Just like humans, dogs get constipated. Constipation is defined as the inability to defecate properly. Constipation in dogs is caused by several factors, such as swallowing an obstructive object e.g. a bone, hair, or grass. The object(s) is not digested, and in the process of trying to eliminate it, it blocks the way and the dog cannot defecate.
Another common cause is slow intestinal activity especially in older dogs. The result is if the dog used to go several times a day, now he goes every other day or just once a day.
Another cause of constipation is an enlarged prostate in male dogs. The prostate becomes larger than its normal size and squeezes the dog’s rectum, so undigested food cannot pass easily as the passageway is narrower than it should be.
If a dog develops a hernia in the rectum, he can develop constipation. The hernia bulges into the rectum, closing off the passage and making it impossible for stool to pass through.
Other causes of constipation include tumors, a pelvic or hip injury that makes it hard to pass stool, and infected anal glands.
You can tell your dog is constipated when you see some a piece of string, hair, or grass sticking from his backside. He might also have matted poop stuck on the hairs around his anus. If you see stuff sticking from his anus, don’t yank it. Instead, pull it out gently. Remember to wear gloves before you pull gently so as not to soil your hands.
If the dog has feces stuck on the hairs around his anus trim the hairs before cleaning him. If the dog has a long coat, soak his behind in water before trimming so that the stool gets a little loose and thus avoid hurting the dog.
Constipation in Dogs- Causes and Symptoms