet telehealth Airvet

Foods for constipated dogs

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Coconut fiber
  • Pumpkin (100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)

In order to get your dog to eat these foods, it’s best to grind them up, says Carol Osborne, DVM, a veterinarian at Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic. Your dog should eat about one tablespoon of these foods per 25-30 pounds of their weight once or twice a day. 

You can also purchase fiber-fortified dog food. Typically a dog needs roughly 1 tablespoon of fiber per 25-35 pounds of body weight per day, says Osborne.

2. Give your dog fiber supplements

If just adding fiber to your dog’s diet isn’t enough, consult with your veterinarian about trying fiber supplements. These supplements come in pills, powders, or gels. Powders can be sprinkled over food, and pills and gels should be given directly by mouth, Hall says. 

Important: In some cases, fiber supplementation may be harmful, such as if the dog has an underlying condition that’s causing constipation. So consult with a vet first about if it’s right for your dog and next steps.

3.  Exercise

Exercise helps food move through the digestive tract and keeps “things flowing in the right direction,” says Hall. 

As long as your dog is otherwise healthy physically, it’s simple to increase their activity level by taking them on more frequent, longer walks.

“The amount of exercise a dog needs is dependent upon their age, breed, size, job, and current health conditions. But a good rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise twice daily,” says Hall. Check with your vet for advice specific to your pet. 

4. Increase fluid intake

If your dog isn’t well hydrated, the body can pull more water out of the colon than normal, which may lead to dry, hard, or impacted feces, says Adam Rudinsky, DVM, assistant professor of Small Animal Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Therefore, the more hydrated your dog is, the less stress the colon experiences and the more regular bowel movement your dog should experience. 

In order to get your dog to drink more, Rudinsky says you can:

  • Try using a drinking fountain designed for dogs
  • Give your dog canned food, which tends to be softer than kibble
  • Add water to dry food

You don’t have to use just plain water to increase fluid intake. If your dog is bored of water,  Osborne says you can get them to take in fluids by consuming:

  • Low-sodium chicken, turkey, or beef stock
  • Low-sodium bone broth
  • Crushed ice cubes

Osborne says soup or broth can be offered as a standalone or added to food or water. 

5. Enemas

Enemas introduce water and other compounds directly into the dog’s colon, which helps to coat the stools, hydrating and softening them so they can be expelled from the body, says Hall. However, you should never use over-the-counter enemas on pets, as they can injure your pet.

Be sure to consult your vet to make sure your dog is indeed constipated, and it’s best to let the vet perform an enema. “Enemas are only performed for the purpose to relieve a constipated bowel. If your pet is not constipated, you may be doing more harm than good,” says Hall.

Insider’s takeaway

Your dog can’t speak up to let you know what’s wrong in the same way that a human can, so it’s important to ensure that you have a clear picture of what’s going on with their health before trying to treat constipation. 

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There are various methods you can try if your dog is constipated, but it’s best to consult a vet before taking action. Then, your vet can provide some tailored advice specific to your dog. You should also discuss with your vet about enriching your dog’s regular diet with fiber to prevent future constipation. 

— Update: 09-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article What Can Dogs Eat When They Are Constipated? Six Common Remedies from the website www.loveyourdog.com for the keyword foods to make dogs poop.

As much as we may dislike picking up dog poops during toilet time, a well-formed poo can be appreciated as a sign our dog is eating well with a functioning gut. Even your veterinarian will often ask about bowel movements to get a good picture of your dog’s overall health.

On average, dogs poop 1-2 times every 24 hours. However, this can vary slightly from dog to dog and can depend on the type of diet. You are correct to become concerned if your pup poops less than once every 48 hours; there’s a chance that he is constipated!

There are several different reasons that constipation happens in our canine companions. Read on to learn more about constipation in dogs and what the best foods are for a constipated pooch.

What Is Constipation?

Foods to make dogs poop
If your dog is struggling to poop, it is possible it is constipated.

