Saturday, June 20, 2020

Consider the Following When Seeking Veterinary Pet Health Care


If you have ever bought or adopted a new pet, recently moved into a new location, or possibly you are just not happy with your present veterinarian, you will most likely be seeking a new vet in your city or town. There are several things you may need to ponder when finding a new vet for yourself.

Living with a pet can provide tremendous happiness and pleasure to any family. However, pet ownership also comes with many responsibilities and sometimes can create some anxiety.

Worldwide, families are constantly bringing home many kinds of small animals and the animal instantly becomes a pet and an important part of the family. Nobody can refute the obvious that a family pet is a continuous source of fun and entertainment. Having a pet is also been shown to assist people through stressful and difficult emotional times.

With that said, we all know that our loving pets are not immune to becoming ill, sick, or injured. All pet owners ought to take very special care of their loving pets. If the pet, be it a dog, cat, or whatever, demonstrates significant behavioral or personality changes, it is time to seek the quality veterinary care.

Pet-Veterinary Services Available

One of the first considerations you should know are what services the animal clinic or hospital has to offer. Find out if it is a full service veterinary hospital.

If it is a veterinary or animal clinic, you may need to take it somewhere else for emergencies, diagnostics, special care, or surgery. You will have to decide how important it is to you to have all services available in one location? Also, if finances are a consideration, then find out what types of payments will be accepted at the animal hospital or clinic.

Many different services are performed by veterinarians. Find out what services are provided. What about emergency care? Does the veterinarian offer emergency care service at his/her veterinary hospital or clinic? Or may be they have an affiliation with an emergency hospital or clinic and you have to take your pet there? Then you will need to know how close the emergency services are from you.

These are just a few of considerations to think about before selecting a new veterinarian.

What Kind of Animals Does the Veterinary Hospital See

dog vet

Another question to consider when picking a veterinarian, is what kinds and species of animals does the veterinarian see and treat? If the doctor is a small animal veterinarian, they usually only care for dogs and cats. Sometimes this is referred to as a companion animal vet. However, some small animal vets may also provide vet pet care for small pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, and other similar animals. Be sure to ask prior to setting up an appointment for your pet.

How Far Away is the Animal Hospital or Veterinary Clinic

Depending on your veterinarian needs, how close your vet is to your home may be a consideration. This may be especially true if you have a pet that does not like traveling in a car. With most dogs, this is probably not an issue.

Ask Your Neighbors About Their Vet

A personal approval and recommendation, or simply word of mouth, is in many cases the best method of locating a new veterinarian. Your friends, local breeders, animal/pet organizations are a good beginning in your search.

When owning a dog or cat as a pet, obviously you should approach other dog or cat pet owners in your neighborhood and ask them about their veterinarian.  In this way you will receive direct knowledge and information about possibly where and who to take your dog or cat to if needed. This is one of the better ways choose professional and quality veterinarian.

You also want to have an animal clinic or hospital,  that both your pet and you like and feel comfortable with. You want to go into a veterinary hospital or clinic where you are greeted with a friendly smile and the staff is excited to see you and your pet. This is a great start for a good experience for you both.

Search the Internet for a Veterinarian or Veterinary Animal Hospital

Using the internet is obviously a popular resource for locating veterinarians. In this technology age, most pet animal vets have websites to promote their veterinary practice and pet healthcare services. If they don’t have a website, they may not be up to date on the latest veterinary medical news.

dog-vet-check-up

It is usually best to go with a veterinarian who has been practicing veterinary medicine and surgery for a significant time some time. At least 3 to 5 years minimum. Testimonials by clients (either on the vet’s site or other review websites) provide further information about the quality of professional services provided at an individual animal hospital or clinic. Be sure to read the veterinary services page.

This will provide you the services that are offered by the veterinarian without having to call. You want to look for services such as an in-hospital laboratory, general and orthopedic surgery, preferably digital radiography, pet micro chipping, and emergency services to list a few.

You can obtain additional information of the veterinarians and their clinics or hospitals from an online veterinary directories. These online vet directory listing websites allows a veterinarian to list the profile of his/her pet hospital or clinic. Of course, there is Google search and other search engines that will easily list vets in your area.

Other Sources to Look for a Veterinarian

Other places to locate veterinarians include the yellow pages/phone directories , the state/provincial veterinary association directory.

Conclusion

Finding the best veterinarian for you and your pet will take a little time and work. Not all of vets practice the same methods or treatment. You will need to remain patient when searching for veterinarians in your location.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Is Tramadol Safe For Dogs?

As a dog lover, you are sure to give your loyal companion the best care possible from daily walks to nutrient-packed meals. Nonetheless, your dog may incur injuries or get into accidents some of which may be unforeseen.

vet and dog

Fortunately, your vet is qualified to administer pain relievers to alleviate the pain and possible discomfort. The prescription given will usually be guided by the nature of the injury and the intensity of the pain.

In case your furry friend has had surgery before, it is highly likely that the vet prescribed Tramadol upon discharge. Scientifically, Tramadol is considered an opioid-based pain reliever, meaning it modifies the transmission of pain to the brain allowing animals and humans some level of comfort.

It also inhibits the reverting of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain resulting in euphoria due to the increase of the chemicals in the blood. Given that it is a pain killer, it has no participation in muscle recovery which is the role of anti-inflammatories.

How Safe is Tramadol for Dogs?

Generally, the chemical structure of human and canine medication is customized into what their livers can assimilate. In the case of anti-inflammatories, Carprofen which is ideal for dogs belongs to the same family as Ibuprofen, for humans, has different structuring.

According to Dog Times, that is not always the case. Tramadol is one such medication where an exact chemical make-up is prescribed to both humans and dogs. However, since it only numbs pain, it is prescribed alongside an anti-inflammatory designed for joints and muscle recovery.

How does Tramadol Work?

The American Kennel Club is of the opinion that the purpose of Tramadol is to block the pain sensors in the brain such that the severity of the pain is lessened.

Where a dog would otherwise whimper due to pain post-surgery, Tramadol helps alleviate the aching into a mild discomfort and manageable pain. For example, suppose your dog was suffering from arthritis or another condition, the vet will prescribe Tramadol to lessen the pain.

What are the Effects of Tramadol on the Dog’s Brain?

Once your dog ingests Tramadol, it is disintegrated and absorbed into the bloodstreams to work with Serotonin and Norepinephrine. These are the chemical components responsible for the body’s sensation and reaction to pain.

vet and dog


Ideally, the brain produces Norepinephrine, the body’s fight or flight chemical, which is then absorbed into the blood. It leaves the brain into the bloodstream and relies on neuroreceptors to identify pain and exhaustion, reverting this information to the brain. The Veterinary Practice News advises that Tramadol is responsible for Norepinephrine’s failure to get back to the brain thus, missed pain recognition.

Due to the incomplete circuit, the brain keeps releasing additional Norepinephrine, fueling the body to move despite the grave pain and the brain to remain active. The continued lack of reverting of the gathered information draws the brain into discounting the actual extent of pain on the body.

