Q: My dog has a hard time pooping, how do I help him?

A: Constipation can be very uncomfortable and if not treated promptly, can be very painful. If your pet is straining to defecate, vocalising his discomfort and has blood in his stool, then it is a good indication that he is suffering from constipation. The main causes of constipation are inadequate fibre and water intake. If your dog eats mostly dry food, then he is not getting enough water. Make sure he drinks sufficiently and takes high fibre foods such as papayas, bananas, or leafy vegetables. Adding small amounts of olive oil (1/2 a teaspoon) or chicken fats/skin can act as a lubricant and ensure smooth and easy defecation. If it doesn’t work, bring your dog to his veterinarian for a full check-up. Your veterinarian will check for foreign objects or physical defects and prescribe laxatives or enemas, depending on the outcome of the examination.