Do Dogs Get Constipated When pregnant? (Vet Answered)

Updated in May, 2024 | By Emma Olson
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Do Dogs Get Constipated When pregnant

Yes , dogs get constipated when pregnant.
Constipation occurs when a dog has difficulty passing stools, leading to infrequent or incomplete bowel movements.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes and the physical pressure exerted by the growing puppies can affect the normal functioning of the digestive system, resulting in constipation.

So Do Dogs Get Constipated When pregnant?

Constipation can occur in dogs after giving birth due to the hormonal changes and the pressure of the uterus on the colon. However, the study states that constipation can occur in dogs of any age or breed, including pregnant dogs. Therefore, it is possible for dogs to get constipated when pregnant. 

Signs of Constipation in Pregnant Dogs

It’s important to recognize the signs of constipation in pregnant dogs to provide timely intervention.

Look out for the following indicators:

a) Infrequent or absence of bowel movements.
b) Straining or discomfort while attempting to defecate.
c) Dry, hard stools or small, pellet-like feces.
d) Reduced appetite or reluctance to eat.
e) Abdominal discomfort or bloating.

Causes of Constipation in Pregnant Dogs

Several factors contribute to constipation in pregnant dogs.

Understanding these causes can help prevent or manage constipation effectively:

a) Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones can affect the smooth muscle contractions in the intestines, leading to slowed digestion and potential constipation.
b) Physical pressure: The growing puppies in the uterus can place pressure on the intestines and other organs, impeding normal bowel movements.
c) Dehydration: Inadequate water intake or increased fluid requirements during pregnancy can contribute to constipation.
d) Dietary factors: A diet lacking in fiber or inappropriate food choices can contribute to constipation.

Preventive Measures for Constipation in Pregnant Dogs

Taking proactive steps to prevent constipation is crucial for the well-being of your pregnant dog.

Consider the following preventive measures:

a) Ensure a balanced diet: Provide a high-quality, balanced diet suitable for pregnant dogs, including an adequate amount of fiber.
b) Hydration is key: Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Encourage regular water intake to prevent dehydration.
c) Regular exercise: Moderate exercise can help stimulate bowel movements and maintain overall digestive health.
d) Monitor weight gain: Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can exacerbate constipation. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure proper weight management.

Managing Constipation in Pregnant Dogs

If your pregnant dog does experience constipation, there are several strategies you can employ to alleviate the condition:

a) Increase fiber intake: Add fiber-rich foods to your dog’s diet, such as canned pumpkin (not pie filling), steamed vegetables, or psyllium husk.
b) Adequate hydration: Offer your dog water regularly and consider incorporating wet food into her diet to increase fluid intake.
c) Vet-approved laxatives: Consult your veterinarian for safe and suitable laxatives or stool softeners that can be used during pregnancy.
d) Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular prenatal check-ups allow your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health and address any constipation concerns promptly.

My Final Verdict

Constipation can be a common issue during pregnancy in dogs, but with proper understanding and proactive measures, you can ensure your pregnant dog’s comfort and well-being.

By providing a balanced diet, promoting hydration, and monitoring her overall health, you can minimize the risk of constipation and help your dog enjoy a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.

Remember to consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your dog’s specific needs.


How can I help my constipated pregnant dog?

To help your constipated pregnant dog, increase fiber in her diet, ensure she stays hydrated, and consider vet-approved laxatives or stool softeners. Regular exercise and veterinary check-ups are also beneficial.

Why is my female dog constipated?

Female dogs can become constipated due to the pressure exerted on their intestines by the growing pups during pregnancy.

What will a dog do if constipated?

When constipated, a dog may show signs of discomfort, strain during bowel movements, have infrequent or small stools, or even exhibit loss of appetite.

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Emma Olson

As a graduate of Animal Nutrition, I am passionate about telling fellow dog lovers what they need to know about their dog food according to disease, age, and breeds. I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, USA, and I enjoy writing blog posts about pet health.