What is the Reason for My Dog Acting Loopy?

vet and dog

As the concentration of Norepinephrine in the blood increases, it necessitates the production of Serotonin- a naturally produced neurological component responsible for euphoria. The 1800 Pet Meds advice that euphoria results from an increase in the levels of Serotonin and Norepinephrine associated with the intake of Tramadol.

What are the Uses of Tramadol?

According to Therapypet.org, the uses of Tramadol are endless. Depending on the nature of the injury, it can be taken to dull any pain from the stiffness of the joint to management of chronic post-surgical pain. In dogs, Tramadol is administered to ease pain and other likely symptoms associated with ailments such as Arthritis.

Owing to its effectiveness in the management of pain, it can be abused easily thus, prudence is advised in its intake to prevent overdosing. Tramadol is commonly used in below instances;

  • Chronic pains of the nerves,
  • Fractured joints and bones,
  • Coughing,
  • Degenerative myelopathy (disease of the joint)
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Anxiety,
  • Cancer,
  • Back pains,
  • Post-surgery pain.

Despite its wide range of uses, Tramadol is not the solution to all ailments. Rather than treat what caused the pain, it alters the brain’s perception of pain offering some degree of relief to patients.

Like most medications, it is a potentially high-risk drug, especially when misused or prescribed wrongfully. Considered a level four (4) controlled substance, the narcotic department is highly vigilant in the monitoring of its use. The vet and pharmacy are also committed to controlling its prescription and purchase as an extra measure to prevent its abuse.

Additionally, the dog owner is responsible for the health and well-being of his loyal friend. These responsibilities including the administration of proper dosage and the knowledge of possible side effects as listed below;

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea,
  • Stomach upsets,
  • Constipation,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Vomiting.

Although the above listed Tramadol side effects on dogs are the standard, their severity varies. Additionally, dog owners should also be concerned about overdoses which are likely to happen accidentally and may have fatal consequences.

Below symptoms form part of what you should be aware of since they are indicative of a Tramadol overdose;

  • Drooling excessively,
  • Drowsiness,
  • Aggression and violence,
  • Tremors.
  • Alarmingly low heart rate,
  • Lethargy,
  • Slow, shallow breathing,
  • Respiratory depression,
  • Muscle contractions and involuntary movements,
  • Convulsions.

Is tramadol Bad for Dogs?

In case you suspect Tramadol overdose by your dog, it is advisable that you seek professional assistance from your vet. He or she will determine the appropriate prescription amount to get your dog. Refrain from altering the dosage prescribed for whatever reason before proper consultation with your vet.

Despite its effectiveness in pain management, the responsiveness of dogs to Tramadol varies for a number of reasons.

It is thus advisable for dog owners to remain alert during the recovery process as this allows them to monitor their dog’s progress. Additionally, listen to your intuition on dog’s behavioral changes while maintaining communication with your vet for continued monitoring. Despite the numerous benefits it offered, your top priority ought to be the health of your dog thus Tramadol should be administered with caution.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Wondering Why Your Dog Is Throwing Up Yellow?

As a loving canine owner, it’s touching to see your dog experience tummy problems. This is the primary reason why you should make an earnest effort to make sure that your dog stays in good health.

There’s an old saying in life, “It’s the little things that count.” This old adage also applies to your dog’s well-being. Regular trips to the vet, buying premium dog food, and giving your dog vitamins will pay big dividends. If you fail to do these things, there’s a strong possibility that you are putting your dog’s health at risk.

sick-puppy

It’s important to point out that your beloved canine will experience health issues from time to time. For example, you may witness your dog vomiting.

When it comes to your dog vomiting, it can be extremely difficult to find out why this is happening. Turning to the internet for answers is a great idea. However, if you surf the internet for answers, you will be overwhelmed with the vast amount of information online. It’s vital for you to remain calm and concentrate on uncovering the facts.

You must make an effort to find the answers to the following questions:

  • What color is the vomit?
  • How often is your dog throwing up?
  • Did you find any evidence of your dog infiltrating your stash of sweet treats?
  • Is this the sign of an ulcer or another health issue?

In this article, we will take a close look at how to deal with your canine vomiting yellow. After you read the information in this article, you will know how to deal with this situation. Let’s get started.

Why is My Dog Throwing up a Yellow Fluid or Foam?

dog vet

This is a critical question. Please keep in mind that you must go to the source of the issue before you can treat your dog’s health issue effectively.

It’s time for you to put on your detective hat. You can start out by looking for clues. Frequency, consistency, and color are three matters that can help you find out why your dog is vomiting.

In this case, your dog is vomiting yellow. This is your first clue.

If your dog’s vomit is yellow, there’s maybe an issue going on inside of their liver. Your furry friend is expelling bile from their liver.

What is bile? This is a natural digestive fluid produced inside your dog’s liver. During digestion, the bile travels through the gallbladder. It eventually reaches the small intestines.

Bile serves an important purpose for the digestive process. It breaks down food and sends important nutrients throughout the entire body.

Yellow bile may appear as thick yellow mucus or a foamy liquid. It may look gross, but it plays a vital role in your dog’s digestive system.

When you see yellow bile in your dog’s vomit, it’s time for you to take serious action. This is not the time for you to have a cavalier attitude.

There are several reasons why you will see yellow bile in your canine’s vomit. Let’s take a close look at them.

1. Food Allergies

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not wise for you to give you dog table food or table scraps. Your dog may be allergic to some things.

It’s not unusual for dogs to get sick when they are introduced to a food allergen.

Here are some common food allergens you need to be aware of:

  • Soy
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish

When you decide to switch your dog’s food, it’s important for you to pay close attention to their digestive habits. It’s typical for a dog to vomit or have an upset stomach when their owner makes a sudden change to their diet.

It’s weird to see dogs develop allergies to food they have been eating for several years. This is why many people rule out the possibility of a food allergy when their dog begins to vomit.

Dogs normally develop food allergies within one to five years of age. We must also point out that a sudden change in environment can lead to canine allergies.

Let’s say that you decide to take your family and canine on a long trip during the summer. Well, there’s a chance of your dog experiencing a stomach issue along the way. Please keep this in mind while preparing for the trip.

2. An Empty Stomach

It’s always a good idea to satisfy your dog’s hardy appetite. If your dog hasn’t eaten for several hours, bile can begin to irritate your canine’s stomach lining. Besides making your dog feel uncomfortable, the irritation can lead to vomiting. This is known as ‘bilious vomiting syndrome’.

If an empty stomach is the cause of the problem, your dog will cease to vomit yellow after a period of time.

Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior, and sticking with a routine feeding schedule can help you avoid this serious problem.

3. Car Sickness and Heatstroke

As we stated earlier, the environment can influence your dog’s health. Many factors in the environment can lead to your dog throwing up yellow.

For instance, dehydration and excessive heat can cause your dog to have a heatstroke. Intensive research and studies show that dogs are vulnerable during the summer months. It’s important for you to make sure your dog is hydrated and cool at all times.

