When you return home, the little fur ball that has been waiting for you patiently the entire day jumps on you and around the house to welcome you with much hysterical happiness. They live for your peaceful belly rubs and quiet hugs and play time of course. You love them equally and take care of them better than anything in the world.
But when you’re not doting on them, they’ll chew on anything and everything they can find. And sometimes even swallow it. Let’s admit it! You can’t practically be around them all the time. In that oblivious gap, you don’t know if your pet has eaten something that they shouldn’t.
The next thing you discover is that your pet has lost their appetite, is growing weak and not pooping properly. If only they could tell you what’s wrong! The digestive peculiarities depend on the size of your pet, but it is necessary to have a close look if your pet regularly suffers from digestive issues. (1) Just like humans get ill, your pet can have minor ailments that don’t require a visit to the vet. In this case, it’s likely constipation. Read on to learn 10 super easy home remedies to treat constipation in your dog or cat.
- Causes of Constipation in Pets
- Symptoms of Constipation in Pets
- Preventing Constipation in Pets
- Natural Treatments for Constipation Relief in Pets
- Method 1: Pumpkin Seeds
- Method 2: Coconut Oil
- Method 3: Aloe Vera
- Method 4: Milk
- Method 5: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 6: Olive Oil
- Method 7: Yogurt
- Method 8: Ginger with Chicken Broth
- Method 9: Wheat or Oats
- Method 10: Water
- Tips to use natural remedies for constipation relief
Causes of Constipation in Pets
- Not drinking enough water, a very common cause of constipation.
- The food does not contain enough fiber.
- Matted hair might be blocking the rectal area.
- Genetics make some pets more prone to constipation.
- Side effect from certain medication.
- Swallowing something that might block the passage of stool.
- A neurological or neuromuscular disease.
- Enlarged prostate in older pets.
- While grooming, your pet might have swallowed hair that has bound up in the intestines.
Symptoms of Constipation in Pets
- The amount of time and effort your pet spends trying to poop.
- They have not-so-easy, irregular or no bowel movements at all.
- The poop is very dry and hard.
- Your pet strains hard when pooping.
- They tremble or whimper while trying to poop.
- The volume of feces is very little or nothing at all after trying hard to poop.
- If your pet is vomiting, or not eating for over a day with symptoms of constipation. Consult your veterinarian immediately.
Preventing Constipation in Pets
- Include fiber-rich food in your pet's diet.
- Switch to a nylon chew toy instead of a natural one.
- Regular exercise also helps to keep the bowel movements regulated.
It might be as serious as a tumor growing in the anus or as simple as they swallowed something they shouldn’t have. If your pet is vomiting, seems depressed, losing weight or showing signs of severe dehydration, consult your veterinarian right away.
It must be noted that particularly for obstructions, attempts to relieve constipation may significantly worsen your pet's condition. Use any home remedy for constipation with extreme caution.
Natural Treatments for Constipation Relief in Pets
Here are 10 home remedies for constipation in dogs and cats that might help relieve your furry little friend.
Method 1: Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin has high water content, and its seeds are rich in fiber. The pumpkin serves as a laxative to facilitate a proper bowel movement. (2) Whereas, pumpkin seeds rich in fiber aid in easy digestion. The seeds are also potent enough to expel worms in pets too.
Single-Step Treatment: Add pumpkin puree or seeds to your pet's diet
You can use both pumpkin and its seeds to provide relief to your pet suffering from constipation:
- You can either grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and mix it in your dog’s food or feed them whole as treats if your dog likes them.
- You can also get a fresh pumpkin. Peel off the outer shell and smash the pulp. Feed the pureed pumpkin to your pet. Some people cook the pumpkin or boil it first.
- You may even buy plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling) and feed it to your pet. Check the ingredients on the label. Canned pumpkin might contain ingredients that are synthetic in nature and might not be as good for your pet as fresh pumpkin.
The amount to feed your pet depends on their size.
- For seeds give ½ teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight.
- In case of feeding direct pumpkin, 1 tablespoon for pets who weigh less than 15 pounds.
- Feed 1 to 2 tablespoons for pets weighing between 15 and 35 pounds.
- Feed 2 to 5 tablespoons for pets who weigh more than 35 pounds.
You should see results in 24 hours. If not, take your pet to your vet.
Method 2: Coconut Oil
You might already know the amazing health benefits that coconut oil has for the human body. It turns out that it can help animals as well, including easing their pain of constipation.
Also, it’s typical for cats to have hairballs, but a high frequency can be a sign of internal problems. Feeding your cat coconut oil can reduce this frequency.
Single-Step Treatment: Mix coconut oil to dog or cat's food
You can feed coconut oil to your pooch or feline either by:
- Adding ½ to 1 teaspoon to your pet’s wet food.
- Directly feeding the measured amount of coconut oil to your pet.
If you’re feeding coconut oil for the first time, start as small as a ¼ teaspoon for smaller pups, ½ a teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight for larger breeds and 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds. Remember, feeding them too much can cause diarrhea.
