When scooping your dog's poop, you might notice that some of it is dry and crumbly. Unhealthy dog poop has mucus, grass, hair, and other particles. While dry and crumbly poop in dogs isn't normal, it's usually an easy fix! It may be as simple as changing their dog food or increasing their water intake.
However, dry poop can also be a sign of constipation, especially if your dog is straining to poop, has hard stools, or hasn't had a bowel movement in several days. Dog poop shouldn't be hard and dry all the time. Generally, your dog's poop should change consistency and texture, which reflects their meals.
For constipation, your vet will likely give them a stool softener or laxative to help get things moving again. In severe cases, they may need to be hospitalised for an enema or IV fluids. If other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, or loss of appetite accompany your dog's dry poop, this could signify a more severe condition, and you should seek medical attention immediately.
As a pet owner, you know your furry friend's bathroom habits can say a lot about their health. So, when you notice a change in their poop, it's natural to wonder what's happening. Here's a look at some of the possible causes of dry poop in dogs and what you can do about it.
Why is My Dog's Poop Dry?
Your dog's faecal matter might not be the most interesting thing to inspect, but looking at their stool can help them be healthier.
One possible reason for your dog's dry poop might be that they aren't drinking enough water. Dogs need water to help break down their food and make the digestive process easier. If they're not getting enough H2O, their poop will be drier. Make sure your dog always has fresh water available, and try adding a little more to their bowl each day to see if that helps.
Another common cause of dry poop is a lack of fibre in the diet. Dog food can have a significant impact on their stool, and dog poop can seem harder if they don't eat enough fibre. Fibre helps keep your dog’s bowel movements regular by keeping things moving smoothly in the digestive tract.
If your dog needs more fibre from their food, adding canned pumpkin (not the pie filling - just plain pumpkin) is an easy way to help. As a dog owner, making sure your dog's poop is the right colour and consistency is just part of the job.
Finally, some medications can cause dry poop as a side effect. If your dog is on any medication, talk to your vet about the possibility of dry stool and whether any alternative medications may be better.
What Are the Signs of Dog Constipation?
As mentioned above, dry dog poop can be a sign of constipation. Dogs suffering from constipation will not pass a stool for a while. This can be dangerous and uncomfortable for them. If your dog is not drinking enough water or if they’re not getting enough fibre in their diet, their poop will be drier.
If you suspect your dog is constipated, talk to your vet about the possibility of this condition and whether any alternative medications may be better for them.
Your Dog is Straining to Poop
If your dog is straining or crying out while trying to poop, this is a sign that they may be constipated. Their stool may also be dry and complex, and they may only be able to produce small amounts at a time.
Your Dog isn't Pooping as Often as Usual
A decrease in the frequency of bowel movements is another sign of constipation in dogs. If your dog used to poop once a day but is now going every other day, this could be a cause for concern.
Your Dog's Stomach Looks Bloated
A distended or bloated stomach is another possible sign of constipation in dogs. If you notice that your dog's belly looks fuller than usual, or if they seem uncomfortable when you touch it, this could mean they are constipated.
Your Dog is Lethargic and Not Eating as Much as Usual
If your dog is constipated, they may also seem tired and listless. They may eat less than average or not play with their toys as much as they used to. This is because the pain associated with constipation can give them low energy and make them uninterested in their surroundings.
What To Do if Your Dog is Constipated
There are many reasons why dogs may become constipated, including not getting enough fibre in their diet, dehydration, lack of enough exercise, or swallowing too much air. In addition, you may find there is hair blocking them, which can result in a crumbly stool. While constipation may resolve naturally, if their dry, crumbly or powdery stools persist, you should take action.
Some medical conditions can cause constipation, such as colitis, megacolon, tumours, or spinal cord problems. Older dogs are more prone to constipation because of changes in metabolism and activity levels.
If your dog is constipated, some home remedies might help relieve their discomfort and get them back on track.
How to Help a Dog Who is Constipated
Early intervention is critical to restoring your dog's health. The first step is to assess your dog's diet. If your dog cannot accept or adapt to the sudden switch to new dog food, slowly introduce it. If you've been serving your pup dry dog food, it might be time to switch to canned food.
You should also increase their water intake by feeding them wet food or adding broth to their dry food. You can also try mixing it with bone broth to avoid additional stomach issues. Make sure their drinking water is always fresh and clean.
Next, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. A daily walk or play session will help keep their digestive system moving along smoothly. If your dog isn't used to regular exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the time and intensity of their workouts. If your dog is not using their body, its digestive system will not function properly.
If these measures don't help, it's time to call the vet. Your vet will likely recommend a stool softener or laxative specially formulated for dogs.
In some cases, enemas may be necessary. Never give your dog human laxatives or stool softeners without speaking to your vet first, as some of these products can be toxic to dogs when used improperly.
On the flip side, runny poos can be just as concerning if they persist. If your dog experiences a loose stool for an extended period, it may be something to look into.
When to Take a Constipated Dog to the Vet
If your dog's stool looks dry and crumbly, you won't have to consult your vet immediately. However, there are a few things to remember when determining whether your dog's constipation warrants a trip to the vet.
First, how long has your dog been constipated? If it's only been a day or two, there's likely no need to worry. However, since straining to poop can be uncomfortable for your dog, you may want to think about talking to a professional.
Dogs typically poop once or twice a day, so occasional constipation is not unusual. However, if your dog has not had a bowel movement in three days or more, it's time to make an appointment with your vet.
Another thing to consider is the consistency of your dog's stool. If your dog's stool is hard and dry, they may be dehydrated and need IV fluids to rehydrate them.
On the other end of the spectrum, slimy mucus poop may be due to an inflamed colon or mild inflammation in the gut. If your dog's stool is very soft or diarrhoea-like, this could be a sign of gastroenteritis, and they may need medication to settle their stomach.
Finally, take note of any other changes in your dog's behaviour. Is he or she lethargic or not eating as much as usual? These could be signs that something else is going on besides constipation.
Dry and crumbly poop in dogs can seem alarming. Instead, your dog's faecal matter should be moist, easy to pick up like clay and be a chocolate brown colour. Healthy dog stool is also the same size as the food they eat. As the fibre content in your dog's food increases, so does their poop. There shouldn't be foreign objects or matted hair in your dog's poop.
- Check for signs of dog constipation. It's also essential to keep a constant eye on your dog's defecation to ensure everything is running smoothly.
- Constipation may require veterinary attention.
- Other symptoms of constipation may include straining to poop, hard stools, and lack of bowel movements for several days.
- If other symptoms accompany your dog's dry poop, it could be a sign of a more severe condition, and you should seek medical attention!
What are the treatments for constipation?
There are a few treatments for constipation in dogs. The most common treatment is a stool softener or laxative, which a vet usually prescribes. In some cases, enemas may also be necessary. If the dog's constipation is caused by dehydration, the vet may also recommend IV fluids.
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Is there anything I can do to help my dog's dry poop?
You can help your dog's dry poop by feeding them high-fibre foods or adding a teaspoon of canned pumpkin to their food once or twice a day.
You should also increase their water intake by feeding them wet food or adding broth to their dry food. If your dog is resistant to drinking more water, add some ice cubes to their bowl. They'll love licking them, and it’ll help increase their hydration at the same time.