You are putting your dog’s health at serious risk if you leave them alone in a car. Simply leave them with a relative or a close friend. This will give you an opportunity to run your errands with a peace of mind.

It’s also critical to mention that dog’s can also suffer from motion car sickness. This is especially true if your dog is traveling on an empty stomach. Please consider feeding your dog before taking a long trip.

4. Grass is Your Dog’s Worst Nightmare

For some strange reason, some dogs enjoy eating grass. It’s reasonable to think this is one of their ways of getting familiar with their environment. However, they will vomit the grass after a period of time. Grass is not compatible with their digestive system.

dog on grass

When you take your dog to the park for a walk, try to keep them from eating the grass. If your dog persists to eat the grass, there’s a strong possibility that they are not getting enough nutrition from their food. If this is the case, you should consider changing their diet.

Is Dog Vomiting a Serious Symptom?

An experienced dog trainer and vet will not hesitate to tell you that yellow vomit is common in the canine world. They will also tell you that there’s no need for serious concern.

However, a dog throwing up yellow may be a side symptom of a serious problem. In short, your dog’s vomit may not be the problem. Your dog may be having an internal health issue. This is why you should keep a close eye on your dog.

Here are some internal issues you should be aware of:

1. Gastrointestinal Problems

In some instances, yellow vomit can be a sign of digestive distress. When combined with other serious symptoms, yellow vomiting can be a sign of the following: certain gastrointestinal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, stomach ulcers, and intestinal parasites.

The diagnoses listed above should only be considered when they are paired with the symptoms listed below:

  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting Blood
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea (You may see some blood)
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Sudden Change in Your Canine’s Behavior
  • Yellowing of the gums, eyes, or skin

If you witness your dog suffering from several of the symptoms above, you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will source the problem and take necessary action to improve your dog’s health.

2. Blockage in Your Dog’s Intestines

In some rare cases, a dog throwing up yellow may indicate they wanted to try something new. In short, they ate something other than dog food. This could be any of the following: towels, rocks, a rubber ball, silverware, and a number of other things.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that these items will not be welcomed by your dog’s GI tract. These items can cause a blockage. If this occurs, your dog will need immediate surgery. This will be the only way to remove the item.

3. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis can cause yellow vomiting. Your dog’s pancreas can swell if they eat too many fatty for oily foods. If they consume this type of food, they will throw up yellow within five days after eating the meal.

Are there any symptoms of pancreatitis? Yes, your dog will experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. It’s would be an unpleasant experience for your beloved pet.

Practical Tips For Treating Dog Vomiting

Using conventional wisdom is the key to determining if your dog needs to see a veterinarian. If your dog is suffering from the symptoms above, you should take your dog to the nearest vet. Their life may depend on it!

If your dog throws up yellow periodically, you can try the following home remedies. They are simple, and they have provided positive results for dogs over the years. There’s no reason why they cannot work for your friendly canine.

1. Prevention is the Best Course of Action

Prevention is the first order of business. Your dog needs proper exercise, a healthy diet, and quality multi-vitamins.

2. Give Your Dog Small Meals throughout the Day

This may seem like a simple tip, but it will work wonders for your dog’s health. Giving your dog smaller meals throughout the day will keep them full and lower the chances of inflammatory toxins building up in their system.

Let’s say you have been giving your dog two cups of high-grade dog food every day. You serve them one cup of food during the morning and one cup of food evening. You should consider giving them half a cup during each feeding session. This equates to you feeding them four times every day.

3. Watch Your Dog’s Diet Carefully

As we mentioned earlier, a sudden change in your dog’s diet can upset their stomach. This is why you must change their diet gradually. This approach gives their digestive system a chance to adapt to the new food.

How should you make the change? Add a small amount of the new dog food to the old dog food.

You should also make sure that poisonous products and detrimental foods are kept out of reach. This is called ‘puppy proofing your home’.

4. Give Your Dog Digestible Foods

If your dog begins to throw up, you should think about giving them digestible foods. In layman terms, you should give them a simple meal.

What should you give them? Skinless boiled chicken and plain white rice will do the job. You may be tempted to add salt and pepper to the chicken. However, this will be detrimental to their health.

Serve this meal to them for two to three days. After that, gradually work their regular dog food back into the feeding routine. Mixing dog food into the chicken and rice will help you do this with ease.

5. Rehydration

Vomiting causes hydration in canines. This is the main reason why you must make sure your dog is hydrated after a session of vomiting. Giving them plenty of water will rehydrate your canine.

dog with vet
chihuahua and vaccination in front of white background

Get in touch with your vet if your dog is suffering from chronic vomiting. Your dog’s vet may tell you to bring your canine to their office for fluid treatment.

You should not be alarmed. This is a simple procedure. The vet will inject intravenous fluids into your dog.

Final Words

As a dog owner, a dog throwing up yellow is one situation you cannot afford to ignore. Fortunately, you have options at your disposal. If you take heed to the advice in this article, there’s no need for you to freak out when your dog begins to vomit yellow.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Dog Diarrhea: know what might be hiding behind this symptom

Anybody who has raised a pet from babyhood to adulthood understands the value of an iron stomach. Just as parents face the grossest situations without flinching, animal owners can tolerate their fair share of disgusting scenarios. It’s all a part of the job.

dog

We don’t become pet owners because it’s easy. We do it for the love of animals, and that means caring for them in sickness and in diarrhea. When your pooch destroys the ottoman with his own personal interpretation of a Jackson Pollock painting, you hold your nose and clean up his mess. It’s a part of the job.

Diarrhea is a common ailment for dogs because they explore the world with their mouths. They’re constantly licking or nibbling on things they shouldn’t and the natural outcome is an upset stomach. It’s why an occasional runny stool is nothing to be worried about. It’s only when diarrhea becomes persistent that a dog owner needs to investigate.

This article explores some common reasons for dog diarrhea and how to treat it. Most importantly, it considers the differences between an upset stomach and digestive problems that require veterinary attention.

Common Reasons for Dog Diarrhea

1. Spoiled/Toxic Food

Spoiled food is the most common reason for dog diarrhea. Like humans, canine stomachs respond to ‘bad’ foods by vomiting or developing dodgy digestion and very watery stools. Provided your pet hasn’t consumed poisonous materials, their diarrhea will pass in a day or two. They are likely having a reaction to something they’ve pulled from the garbage or discovered on the kitchen floor.

2. Dietary Changes

Another common cause of dog diarrhea is sudden changes in diet. Every time you change your dog’s brand of food, his stomach must adjust to a new formula. This can take several days and, while he’s adjusting, some loose stools are to be expected. To prevent these digestive issues, introduce any new foods gradually. Add the new product to the old in increasing amounts until the old food is phased out.

3. Food Allergies

Canines are susceptible to food allergies just as human beings are. We don’t always know why sensitivities develop, but they usually manifest in digestive issues (loose stools), persistent itching and inflammation of the ears and nose.