Constipation occurs when waste moves too slowly through the gut or stops and forms a blockage. It may be accompanied by straining during pooping and the production of hard feces that are difficult to pass. Signs of severe constipation, which would require an emergency trip to the veterinarian, include vomiting, lethargy, bloody stool, abdominal discomfort, and a 72-hour or more delay between bowel movements.

What Causes It?

Foods to make dogs poop
There are a number of reasons constipation occurs in dogs.

Causes of constipation include:

  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Impacted anal glands
  • Intestinal disorders
  • Hernias
  • Spinal pain
  • Swallowing objects that get stuck in the gut

Many of these will require veterinary intervention for treatment, so it is important to pick up on clinical signs as early as possible.

What Can I Feed My Dog For Constipation?

Foods to make dogs poop
A diet full of fiber and water is ideal for your constipated pooch.

Many causes of constipation will not be solved by a simple diet change. You must see a veterinarian for a dog that is showing severe clinical signs. Some cases may even require surgery and an extended stay in the clinic if they are not caught early. For mild constipation, you can start by modifying your dog’s diet to help ease uncomfortable symptoms.

Constipation-Easing Treats

The following are some veggies you can add to your pooch’s diet or give on their own. They tend to be high in fiber, which will help keep things moving in the gut. Treats in the diet should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Thankfully, a few high fiber vegetable options with different caloric values fit in with a range of doggy meal plans.

Plain Canned Pumpkin

Foods to make dogs poop
Most dogs love the taste of canned pumpkin, so this is an easy treat to offer to help with constipation.

Canned pumpkin is easy to serve right out of the can. It can be added to your dog’s meal or given as a treat. Canned pumpkin has 25 calories per quarter cup. When choosing canned pumpkin, double-check the label to confirm that you have pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie filling.

Canned pumpkin pie filling contains sugar, which will greatly increase the calorie count, as well as a selection of spices that may be unsafe. So it’s important to make sure that you account for this in Fido’s daily calorie intake if you plan to feed it to your pup.


Foods to make dogs poop
Carrot is both hydrating and full of fiber, making it a good choice for a constipated pooch.

Some dogs will happily chomp on a carrot and enjoy the crunch. Others might prefer it to be grated and mixed into wet food. Carrots can also be steamed or boiled and then mashed. A quarter cup of grated carrot contains 12 calories, while a medium carrot is 25 calories.

If your dog chooses to eat whole fresh carrots, make sure they are properly chewing their bites. A very large chunk of carrot in the gut might have a hard time passing through and can lead to an obstruction or cause your dog to vomit.


Foods to make dogs poop
Celery can be given to dogs but should be chopped up and then well-chewed by your pup.

Another great vegetable with high moisture content and a tasty crunch is celery. Again, ensure your pup is chewing so any large pieces don’t get stuck in the gut. Cut them up if possible, to make it easier for your pup to consume. Each stalk of celery contains around 16 calories.


Foods to make dogs poop
This soft and low-calorie vegetable is a good option for your pooch.

Zucchini is a soft vegetable. This makes it easy to chew, even for older dogs who might be missing some teeth. Zucchini is a great choice for dogs who don’t have much room in their diet for too many extra calorific treats. A half-cup, chopped, is only 10 calories.

Constipation-Reducing Diets

Foods to make dogs poop
Fiber is necessary for your dog’s digestive health, so be sure to include it in your constipated pup’s diet.

If your pup is struggling to use the restroom, you can try making dietary changes as long as it’s been approved by your vet. Moving your pup to high-fiber dog food can help. But you can also add some wet dog food, and other ingredients to try and help get things moving.

Read more  How to Help a Constipated Dog

High Fiber Diet

To help with constipation, one of the most beneficial nutrients is fiber. Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and non-soluble. The soluble form of fiber absorbs water as it moves through the gut and can delay the passage of feces. Non-soluble fiber moves through the gut, largely unchanged, and quickens the movement of things through the gut.

