Why do puppies get constipated?

Constipation in Puppies

A new puppy owner can often think that constipation is the last thing that will affect their new puppy who seems to always need to relieve themselves, constipation in puppies will happen from time to time. Usually though this is an issue for the older dog more than it is for a young puppy and smaller breeds such as the Poochon seem to be affected a bit more than larger breeds. It is important to be able to recognise the symptoms early and treat it or constipation can become a real problem for your dog. Understanding the causes will help you prevent this uncomfortable condition from occurring.

Apricot Poochon Puppy in the sun

Recognizing Constipation in puppies

It’s uncommon to find constipation in young dogs but it happens, and it’s vital that when it does, you are able to recognize the signs. Your puppy will need your help if it doesn’t have bowel movements. What you should be on the lookout for should include having small, dry and hard bowel movements at very irregular periods or a straining to the bathroom but having no success at all. A constipated puppy will usually have a hard abdomen due to the build up of faeces it it’s bowels.

What causes constipation in puppies?

A diet low in fibre is the most common cause of constipation in puppies but hairballs are also another common cause of constipation in puppies. Ingestion of hairballs, which then balls up inside the intestinal tracts causing the occurrence of a blockage, is a constant thing for pups that constantly lick themselves. This is more likely in breeds with longer hair due to the increased amount of hair the dog may ingest while grooming themselves.

Also, since puppies are known to eat a lot of weird things with the inclusion of plastic bags and plastic toys, constipation can result from anything that causes a blockage of their bowels. This is the most serious form, as often your puppy will need veterinary treatment to remove what is causing the blockage. Some of the medications the puppies take, such as pain relievers after desexing can also add to the causes of constipation. He hair around the anus of puppies with long hair may cause difficulties in passing bowel movements if the hair gets matted it blocks the anus and constipation may be the result.

An often overlooked, cause of constipation in puppies is dehydration. Our bowels, as well as our puppies bowels, need large amounts of water to keep everything moving along as it should and is a bit like the lubrication for the bowels.


As the owner of the puppy, it is vital that you take control at the first indication of trouble. Ensure that non-food materials aren’t digested, and this includes their toys and any packaging around the house. Monitoring everything your puppy gets in contact with will go a long way in preventing your puppy from eating anything they shouldn’t. Keep your dog’s hair trimmed around it’s bottom if it’s a long-hair breed to prevent a blockage at that end. Constipation should not be a problem if you your puppy gets a steady, good quality diet that is high in fibre, is well hydrated, and gets the appropriate daily exercise.


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