Common allergies include sensitivities to wheat, eggs, beef, dairy, fish, poultry, and certain types of plants. If your dog’s diarrhea is accompanied by itchiness or inflammation, consider taking them to the vet for an allergy test.

4. Emotional Upheaval

Sometimes, the explanation for dog diarrhea is as simple as a physiological reaction to turbulence. Canines are emotionally perceptive animals. They pick up on our feelings and know if a household is tense or upset. If your pet is stressed or worried by a situation – relocating to a new home is a common trigger – they may develop an upset stomach.

5. Intestinal Parasites

There are lots of harmless explanations for dog diarrhea and there are others that warrant treatment or medical attention. Intestinal parasites are extremely common in animals and, while they are not a threat to life, they can make a pet miserable. It’s why preventative treatments for ringworm and hookworm should be a part of your dog’s routine.

If your dog has been treated for common parasites but his diarrhea persists, visit the vet. Giardia, spirochetes and coccidia can be dangerous if the proper care is not given.

6. Poisonous Substances

We have touched on the effects of eating spoiled foods. Diarrhea may also be caused by poisonous substances such as toxic plants, domestic chemicals (cleaning products) and inedible items (socks, rubber toys, etc). In most cases, a few days of watery stools is nothing to worry about.

However, if you are not certain what your dog ate to contract diarrhea, keep a close eye on them. If they lose interest in their food, become lethargic or begin to vomit excessively, take them to a vet immediately. If your dog eats a substance you know to be highly toxic, call the vet for advice. They can tell you if a visit to the clinic is required.

7. Infections and Viruses

In some rare cases, dog diarrhea is a symptom of serious viral sickness or infection. Viral conditions that cause diarrhea and other digestive problems include distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus and salmonella. Most are treatable as long as the dog receives the right medications. Vaccinations are prescribed to puppies to protect them from viral and bacterial sickness. Ensure your pet is fully vaccinated to avoid these risks to his health.

8. Chronic Illness

Diarrhea is rarely life threatening for dogs. It’s a symptom of physiological upheaval that happens because their body is reacting to a ‘sickness’ of some kind. Often, it’s an inflamed tummy caused by eating from the trash. Other times, it’s a parasite or a food allergy.

Persistent diarrhea can also be caused by organ dysfunctions such as liver disease and certain types of cancer. If your dog’s watery stools continue for longer than a week and have no obvious explanation, he may have an underlying illness. Keep a close eye on him. If he becomes disinterested in food or play, take him to the vet.

Making Sense of Persistent Diarrhea

As diarrhea is a symptom of other illnesses, it only warrants immediate concern if the cause is identified as a serious threat. For instance, if your pet has eaten something very toxic, it makes sense to call the vet. If he’s just got a funny tummy after rooting through the trash, there’s probably no reason to panic.

Diarrhea that persists for longer than four days should be closely monitored. If diarrhea persists for longer than a week without an obvious explanation, seek medical advice. If it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, treat it as a medical emergency.

  • Excessive drooling
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Disinterest in play/exercise
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic itchiness
  • Pale or tacky gums
  • Blood in stools

Home Remedies for Dog Diarrhea

If the vet’s advice is to treat your dog’s diarrhea at home, there are various things you can do to ease their discomfort and support recovery.

A. Hydrate

If serious sickness has been ruled out, the biggest threat to your animal is dehydration. Persistent diarrhea robs the body of water and nutrients. Your dog needs lots of water and, possibly, a rehydration medicine such as Pedialyte.

If they are being stubborn and rejecting water, add a little (low salt) beef or chicken broth to their food bowl.

B. Provide Plain Food

Your vet may recommend a temporary change of food. Gastrointestinal upsets can be triggered by many different things. Providing very plain, unseasoned meals for a week or so is one way to help your dog’s body fix the problem. When the digestive system isn’t overworked, a dog’s immune responses can focus on eliminating the cause of sickness.

Give your pet foods with only mild, plain flavors such as unseasoned boiled chicken and cooked white rice. You can do this until their diarrhea symptoms improve. Then, slowly transition back to regular meals.

C. Probiotics and Prebiotics

dog probiotics

Once your pet pooch is well and truly on the mend, consider supplementing his diet with prebiotics, probiotics, or both. The introduction of ‘good’ bacteria will help his digestive environment get back to normal.

D. Careful Monitoring

You cannot keep one eye on your dog at every single moment, but it’s a good idea to try. Vigilance around trashcans, kitchen cupboards, and other prohibited areas is strongly recommended to make sure they don’t eat anything unsuitable again.

Avoid feeding your dog kitchen or table scraps. It’s always fun to give pet treats but, sometimes, the consequence is a bad stomach. The foods you give may be too rich and indulgent for the canine digestive system. Certainly, if your dog is recovering from a diarrhea episode, do not feed them any ‘human’ foods.

Hip Dysplasia In Dogs: a scary illness more common than we would like

It’s always distressing to know a dog is in pain particularly when there’s little you can do to relieve their suffering. It’s one of the reasons owning an elderly canine can be very stressful. As dogs age, their bodies weaken just like ours do. Aches and pains grow common and, besides providing extra vigilant care, there’s not much to be done about it.

vet-with-his-dog-american-staffordshire

Hip problems are an issue for older dogs as they are for elderly humans. Older canines may lose some mobility and develop sensitivity in their joints. To a degree, this is a natural consequence of maturity. However, dog owners need to understand the key differences between superficial aches and more serious joint problems.

For instance, hip dysplasia in dogs is quite common and more prevalent in some breeds than others. Is your fur baby suffering from a knock sustained while leaping about the park or do they need medical treatment? It can be hard to tell which is why this article explores the symptoms of hip dysfunction in dogs.

The difference between acute and chronic pain

There are two varieties of hip pain in canines and they require different approaches to treatment. They are chronic pain and acute pain.

Acute hip pain

Acute pain is best described as ‘temporary’ pain. It is caused by injury, accident, or the symptoms of short-term illness. Hip injuries sustained in a clash with another dog are considered acute. If a pet falls while out running or gets hit by a car, they may experience acute hip pain. This type of pain is normally treatable and temporary, though some injuries may be more serious than others.

Acute pain tends to be easy to treat because it’s usually visible. Even if you cannot see an injury right away, your dog may be limping or incessantly licking at a wounded area. These injuries require prompt attention. They may require a trip to the vet and things like cones, bandages, and medication.

Most minor hip sprains and strains can be treated at home. Though, it is probably best to consult a veterinarian just to make sure. Gentle massages, glucosamine treats, careful exercise and lots of love are all canine needs to recover from most types of acute hip pain.

Make a judgment call but ensure it’s an informed one. Leaving a serious problem untreated – even if it’s acute pain – can cause a dog unnecessary suffering and additional health complications.

Chronic hip pain

Chronic hip pain in dogs can be much tougher to diagnose and treat. It’s not caused by accident or injury, so it’s not a matter of healing the damaged body part. The term ‘chronic’ refers to persistent, recurring pain and discomfort.

