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How Do I Know If My Dog Is Constipated?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

My dog keeps trying to poop, but nothing comes out. This is one of several signs of constipation in dogs.

My dog keeps trying to poop, but nothing comes out. This is one of several signs of constipation in dogs.

Dog Straining to Poop?

A constipated dog is usually easy to spot since they normally poop every day, but of course, this can vary—some dogs go more often and others a lot less.

Some constipated dogs will still go potty from time to time, but it is painful and is a lot more difficult for the dog.

Signs of Constipation in Dogs

When a dog is not able to go for several days or is having a difficult time passing stool, they usually start showing some typical signs:

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  • straining to go (sometimes a few hard stools will come out, but if this is more advanced, the dog just stands there continuing to strain)
  • mucus (a slimy substance either on top of the stool or instead of the stool)
  • blood (with or without stool)
  • whining in pain

If your dog is not passing stool and you think it is because of a new diet, like a low-residue raw food, you can use this recipe for a tasty fiber supplement to help your constipated dog. For some other tips, look at this list of ways to avoid constipation in dogs.

When to See a Vet About Constipation

If your dog is vomiting or passing blood, however, you should get him checked out by your regular veterinarian before proceeding with dietary or any other changes.

Source

Ford, R. B., & Mazzaferro, E. M. (2006). Clinical Signs. Kirk and Bistner's Handbook of Veterinary Procedures and Emergency Treatment, 387–448. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170186/

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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