Q. Our 14-year-old Labrador Retriever seems to be constipated. What can we give her to help this?
A. Constipation is always a challenging problem in dogs. The simplest remedy is to offer your dog some canned pumpkin to help bulk up the stool. You can also sprinkle several teaspoons of psyllium on your dog’s food twice a day.
Pediatric stool softeners in gelatin capsule form can be effective also, but there is always the risk of overdoing it and ending up with voluminous, and unwelcome, diarrhea. If you want to try a stool softener, consult with your vet.
Finally, your veterinarian can administer an enema or two, an undignified but effective treatment for constipation. Once the problem is corrected, I would consult with your veterinarian about the best diet to prevent future constipation issues.
Jon Geller, DVM