It is sometimes caused by degenerative joint conditions such as arthritis. In other cases, it links to a congenital issue called hip dysplasia in which the ball and socket joints of the hips are malformed. It may also be a consequence of long-term illnesses like cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Hip dysplasia is a condition all dog owners should be aware of especially if their canine is a large breed. The problem is more prevalent in bigger dogs with larger frames. It is characterized by the progressive disintegration of hip cartilage. As the soft, springy cartilage breaks down, it leaves the bones exposed. Without their natural shock absorber, they grind uncomfortably against one another.

The result is persistent aches and pains within and around the region of the hips. Over time, there may be decreased mobility and further malformation of the joints.

Hip dysplasia in dogs is hereditary. Looking at a canine’s older parent can tell you whether they’re likely to develop similar problems one day. On the other hand, immobility and pain aren’t certainties even if a pet does have dysplasia. Recognizing a dog’s risk factors and managing these throughout their younger years goes a long way towards helping them maintain good health.

Hip dysplasia is made worse by obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. These are factors dog owners can control. They are not predetermined even if hip dysplasia is unavoidable.

How to recognize hip problems in your pet

The most important (and trickiest) task is distinguishing between acute pain and symptoms of hip dysplasia or arthritis. Watch out for these signs if you’re worried your furry companion might be in trouble.

Swaying/Lopsided stance

Any change to your dog’s usual gait warrants closer investigation. It can be caused by a hundred different things and, more often than not, it’s a small cut or a graze on their paw. Sometimes though, it’s a sign of deep pain within the hip joints.

Keep your eye out not for an obvious limp but for a wonky stance. Is your dog leaning awkwardly to one side? Is he favoring one side of his body? Does he struggle to keep his body still when he’s stood stationary?

Pain caused by an injured paw or leg will show itself in localized tenderness. If you’ve hurt your foot, you naturally avoid stepping on the wound. Chronic hip pain is experienced across the trunk and may render one side of a pet’s body weak.

Difficulty getting upright

Sadly, age comes with decreased mobility. It’s actually very normal for elderly dogs to find getting up and down a struggle. Rising from a prone position, lowering back into a prone position, and climbing stairs can all cause discomfort for older animals.

There is little you can do besides treat an old canine carefully if these issues are a consequence of age. They should not be a chronic problem in younger dogs. If your pet is experiencing discomfort while performing basic movements (such as lying down), they may have chronic joint issues.

Physical inactivity

Sedentary dogs who were formerly very energetic require immediate attention. Dogs love to play and expend energy. Even elderly canines will do their best to fetch and chase balls. Sudden disinterest in play and exercise is a common sign of injury or chronic pain.

If your pet is happy go lucky one week and then refuses to move by the next, investigate. You may need to take him to the vet for a physical exam.

Unusual position while prone

Sometimes, a dog will relieve tightness and tension in their hip sockets by adopting a comforting position. For instance, dogs with hip dysplasia are known to lie on the floor with their back legs very close together.

It looks a little odd and unnatural and that’s because it is. Dogs do it to ease pressure and discomfort.

It should be noted this is only worthy of concern if a dog does it repeatedly. Canines are curious animals. Sometimes, they do things because, well, they just feel it. A dog who lies prone like this once or twice is not a worry.

Swollen hips

Sadly, advanced hip dysplasia in dogs can lead to visible joint deformities. This is not extremely common but still worth looking out for. If your pet’s hip bones start to jut and look overly prominent, take them to the vet.

If they flinch when you touch their hip region, take them to the vet. It could just be a sprain, but it’s better to be sure.

What to do if your dog is suffering from hip pain or sensitivity

The only way to know for certain if a dog has hip problems is to visit the vet. They can use sophisticated diagnostic equipment to find the root of the discomfort. You can do all the observing you like at home. Without a scan, you can’t take the next step forward.

The first thing a vet will do is perform an x-ray of the animal’s hips. This may involve the prescription of a sedative, but it is a safe and non-invasive procedure. While the dog is sedated, they may also perform a hip laxity exam. This involves manual manipulation of the joints to ascertain mobility.

In some cases, they’ll take a blood sample for further testing. You’ll probably need to wait a few days or a week for the results. If tests come back positive for hip dysplasia, arthritis, or another degenerative joint condition, they can advise you on the best forms of care.

Can you treat a dog’s hip problems at home?

There are many reasons a dog owner might want to avoid surgery and the expense is just one. For older dogs especially, surgery can be a dangerous option. The procedure may be routine but there is always a risk posed by anesthesia. The older or sicker the animal, the greater the risk.

dog hip dysplasia

This doesn’t mean you should automatically reject the notion of surgery. Some health problems degenerate to such a degree that a dog has no quality of life without surgical intervention. It’s an issue that needs to be discussed with your veterinary professional.

If you’re keen to avoid surgery, discuss this directly with the vet. There may be alternatives you can try at home. It really depends on the animal’s unique circumstances and factors such as age and severity of sickness. For instance, dogs of advanced age may have serious conditions that can be fixed with surgery. It doesn’t mean surgery is the best option particularly if it’s very risky.

The hope is that whatever your dog’s diagnosis, you can take him home, keep him comfortable and treat him in safe, familiar surroundings.

Here are some things you should focus on if your dog has a chronic or degenerative health condition.

Nutrient rich diet

The single best thing you can do for a dog with chronic health problems is feed a nutritious diet. Food really is medicine. They need plenty of vitamins and minerals to regenerate damaged tissues, maintain a healthy immune system and strengthen their skeleton. Few things impact health as dramatically as diet.

Dogs with joint conditions need to be fed whole meat regardless of your own dietary preferences. It’s essential for health. Lean meat provides nutritious fats, key amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. You don’t have to feed your pet organ meat – some owners dislike handling it – but know it’s packed with micronutrients.

Don’t forget the fresh fruits and vegetables. They provide a great deal of hydration and continue topping up those valuable vitamins and minerals. Some fresh produce (like onions and avocadoes) is mildly toxic for canines. Just do a little research if you’re serving produce from the supermarket. Canned dog foods have already been tested and approved.

Low impact movement

Exercise remains vital even for dogs with impaired mobility. It can be distressing to watch a canine hobble or limp around, but immobility is the fastest route to poor health. Choose activities that are suitable but do not pander to your pet too much.

They need to stay mobile whether they want to move or not. Approach them as you might a child with a superficial injury. They don’t know they ‘can’t’ until you allow them not to try. Reduce the pace when walking, allow more time for strolls and consider taking your dog swimming. Water activities are wonderful for pets with hip problems because the buoyancy takes the pressure off their joints.

Health supplements

Nutrition is always important, and you should do everything you can to feed your dog a balanced diet. It won’t be easy all the time. Humans are the smartest mammals on the planet and we still suffer from nutritional deficiencies because we don’t eat the right things. Supplementation allows us to bridge the gaps and cheat our way to a strong body.

The same options are available to dog owners. Supplementation is a superb way to ensure your pet always gets the nutrients they need.

