Constipation is uncomfortable and confusing for your puppy. He knows he has to poop, but no matter how hard he strains or how many times he goes outside, nothing happens. There are several steps you can take to help your puppy poop.
Increase fiber in your puppy's diet. Canned pumpkin is full of fiber and it treats fiber-deficient constipation. Add one teaspoon of pumpkin per 10 pounds of your dog's body weight, according to Healthy Pets. Ground dark-green leafy vegetables measured at 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog's weight is another option. Healthy Pets suggests feeding raw and home-cooked meals to your puppy instead of dried dog food. Metamucil, an over-the-counter product, can also increase fiber in your dog's diet, according to the ASPCA.
Increase your puppy's physical activity. Take your puppy for a 30-minute walk in the morning and a 60-minute walk in the evening. Most puppies go potty soon after playing because food moves more quickly through the digestive system when the puppy is active.
Provide fresh water at all times. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. The lack of water in the digestive system leads to dried impacted feces. Be sure fresh water is available during and after exercise -- especially in hot temperatures.
Administer a veterinarian-approved stool softener or laxative. There are several types of laxatives that stimulate the digestive system so your puppy can have a bowel movement. If stools are dry and impacted, veterinarians often choose a softener that adds moisture to the feces. Manual extraction or an enema under general anesthesia may be given for severe constipation, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual.
Contact a veterinarian if constipation is not resolved in two days. A block somewhere in the digestive system can cause constipation. If your puppy swallows an object that stops your puppy's ability to pass feces, it's a medical emergency that often requires surgery.
- Hire a dog walker if you're unable to increase your puppy's physical activity.
- Give your dog organic apple cider vinegar measured at a ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. This treats a variety of conditions, including constipation, according to Healthy Pets.
- Do not give an enema or suppository at home without consulting with your dog's veterinarian. Some enemas are toxic to pets.
- Do not give a laxative or stool softener without consulting with your pet's veterinarian. There are several options available that are specially formulated for dogs.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.