Fortunately, you can get a good idea of the non-soluble fiber content of a food from the label. The guaranteed analysis should list the “as fed” crude fiber value of the food, which will be closely representative of the non-soluble fiber content.

A good level of dietary fiber is at least 7% on a dry matter basis. You can learn how to convert the as-fed crude fiber value to a dry matter basis right here.

High-Moisture Diet

Water consumption is known to help with constipation. Choosing a high moisture diet such as a canned food will ensure there is plenty of it to go along with every meal.

Additional At-Home Remedies

Foods to make dogs poop
Healthy water intake, supplements, exercise, and a wet food diet can all help with constipation.

There are a few tricks, other than altering the diet, which can help stimulate your dog to poop. Remember to always keep an eye out for symptoms of severe constipation as a sign that you should book an emergency visit with the veterinarian.

Psyllium Fiber

Psyllium fiber supplements are often used to help with constipation in people. You will likely find them in your local grocery store. They are low in calories but may not be very tasty. The best way to feed them is by mixing them into wet food or a gravy-like treat. Give no more than two teaspoons in 24 hours.

Consult with your veterinarian if constipation has not improved within 48 hours of giving the supplement. When picking out a psyllium fiber supplement, choose one with no added sweeteners or flavorings, which can be toxic to dogs. Ones, in particular, to watch out for are xylitol and chocolate—these are both toxic to dogs!

Increasing Water Intake

Just as a high moisture diet can stimulate movement in the gut, encouraging water intake can have the same effect. Always have a freshly topped-up bowl of water available. Some dogs are more likely to drink if they have multiple bowls available in different locations.

Chicken Broth

You can add a cooled plain chicken or beef broth to one of their water bowls for an extra treat, but be sure it . However, keep in mind that broth can have up to 86 calories per cup, so ensure to fit this around a healthy treat allowance. Further, many commercial meat broths include onions or garlics, so be sure to check the ingredients before serving.

Play Fetch

A good run or heavy session playing fetch might be just the ticket for getting bowels to pass. Exercise is known to help encourage pooping. Even simply spending more time outdoors can be a good reminder for our dogs to try to get on with their poop schedule.


Probiotic supplements and food additives are now available for dogs and may prove a great solution if it suffers from constipation. By supporting a healthy microbiome in your canine’s gut, your dog’s digestive health should improve within a few weeks of starting a probiotic regimen. But, as with all dietary changes, consult your vet before introducing this new variable.

What Will My Vet Recommend?

Foods to make dogs poop
An obstruction could result in veterinary intervention to remove it.

If your dog is presented to the vet with constipation, she’ll want to do a thorough review of the history to work out the reason. Your veterinarian will review their medical history to decide which diagnostics to pursue in looking for the root cause of constipation.

The vet will perform a full physical examination and may include x-ray images to better view any potential obstructions. In some cases, laboratory analysis of the blood and urine will be recommended to check for systemic problems.

Veterinary treatment of constipation can range from recommending a simple dietary change to full gastrointestinal surgery. Thankfully, veterinarians also have access to a range of clinical-grade laxatives they may recommend depending on the cause of constipation. Fluid therapy may also be used with other treatments to ensure proper hydration.

Highly Digestible Diets

Foods to make dogs poop
Worry about constipation is no fun.

A dog may poop less if his food contains less fiber. This does not mean he is constipated. There are benefits to having fiber in the diet and passing feces. The anal glands are stimulated with bowel movements and this avoids a painful situation in which they become impacted and need to be expressed by the veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can milk help dogs with constipation? 
  • How long can a dog safely go without pooping?  
  • What is a natural laxative for dogs?  

Final Thoughts

With this information, you’ll be able to monitor your dog’s pooping schedule like a pro. You’ll also know what to do if things seem amiss. Most of the time, constipation is temporary, and easily fixed. You should always consult with your veterinarian if you aren’t sure about your dog’s bowel movements. If something seems off, it’s always worth a quick trip to your vet!

— Update: 09-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How to Help a Constipated Dog from the website avodermnatural.com for the keyword foods to make dogs poop.