Here are some common canine supplements:

Glucosamine

Yes, glucosamine supplements can be given to dogs as well as people. It’s a potent nutrient designed to accelerate cartilage production. As the breakdown of cartilage is a primary symptom of hip dysplasia in dogs, this supplement is strongly recommended.

Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body, but levels decline with age. Thus, supplementation becomes very important for older animals.

MSA

MSA is short for methylsulfonylmethane (don’t worry, nobody calls it that). It’s a naturally occurring sulphuric nutrient known for inhibiting pain receptors. It is given to dogs with hip problems as a pain reliever and a supplement for managing inflammation. It works by lessening a dog’s ability to process pain in their nerve centers.

Omega-3

Countless studies have demonstrated the benefits of fish oils for improved joint health and functions. It’s true in people and in canines too. According to one study, dosing dogs with omega-3 oils led to significant reductions in pain, immobility, and stiffness. One added advantage is omega-3 oils also enrich fur, eye and brain cells.

The final word on hip dysplasia in dogs

Joint problems are an unavoidable part of life for some dog breeds. Just knowing a pet is vulnerable can be very distressing for owners. It’s difficult to know your canine is likely to develop congenital issues.

However, you must keep in mind the happy go lucky nature of dogs. Yes, they experience pain and can struggle sometimes. Without a conscious understanding of sickness though, they are rarely anguished.

They have you, their favorite toys, and a daily routine they adore. Even for a dog with pain issues, life can be sweet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Dog upset stomach: learn how you can help your dog when needed

Since dogs can’t talk, they are often unable to communicate to their owners that they’re sick. Sometimes your dog’s symptoms can make you think the condition he has is a lot more serious than it is. In terms of upset stomach in dogs, it’s not unlikely that your pet just ate something not meant for canines, such as contaminated grass, and that his symptoms will naturally resolve within 24 hours.

vet-checking-a-labradors-stomach

Just about everyone knows what it’s like to suffer from short-term gastronomical issues that seemingly come out of nowhere and our canine friend is no different. That said, there’s no harm in striving to keep your dog’s digestive system in the best condition possible, and do to so, many vets will recommend administering a daily canine digestive supplement.

If you are wondering what you can give your dog to soothe his upset stomach, read on. In this blog post, we outline some of the causes and signs of upset stomach in dogs, as well as some of the most effective at-home remedies.

What causes a dog to have an upset stomach?

The truth is that there can be many contributing factors to a dog’s upset stomach. In many cases, such a condition can be an early warning sign of more serious medical issues. That said, there are some very effective remedies out there to help alleviate some of your dog’s symptoms.

Acid reflux is perhaps one of the most widespread causes of stomach issues among dogs. Technically referred to as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, the condition occurs when strong digestive acids in the stomach somehow transgress the barrier linking the stomach to the esophageal pipe.

During a reflux episode, it not uncommon to hear gurgling noises coming from your dog as his digestive system seeks to expel the acid from the esophageal passage. Contrarily, it’s rare for vomiting to occur as acid reflux symptoms are typically confined to the esophagus. However, the lack of regurgitation does not mean that you won’t see other symptoms from your dog that signify he might be experiencing stomach pain and other gastrointestinal issues.

Here are some common symptoms of canine acid reflux:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Throwing up mucus
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Excess drooling
  • Chocking while eating or after a meal
  • Taking lots of breaks while consuming a full serving

The good news is that there are many effective treatments for acid reflux. In fact, it can often be resolved with a simple change in diet alongside some mild prescription antacids as needed. Feeding your dog food with low acidity ratings, eliminating foods containing processes fats, and severing up smaller portions throughout the day, can all go a long way to mitigating acid reflux.

At-home remedies

One of the best remedies to combat acid reflux is to put your dog on a bland food diet. Pet nutritionists and vets around the world recommend feeding dogs with upset stomach issues a bland diet consisting of things like rice and boiled chicken.

A low-fat diet that comprises of limited simple sugars is the easiest on the stomach. Consequently, the stomach stops producing excessive quantities of digestive acids, and acid reflux flare-ups are reduced.

An upset stomach can also be frequently caused by indigestion. This condition is the result of dogs consuming large quantities of foods that are not easily digested. Indigestion can cause nausea and heartburn.

Unlike sickness and diarrhea, nausea is difficult to diagnose in dogs, but gagging or dry heaving are common signs. Foods that can’t be digested cause the stomach to produce excess acid which results in acid reflux.

Indigestion symptoms

If the stomach contains too much acid, canine indigestion is inevitable as the gastric system seeks to alleviate some of the pressure into the esophageal tract. Dog’s suffering from indigestion offer experience gas pain, regurgitation, diarrhea, and bloating.

The best foods for dogs suffering from upset stomach

Arguably one of the best preventative treatments for doggy indigestion is canine probiotic chews. If you are looking for a quick at-home treatment, simply add a spoonful of unflavored Greek yogurt to your dog’s food.

Probiotics are essential for healthy gut health and they can help to prevent bacterial infections and viruses taking hold in your dog’s digestive tract. Furthermore, there are some studies showing that probiotics can increase energy levels and boost cognitive function, helping to alleviate many upset stomach symptoms, such as lethargy and foggy thinking.

Gastritis refers to inflammation conditions within the stomach. One of the key causes of stomach problems in dogs is their consumption items not designed for canines. Besides foreign objects, like Lego bricks, many foods can cause upset stomach symptoms in dogs such as nuts, milk, spoiled dishes, and more.

Upset stomach symptoms

In some cases, dog gastritis can be a one-off short term incident. However, in many cases, the condition can be a symptom of more serious digestive problems. Similar to most stomach issues, dog gastritis is commonly accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, decreased appetite, and gas.

How can I help my dog?

A great at-home remedy for gastritis in dogs is ice cubes and ginger. Feeding your dog ice cubes often instantly settles his stomach as the cooling effects of the cubes are anti-inflammatory in nature. Furthermore, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help to mitigate bloating.

The main reason why treating excess stomach acid in the early stages is so important is that over the long term it can cause painful stomach ulcers in dogs. Ulcers occur when the excess acid has time to start eroding the stomach lining. Paining sores develop and the compromised stomach tissue becomes extra sensitive.

Why does my dog have stomach ulcers?

In most cases, stomach ulcers are the result of a bacterial infection or excessive medication use. Ulcers can also become aggravated when preexisting digestive issues, such as regular acid reflux, are thrown into the mix.

What are the symptoms of canine stomach ulcers?

Hard dark stools accompanied by bloody vomit are common signs of stomach ulcers. That said, sometimes symptoms are less obvious, such as unexplained weight loss, avoidance of food, and increased lethargy.

Canine stomach ulcer treatments

Dogs with stomach ulcers often avoid many foods as they learn that the intake of food exacerbates the pain.

It will typically take around 8 weeks to treat stomach ulcers in dogs, but in some cases, curing the ulcers may not be possible and pain management becomes the treatment protocol. In most cases, a dog with stomach ulcers will be prescribed painkillers and antibiotics until the stomach tissue has healed.