Method 3: Aloe Vera
The juice of the aloe vera plant is known to be a great laxative. (3) It can be given to your pets with constipation by mixing it with their wet food. The amount depends on the size and weight of your pet.
Single-Step Treatment: Feed aloe vera to your pet
It is recommended that you give 1 to 3 drops of aloe vera juice per pound of your pet’s body weight, 2 times a day. So, if you have a pet who weighs 10 pounds, you should give them 10 to 30 drops of aloe vera juice twice a day.
- Aloe vera juice is something of a debated concept among veterinarians. So, consult your vet before giving aloe vera juice to your pet.
- Be very careful on the dosage and do not overdose on aloe vera juice.
Method 4: Milk
Milk that we normally consume acts as a kind of laxative for dogs. Dogs are generally lactose intolerant and don’t digest cow’s milk very well, so it causes them to have diarrhea. However, if your pet is suffering from constipation, you can give milk as a home remedy for constipation to your dog or cat, in a measured quantity to relieve their misery in a few hours.
Single-Step Treatment: Add milk to your pet's diet in measured quantity
Add ¼ to ½ cup of milk to your dog food or water. Repeat once a day for a few days, and it should do the trick.
Method 5: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known to reduce inflammation and promote detoxification in humans. However, it can also be given to dogs and cats in the case of ear infection, constipation, intestinal gas and episodes of diarrhea. While you’re at it, make sure you’re feeding only organic apple cider vinegar to your pets.
Single-Step Treatment: Mix apple cider vinegar to your pet's food
Apple cider vinegar is known to improve digestion in dogs and balancing out the pH levels in their body. It would be a difficult task feeding it undiluted to your pets because of the smell, but you can mix it with their food or water in the mentioned proportions.
The measurements should be as stated below:
- ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds of your pet’s body weight daily for 1 week.
- For pets weighing 50 pounds or more, give 2 teaspoons each day for at least 1 week.
Method 6: Olive Oil
Oil serves as a natural lubricant for your pet’s intestinal tract. Adding a little oil to your pup’s food will help loosen up the stool and make it easier to pass. You can use olive oil or mineral oil for this purpose.
Single-Step Treatment: Mix olive oil to your pet's food
- Add as little as ½ teaspoon of olive oil per 10 pounds of your pet’s body weight per day. You can go up to 1 to 2 teaspoons if the constipation is stubborn. Don’t exceed the dosage for more than 3 or 4 days, as it can deplete Vitamin A from your pet’s body.
- Olive oil is advantageous for your pet’s general health and digestive system. Use mineral oil in the same quantity as olive oil, according to your pet’s weight as a home remedy for constipation in your dog or cat.
Method 7: Yogurt
Yogurt contains probiotics that greatly help with digestion in pets. Choose a variety with live cultures. Yogurt also helps you to get rid of yeast infection in pets.
Single-Step Treatment: Add yogurt to pet's diet
You can continue giving yogurt to your pet if they are not intolerant to it. However, in a situation where you’re trying to make your pet poop, observe it for 2 days. If nothing is happening, then consult your vet. You can give your pet up to 1 tablespoon a day directly or by mixing it in their wet food.
Method 8: Ginger with Chicken Broth
Ginger, one of the home remedies for constipation in dogs and cats, assists with proper digestion and dials down muscle spasms in a situation like constipation.
Single-Step Treatment: Mix ginger to your pet's chicken broth
Mix ¼ teaspoon of crushed ginger with either chicken or beef broth and feed it to your pet. The fat of the chicken or the beef in broth smoothens the linings of the intestinal tract.
Method 9: Wheat or Oats
Bran flakes, millets or cooked oats are great fiber supplements for your pet’s food. They are not very expensive and can help meet the daily requirement for fiber in your pet’s diet.
Single-Step Treatment: Feed your pet with fiber-rich food
Including these in small amounts in your pet’s food can make it easier for them to poop. However, do not use them in large quantities or feed them only bran. It might cause your pet to regurgitate or vomit. It may also cause gas or diarrhea.
Method 10: Water
If you feed your pet with dry food, you’ll see that when you put the food in water, it swells by absorbing the water. This is the same mechanism that happens inside your pet’s colon. The food expands in the gastrointestinal tract of the pooch or feline, absorbing all the moisture and making it dry and difficult to pass the stool.
Try infusing water right when you give your pet food. This will make sure that your pet consumes enough water and stays clear of constipation and digestive issues.
Tips to use natural remedies for constipation relief
- Do not forget to keep your dog’s anal region clean.
- Increase your pet’s physical activity.
- Get your pet neutered, in case of an enlarged prostate.
- Do not give laxatives used by humans to your pets. Since they are not formulated for animals, they can be very dangerous.
- Weber MP, Biourge VC, Nguyen PG. Digestive sensitivity varies according to the size of dogs: a review. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpn.12507. Published April 4, 2016.
- Grzybek M, Kukula-Koch W, Strachecka A, et al. Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity and Composition of ... International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037735/. Published September 2016.
- Salehi B, Albayrak S, Antolak H, et al. Aloe Genus Plants: From Farm to Food Applications and Phytopharmacotherapy. MDPI. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/9/2843. Published September 19, 2018.