Last Modified on Sep 14, 2014
While perhaps not the most desirable of all subject matter, constipation can at times be a fact of life for our pets. Constipation can occur in pets for any number of various reasons and might result from pets that have ingested clumps of grass, as a result of swallowing bones, or could be due to a hairball blockage.
Constipation can be a very serious issue regardless of whether it occurs on just an occasional basis, or perhaps on a more regular one for those pets who may be more prone to the problem. Did you know that certain breeds of dogs could experience more difficulty when defecating than others will? It may sound strange but it's true. Dogs that have corkscrew like tails often have anatomical characteristics that interfere with the normal defecation process, which can mean chronic constipation problems. Remember that the longer the waste sits in the body without being passed, the more water that will be pulled out of it by the colon. This means that the stool will become more and more dry, making it yet even more difficult to pass.
One of the best ways to deal with constipation is to prevent it. A very healthy and easy way to do that is to incorporate pumpkin into your pet's food. Yes, that's right - I said PUMPKIN. The simple fact is that pumpkin is a great source of fiber and has a high water content. Both of which contribute to keeping your pet's bowl movements regular. You'll want to make sure that you use the pureed canned pumpkin, or you can puree your own using a fresh pumpkin. Either way however don't buy pumpkin pie filling by mistake; it's definitely not the same thing. The following scale will help you determine how much you should mix into every meal.
Pets who weigh less than 15 pounds = 1 - 2 teaspoons
Pets who weigh 15 - 35 pounds = 1 - 2 tablespoons
Pets who weigh 35 pounds and up = 2 - 5 tablespoons depending on size
(Monitor your pet's stool, if the consistency of the feces is pudding- like, then just cut back on the amount of pumpkin a bit.)
Here's a great trick so that none of that canned or fresh pumpkin goes to waste before you use it all. Use ice-cube trays to freeze individual portions of pumpkin. Once each portion is set, dump them out into a freezer bag so that each day you can remove and thaw out the amount that you require.
[YEA] My very old cat started getting constipated about three years ago. Firstly, you do have to switch to all wet food. Then I added canned pumpkin which worked until she started rejecting the food because she didn't like the taste. Then I switched to psyllium based human laxative which worked very well- but beware- this is not recommended for long term usage. It draws too much water away from the rest of their system. Then I read about aloe vera juice. Big bottle is around $8 at a health food store- buy the one that starts with G. Not too much- a teaspoon in the morning and one at night is plenty. Too much and they will throw up. But it really works and they have no idea it's there. Also love ACV- after two days they really poo but you have to give it orally and my cat hates it. Aloe has proven to be the best solution by far, and I also add a little bit to the water bowl.