During that course of medication, however, your dog will probably still avoid food. Canned pumpkin often becomes a staple for dog owners concerned about their pets losing too much weight while stomach ulcers are healing. Pumpkin has a low-glycemic value, which means it doesn’t aggravate stomach lining abscesses. What’s more, most dogs like the taste of the food and welcome it as a savory treat.

Parasites & viruses

Just like humans can pick up viruses like the flu and stomach bugs, dogs can also pick up infectious diseases. Viruses are relatively common among dogs, but some virus strains have the potential to cause serious stomach issues. In addition, parasites can become unwelcomed guests in your dog’s digestive system and lead to gastrointestinal problems.

Your dog can easily pick up parasites or viruses if they ingest items contaminated with fecal matter while outside. While there are other ways your dog can be introduced to such pathogens, such as eating spoiled food, it’s more likely that your dog acquired the infectious agent while outside.

What is the function of viruses and parasites?

One of the most common dog viruses is parvovirus and mainstream vets typically insist that all the dogs they see are vaccinated against the said virus. The reason parvovirus is so dangerous is that it attacks a dog’s small intestine. And, by doing so, it’s able to enter the bloodstream and eventually target bone marrow and white blood cells.

When it comes to parasites, dogs are most likely to be affected by worms. Both tapeworms and roundworms find their home in the intestines of dogs where they absorb all the nutrients in the food your pet intakes, robbing him of vitality. Parasitic worms can cause weight loss, dehydration, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and in server cases, neurological problems.

Signs to look for

When it comes to both parasitic worms and parvovirus, looking at your dog’s stools can often give you all the information you need. If your dog has bloody diarrhea, this could be an early warning sign that your pet is infected with parvovirus and requires veterinary treatment. The good news is that the virus is easy to treat as long as it is caught early.

When it comes to worms, you will often be able to see visible evidence in your dog’s stools. However, some worms are small and other times stools only contain microscopic eggs, so it’s always worth sending a stool sample to a lab for analysis. Fortunately, most worm infections can be easily treated.

Dehydration can cause a wide range of illnesses and can be a major stumbling block when it comes to treating viral infections and combating parasite. So, we advise you to give your dog Pedialyte. The supplement is basically like a Lucozade or an electrolyte drink for dogs and it can work wonders. Some dogs might not like the flavor or be too ill to drink it unaided, so you may need to administer Pedialyte via a syringe. If you want a natural alternative, bone broth works a treat as long as you add enough salt.

Now that you are more informed about some of the key causes of stomach issues in dogs, here are 9 simple tips to help you help your canine if he is suffering from an upset stomach:

1. Seek first to identify the main source of the stomach problem. While detection work is not always easy, doing it will ensure that you give your dog the best treatment. Think back, is it possible your dog got excited and ate something he wasn’t supposed to?

2. Get dog food out of the equation. Once your dog has stomach problems, give him water only and slowly reintroduce food as his stomach begins to regain control.

3. Monitor your dog’s condition. Keeping an eye on the situation is key. Look for any signs of further deterioration. Initial distress signs aren’t always a cause for concern, but if your pet’s condition worsens, don’t hesitate to take further immediate action.

4. Never put off a vet’s visit. The moment you see that your dog’s condition is getting worse or failing to improve, it’s time to take him to your vet. At the clinic, his condition will be professionally diagnosed and you may be able to get your hands on some essential medications that are not available without a prescription.

5. If your dog has been prescribed any medication, be sure to strictly follow all the instructions. If you deviate from the treatment plan laid out by your vet, you risk prolonging your dog’s suffering.

6. Get your dog onto a bland food diet. Canned pumpkin, rice, and boiled chicken are stable foods for a sick dog. Be sure not to overdo the quantities.

7. As your dog’s condition improves, slowly reintroduce more foods. Don’t just give him a full bowl of commercial dog kibble the moment he looks better. You need to slowly wean him off the bland diet to avoid causing further stomach distress.

8. Shower your dog with love and allow him to have as much rest as needed. When your pet is sick, don’t try to engage him. Instead, let him rest, relax, and heal. As soon as he’s better, he’ll be full of energy, so don’t try to rush his recovery.

9. Every dog owner has to deal with a pet suffering from stomach distress at some point, so don’t automatically assume you did anything wrong. There are now lots of effective upset stomach remedies in the marketplace, but, that said, you should always remember that a professional is in a much better position to devise a treatment plan for your beloved pet than yourself. So, don’t ever hesitate to take your sick dog to the vets.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Dog Constipation: what are the consequences and how to help your dog

Like humans, all sorts of different animals can suffer from constipation. However, this uncomfortable condition can be particularly unpleasant for your dog. When your dog becomes constipated and unable to have regular bowel movements, he can experience pain, confusion, and anxiety. So, it’s best to take measures to prevent constipation from occurring in the first place.

dog constipated

There is, fortunately, a wide range of preventative daily digestive supplements for dogs that are formulated to keep your beloved pet healthy and regular. If your dog is already constipated and you are looking for effective ways to treat the condition, keep reading to discover some safe dog constipation remedies.

What is dog constipation?

In the medical world, constipation describes the irregular passage of stools. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is a large build-up of stools in the digestive tract. Constipation is characterized by the inability to pass stools despite the need or feeling to go. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to identify the symptoms of constipation in your dog. That said, you’re likely to notice visible signs of discomfort when your canine is attempting to empty his bowels if he is constipated.

Common canine constipation types:

  1. Extraluminal Constipation – something outside of the colon is causing the blockage.
  2. Intraluminal Constipation – the passage of stools is prevented by a blockage inside the colon.
  3. Intrinsic Constipation – constipation resulting from hormone imbalances, medication side effects, or neurological disorders.

What causes dog constipation?

dog-pooping

There is a multitude of things that can cause your dog to become constipated. When it comes to intraluminal constipation, the cause of a blockage in the colon can be an object your dog has swallowed or a tumor.

The most common type of constipation in dogs is intraluminal constipation, as many canines are known for eating just about anything in sight. The good news is that in most cases the object blocking your dog’s colon will be something that will eventually pass in time, such as hair, string, grass, hay, etc. In rare cases, however, the obstruction may require surgery for removal. Alternatively, sometimes the obstruction can be broken up using an enema.

When it comes to extraluminal constipation, the source outside of the colon causing the condition may not be visible. While in some cases the cause can be easily detected, such as a clump of matted fur covering the anus, in others, the cause may be harder to detect. For example, arthritis or a broken bone can affect the function of the colon.

The most common cause of intrinsic constipation is a side effect of certain types of veterinary medications. That said, neurological disorders can also cause intrinsic constipation in rare causes.

