I’m sure most of us know how uncomfortable it can feel when your bowl movements are not as regular as you would like them to be. You know you have to go, but you just can’t. Same thing can happen to your Chihuahua. The difference is that you know what’s wrong and can do something about it yourself. The Chihuahua can’t, so you will have to be the one that looks out for him.
Luckily, it’s actually not that hard. Most dogs will let you know when they feel like something is wrong. They can’t exactly describe the problem to you, but they will either whine, growl, yelp, beg or do anything else that will get your attention. You just have to know what signs to look out for.
Signs of a Constipated Chihuahua
It’s easy to spot most of these symptoms because they all point to one thing – the Chihuahua being constipated. Here are a few to look out for:
Your Chihuahua didn’t poop – This is the most obvious one. Every morning you expect your pup to poop, but this morning he left nothing on your yard. Sometimes this happens because the dog just doesn’t need to go, so don’t assume he is constipated right away. It could be just a late poop.
The poop doesn’t come all the way out -there is something stuck that doesn’t come out, then there is a good chance he will need your help. This is common amongst dogs that eat hair or shoelaces. It’s gross I know, but if you don’t pull it out then he will try to wipe it off by dragging his behind around making a big mess. Just be very careful when doing this. If it’s something big that’s sharp or hard – call a vet.
He keeps asking to go out right after a walk – If your Chihuahua comes home and still feels like he needs to go, he might be a little constipated. On his second walk, watch his behavior to see what he does. It could be because he needs to go, or it could be because he wants to spend more time outside having fun. A short walk around the block could help either/both of those problems.
He gets in the position but nothing comes out – This is a clear sign that your dog is having difficulty passing stool. It could be due to constipation, or it could also be diarrhea. Either there was a change in his diet or he ate something he probably shouldn’t have.
Recent change to his diet – Something as simple as changing the brand of kibble could cause constipation. Don’t worry though, it usually goes away within a day or two. If it doesn’t go away, don’t hesitate to call a vet.
When to Call a Veterinarian
Usually constipation will go away on its own without the need for a trip to the vets office, but sometimes it is something a little more serious. Look out for these additional symptoms:
- Blood or mucus in stool
- Constipation after surgery
- He swallowed something sharp or hard recently
- The dog is straining or in pain when defecating
- Change in weight
- Refusal to eat or drink
If you notice any of the above symptoms along with constipation, call your vet immediately.
How to Deal with a Constipated Chihuahua
There are a few things you can do to make this unpleasant experience a little easier for your dog. Here are a few things you can try to help relieve/prevent constipation in Chihuahuas.
Figure out what caused it – Figuring out the cause of constipation will help prevent it in the future. Was there a change in the dog’s diet? Is he eating well balanced meals? Does he get enough exercise and water? Keep in mind that since these dogs are so small, even a small treat can have a big impact on his tummy. Knowing the cause will help you prevent it from happening again in the future.
Make sure your Chihuahua stays hydrated – Make sure that clean drinking water is always available – especially during hot summer days. Dehydration can lead to constipation.
Introduce probiotics to his diet – If your Chihuahua has stomach problems fairly often or has recently been on antibiotics – giving him probiotics could improve his digestive system. A good way to do it is by giving him a little bit of unflavored probiotic yogurt.
Take him out for a walk – Just a simple walk around the block can help constipation. Exercise will increase his heart rate and as a result improve his digestive system functions. Since Chihuahuas are so small, even a short walk can be enough of a stimulant.
Add more fiber to his diet – If his meals are too protein heavy, then the stool will be a lot heavier and harder to pass. Adding a little more fiber to his diet will make his stool softer. Don’t go overboard though. Too much fiber can also cause blockage.
No bones or any rough chew treats – You don’t want your dog swallowing anything else that’s hard or difficult to pass. Stick to plain food with minimum treats until the constipation goes away.
Never use human laxatives – You should only use laxatives if you’re told to do so by a vet. You don’t want to make things worse. A little bit of prunes or prune juice can help though.
Take things a little easier – Stress can also cause constipation and is common with puppies who just moved to a new home. The whole experience can be very stressful for anyone, let alone a tiny little Chihuahua.