Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

Full Bio →

Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

Pet Insurance U receives compensation from the third parties included on this site. This includes payment for clicks from our site to insurance providers’ sites and quote requests generated. Our rankings and reviews are not affected by payments from the insurance companies. The compensation we receive allows the site to be free and regularly updated. Our goal is to review every pet insurance provider, but not all companies are listed on the site.

And many of the companies we review do not pay us anything. We simply rate, compare and review their plan because we feel it will be valuable to you. Our reviews are guaranteed to be unbiased, professional and advertising compensation does not influence rankings.

We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about pet insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything pet insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by pet insurance experts.

Constipation refers to a condition where a dog’s bowel movements are infrequent or absent altogether.

Constipation is one of the most common health issues among dogs.

The typical signs are hard, dry stools and straining when a dog is trying to relieve himself. Mucus might even be present.

Types Of Constipation In Dogs

Veterinarian typically classifies the more serious types of constipation into 3 categories:

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

#1 – Intraluminal

Blockages in the colon such as inflammation or abnormal growth.

#2 – Extraluminal

Blockages outside the colon such as pelvic fractures or tumors.

#3 – Intrinsic

Diseases, nerve injuries and hormonal diseases that affect the digestive system.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap pet insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption


  • Hard, dry stools
  • Straining while trying to relieve self
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Tense, painful abdomen when touching their stomach or lower back.

If your dog doesn’t produce a bowel movement for more than two days, you should take your dog to the vet.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

What Causes Dog Constipation?

For a simple case of constipation, dehydration or a poor diet is usually the culprit.

But, there are many other factors that can cause constipation:

  • Too little fiber in the dog’s diet
  • Age- older dogs tend to be more constipated
  • Abscessed or blocked anal sacs
  • To little exercise
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Too much hair in the stool as a result of excessive grooming
  • Ingested foreign items such as bones, plants, gravel that are blocking the intestinal tract
  • Medication side effects
  • Tumor or mass on rectum or anus which causes an obstruction
  • Trauma to the pelvis
  • Joint issues that make it harder for the dog to relieve himself
  • Neurologic issues
  • Dehydration from diet or another sickness, illness.
  • Dehydration due to other illness
  • Drugs, including antihistamines, some antacids, certain cancer drugs
  • Metabolic diseases such as hypo or hyperthyroidism

How To Treat Constipation In Dogs

The treatment depends on what is causing constipation.

In most cases, which is due to poor diet or eating a foreign substance, the following can help:

  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin has been known to fix both diarrhea and constipation in dogs. The high fiber and moisture are a great combination for either ailment and dogs generally love the taste.  A teaspoon a day can really help get things moving.
  • Canned Dog Food:  The extra moisture and water in canned food can help regulate the system.
  • Powdered Fiber Supplements: Fiber keeps more water in the stool, making it easier to pass.
  • Food and Herbs:  Ginger, powdered psyllium seeds, wheat bran, and olive oil, might help.
  • Water and Hydration: It’s very important for your dog to drink water and have easy access to it.
  • Exercise:  A minimum of 15 to 30 minutes a day is recommended.

However, if none of the above helps your dog or if your dog has not relieved himself in two days, you should take your dog to the vet.

Your vet might recommend the following:

  • A laxative or stool softener.
  • Medication to increase the strength of the large intestine.
  • A prescribed high-fiber diet.
  • An Enema

Pet insurance plans generally cover the cost of prescription medications, while some plans even cover part of the cost of a prescription diet.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients


PetFirst saved his parents


A happy energetic Luna one morning couldn’t hold her food down. After months of multiple costly vet visits to specialists and an endoscopy, the problem was discovered and fixed. Luna put 22 pounds back on in no time and her parents were grateful for having PetFirst by their side to pay the bills.

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap pet insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What To Look For

When you visit the vet, it is important to have as much information as possible, including:

  • The last time your dog eliminated properly
  • The color and consistency of the stool
  • Any changes in your dog’s diet or routine
  • Any objects or non-food items you think your dog might have eaten.
  • Non-food items the dog may have eaten (even kitty litter or a bone)
  • Pain or strain when trying to eliminate
  • Any drugs or prescriptions your dog is taking
  • Any injuries notes
  • Any other sign of discomfort or stress such as lethargy, a bloated appearance or vomiting.

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the vet exam may include the following:

  • Rectal Exam
  • X-rays of the abdominal area
  • Abdominal palpation
  • Enema
  • Colonoscopy or ultrasound
  • Neurological exam
  • Blood Work
  • Veterinary Treatment and prevention

In serious cases, some of the medical procedures that could be necessary:

  • A prescribed drug to help the colon to function properly.
  • Feces will have to be removed

In some very serious cases, surgery might be needed. One procedure, a colectomy, is when parts of the dog’s colon are removed.

Pet insurance plans generally cover the cost of prescription medications, while some plans, like Embrace, even cover part of the cost of a prescription diet.

Yet, another reason to enroll in pet insurance.

Dogs More Susceptible To Constipation

It is natural for older dogs to suffer more infrequent or have a hard time being regular.

But, of course, the condition can happen to any dog of any age.

If your dog’s constipation isn’t cured, it can lead to obstipation.

This happens when the colon can’t empty on its own.

This can lead to a build-up of feces which will lead to straining, appetite loss, vomiting, and lethargy.

Chronic constipation can be a contributor to this disorder.


Most cases of constipation can be easily treated with boosting water intake, dietary fiber and getting your dog to exercise regularly.

For most dogs, constipation will be an infrequent problem and easily regulated.

Again, if your dog is unable to produce a regular bowel movement for more than two days, make sure to see your veterinarian.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.


Other articles you may find helpful: 

Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


We get it, your dog is like your child and when your puppy or dog has health problems it is scary. Luckily there is pet insurance companies that will help you pay for any veterinarian care they made need. Checkout the best puppy and dog pet insurance companies and learn about common puppy health issues and ailments in older pets


Common Health Problems:

Acral Lick Granuloma in Dogs

Alopecia in Dogs

Antifreeze Toxicity in Dogs

Aortic Stenosis in Dogs

Arthritis In Dogs

Bladder Stones in Dogs

Boxer Cardiomyopathy

Cataracts In Dogs

Cherry Eye in Dogs

Chronic Active Hepatitis in Dogs

Collie Eye Anomaly In Dogs

Constipation in Dogs

Cruciate Ligament Tear in Dogs

Cryptorchidism in Dogs

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs

Degenerative Myelopathy | Spinal Cord Disease In Dogs

Dementia in Dogs | Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Demodicosis In Dogs

Dental Problems in Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs

Dog Comedones (Schnauzer Bumps)

Dog Diarrhea: What Can You Do To Help?

Dog Ear Infections

Dystocia in Dogs

Ectropion in Dogs

Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs

Entropion In Dogs

Eye Problems in Dogs

Fleas in Dogs

Gallbladder Obstruction in Dogs

Gallstones in Dogs

Gastroenteritis In Dogs

Glaucoma in Dogs

Heart Murmurs In Dogs | How To Identify Them

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Hot Spots On Dogs

Hyperparathyroidism In Dogs

Hypothyroidism In Dogs

Intervertebral Disc Disease In Dogs

Nasal Solar Dermatitis In Dogs

Patellar Luxation in Dogs

Progressive Retinal Atrophy In Dogs

Renal Failure in Dogs

Seizures in Dogs

Wobbler Syndrome In Dogs

The Dog Flu – Symptoms & Treatment for Canine Influenza

Dog Biting Nails