Here are some of the most frequently seen causes of constipation according to AvoDerm:

  • Insufficient exercise
  • Neurological disease
  • Dietary changes
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Matted fur
  • Exterior damage to the anus
  • Side effects of supplements and medications
  • Dehydration
  • Colon related disease
  • Arthritis

How to detect constipation in dogs

Prior to selecting a suitable treatment, you need to identify if your dog has constipation. If your pet is having any digestive problems, be sure to check for constipation symptoms. If your dog is the type that usually passes stools of roughly the same consistency and size and at a regular frequency, it will be easy to detect constipation.

Here are some key signs that your dog may be constipated according to lists from VCA Hospitals:

  • Stools containing foreign objects, like grass or hair
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Small, dry stools
  • Licking the anus
  • Biting or gnawing at the tail
  • Trouble urinating

In addition, if your dog starts dragging his hindquarters across the floor, this is a further sign that he may be constipated. Dogs do this to try and reduce pressure around the anus. If you want to help alleviate some of the pressure, you can do so by gently massaging the area where your dog’s hip joints connect with his lower abdomen. However, if your dog snarls, whines, whines, growls or bites the moment you touch his lower abdomen, you should immediately stop rubbing the area and book an appointment with a vet.

Rather than constipation, a sensitive abdomen can sometimes be the sign of a serious medical problem that may require emergency veterinary care. Your main goal when your dog is suffering from constipation is to keep him calm — you don’t want to aggravate the condition by causing him more stress and anxiety.

In many cases, gently massaging the abdomen is all that is needed to loosen a stool blockage. But, if that doesn’t work, here are five effective home remedies for treating constipation in dogs:

#1 Visual Inspection

While taking a look might not sound pleasant, it’s often one of the most effective ways to find out what is causing constipation. It’s not uncommon for long-haired dogs to get impacted matted hair around the anus. Fortunately, it can be easily removed. After the removal of hair that is blocking the anus, the dog’s constipation should quickly resolve.

Top Tip: To remove matted hair from the anus area, always use clippers. If you use scissors, there is an increased risk of you accidentally cutting your dog’s skin if he decides to make a sudden movement. You don’t want to add an anus cut into the mix with your pet’s constipation problems.

If you don’t see any exterior causes of the blockage, a visual inspection can still give you more insight into the possible causes of the condition. Take a close look at your dog’s anus. You might be able to see what is preventing the poop from coming out, such as hair, candy wrappers, string, plastic toys, or other everyday objects. The cause of the blockage will often be slightly exposed if your dog has attempted to pass the items. Never try to remove anything yourself. On your dog’s second attempt at passing the object, it may come out naturally and all will be well. If this doesn’t happen, you will need to take your dog to the vet where the object can be professionally removed.

#2 More Exercise

Insufficient exercise is one of the leading contributing factors of constipation in pet dogs. When your dog is not being active, his digestive system will slow down and food can start to build up in the stomach and digestive tract. Over time, this buildup can become impacted and more difficult for your dog to pass.

dog walking on the beach

The good news is that even severely impacted fecal matter can often be broken up with some vigorous exercise. While it may take multiple tries for your dog to excavate the impacted matter, it will eventually come out by itself. Furthermore, the fresh air and smell of nature will encourage your dog to urinate and defecate. Dog’s naturally want to mark their territory with bodily fluids when they are outdoors. If he smells the scent of other animals, his brain will signal to the bowels that it’s time to go.

If more exercise does not resolve your dog’s constipation issues, it’s likely all the impacted fecal matters has become too big for your dog to pass naturally. In such a case, you will need to take your dog to the vet for an enema. The enema will break up all the hard waste that has built up in your dog’s intestines.

#3 Dog Stool Softeners

Stool softeners contain active ingredients that can help to resolve temporary constipation quickly. However, a dog’s digestive system is slightly different from the one found in humans, so you need to make sure you buy a stool softener that is specifically formulated for canines. Dog stool softeners that contain laxatives are generally fast-acting, so your dog should get some relief within 24 hours.

For stool softeners to function most effectively, your dog needs to be eating fiber-rich natural foods or taking fiber supplements. One natural fiber source that is a favorite among dog owners is canned pumpkin. It has a high fiber and moisture content, which results in the formation of large, soft stools that help to push impacted matter through the digestive tract.

Stool softeners and canned pumpkin should only be used for short periods and in small quantities. While both are great remedies for alleviating constipation, they are not healthy for your dog to consume for long periods. After giving your dog stool softeners and supplementary dietary fiber, be sure to take him outside frequently so he can clear his bowels. If your dog has been suffering from constipated for a long time, he’s more likely to have an accident if you fail to administer the remedies slowly and take him outside as often as possible.

#4 Sufficient Hydration

Dehydration is a common cause of constipation in all animals. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your dog is drinking enough fluids. Here are some common signs of dehydration in dogs:

  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Dry Nose
  • Thick foaming drool
  • Glazed over eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling

According to The American Kennel Club, one of the best ways to see if your dog is dehydrated is to gently pull up the loose skin on the back of his neck. If the skin quickly snaps back, your dog is sufficiently hydrated; if it doesn’t, he is dehydrated.

Unfortunately, if your dog is suffering from dehydration and you know this is contributing to his constipation, just giving him extra water is not enough. He needs electrolytes and salts in addition to extra fluids to rehydrate his body. Bone broth and Pedialyte are both effective dehydration remedies.

To avoid causing any additional digestive issues, be sure to provide bone broth or Pedialyte in small increments. If your dog is severely dehydrated, he may be very lethargic and unable to drink by himself. So, it may be necessary for you to administer water and bone broth into his mouth using a syringe.

Once your dog is cured of dehydration, his constipation should resolve within 24 hours. If your dog is regularly experiencing constipation resulting from dehydration, it could be helpful to buy daily hydration supplements to add to his water bowl.

#5 Improved Diet

dog home made diet

When you change your dog’s food, it’s not uncommon for him to suffer from temporary constipation and a few stomach abnormalities. However, if constipation continues, it could be a sign that the formula of the dog food is not right for his nutritional requirements.

A nutritious diet is vital to the long-term health and vitality of your dog. If your dog regularly suffers from constipation, it could be worth switching to special vet-approved formulas. Most vets have their favorite brands and will be happy to recommend the best food for your specific breed of dog.

When dealing with short-term digestive issues, it can be helpful to temporarily restrict your dog to wet food only. Wet food helps to keep your dog hydrated and is much easier to digest. Often just a few days of wet food only is enough to alleviate constipation. Be sure to slowly reintroduce dry pellets if you keep your dog is on wet food only for longer than a week.

Making homemade dog food can time-consuming, but it is one of the best ways to ensure your dog gets the highest quality diet. However, you need to make sure you add vital probiotics, vitamins, and supplements that are only found in commercial dog food to your homemade recipes. Making your own dog food can work out to be more expensive, but many dog owners can get good deals from their local butchers.

Final Notes

If it has been over 72 hours since your dog’s last bowel movement, it’s time to call a vet. While the home remedies discussed in this article can be effective at dealing with mild cases of dog constipation, some cases of the condition require professional medical attention. Left untreated constipation, can have very serious long term consequences. So, never delay contacting a veterinary.