No one wants their dog to feel pain if they can spare it. But many dogs experience many of the same common and complex health concerns as their humans. When a dog is constipated, it can lead to feelings of helplessness in pet owners, and discomfort for your pet. This blog post will share causes and signs of constipation in dogs, as well as tips on how to help a constipated pet.

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Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact a veterinarian immediately.

What causes constipation in dogs?

Veterinarians classify more complex causes of constipation in dogs into three categories: intraluminal, extraluminal, and intrinsic. The word ‘intraluminal’ refers to obstruction of bowel movements within the colon, including inflammation, abnormal growths, and foreign objects. ‘Extraluminal’ can refer to causes that block bowel movements from outside of the colon, such as a pelvic injury or other painful conditiona that make it difficult to pass stool.1

Lastly, intrinsic causes of constipation in dogs covers a broad range of hormonal and neurological diseases that can affect digestive tract.1 Dogs may become constipated due to a medicine to treat these injuries and illnesses, or as a side effect of the injury itself.

The most common cause of constipation in dogs is ingestion of irritating or indigestible substances.1 Dogs with long hair or a habit of excessive licking or grooming expose themselves to bacteria and other agents in their surrounding environment that may irritate the stomach or the gastrointestinal tract.

Constipation in dogs is also commonly caused by dehydration. Healthy dogs should be drinking about an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Though staying hydrated can prevent constipation in dogs, there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Polydipsia can also be an early indicator of other health issues in dogs.

Dogs can also experience constipation as the result of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Common pet health practices suggest that dogs go for a fifteen-minute walk twice a day to regulate bowel movements and contribute to overall quality of life.

Signs of constipation in dogs:

Constipation in dogs is marked by the inability to pass a bowel movement for more than 24 hours. Most dogs produce feces at least once a day; many of them have bowel movements that correspond to the number of daily feedings.1 Hard, dry stools that resemble pebbles in texture is also a common sign of constipation in dogs, also known as concretion.

Aside from the clear signs of constipation, your dog may also experience one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Signs of pain while attempting a bowel movement: hunched posture, tense abdomen, cry of distress1
  • Blood in the stool, or passing blood without stool
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Some constipated dogs will have a tense, painful abdomen and cry or growl if you press on their stomach or lower back. Call your veterinarian if your dog fails to produce a bowel movement within 48 to 72 hours of a previous bowel movement.

How to help a constipated dog:

Some pet owners experience success by feeding a dog with constipation ONE of the following foods:

  • Canned pumpkin: To help your dog with constipation, you can try feeding them pumpkin, which is high in fiber and water content. You can use either fresh pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin, but be sure to avoid purees and pie fillings with added sugar, as these often contain a compound that is toxic to dogs.
  • Milk: Like humans, many dogs are lactose intolerant. However, a small bowl of milk can act as a laxative for canines in a crisis. Consult your vet before giving your dog milk to help with constipation.
  • Olive or coconut oil: a natural fruit, vegetable, or mineral oil can help lubricate stool for dogs suffering with constipation.
  • Cooked green beans are rich in fiber, helping to clean the colon and stimulate bowel movements. This small and tasty vegetable doubles as a unique treat for dogs with constipation.
  • Ginger and broth: Many humans turn to ginger to help with indigestion, and this remedy can have equally helpful effects for dogs with constipation. Prepare a half-cup of chicken or beef broth with a 1?4 teaspoon of ginger to help a constipated dog.

Utilizing more than one of these home remedies at a time can lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration. Before trying a home remedy, rely on your vet as a resource in helping a constipated dog. A trip to the doctor creates an opportunity to perform tests that may catch and prevent more serious health issues related to constipation in dogs.1

Help your dog avoid constipation by maintaining a regular schedule of exercise. A healthy level of activity will ensure that the colon receives enough blood flow to function properly. Dogs with constipation should also partake in a fiber-ful diet. If your dog experiences constipation often, you should consider adding canned food to their diet to increase the amount of moisture in the food they intake.


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