Puppies are helpless little furry babies that need assistance with almost everything when they are first born. In most cases, they even need help to pass feces. It’s up to you as a pet parent to be there for your little pup in times like this.
At 4 weeks, your pup can hardly hold anything in. In general, a 4-week-old puppy should be defecating after every feeding session. So, if you notice that your tiny companion isn’t pooping as much or at all, he might be constipated.
If your puppy is constipated, you might see signs such as a rigid enlarged abdomen, moaning, reluctance to move, and reluctance to eat or drink. If you suspect that your 4-week-old puppy is constipated and you want to know what to do, you have come to the right place. Let’s get right into it!
Why Might a Puppy Be Constipated at 4 Weeks Old?
There are many different reasons why your 4-weeks-old puppy would be constipated. These include:
Intestinal Obstruction from Ingesting Foreign Objects
At 4 weeks, most puppies are allowed to leave their pens and are introduced to the real world. Due to their curious nature and excitement, puppies sometimes gulp down foreign objects like socks, bones, chew toys, pens, and other indigestible materials. These materials, when swallowed, can lead to a blockage of the intestinal tract, i.e., an impaction. This prevents your fur buddy from using the toilet.
Change in Diet
If your pup was recently weaned, constipation might be caused by the new diet. A change in diet usually causes constipation or diarrhea so it is important that the weaning process is done slowly and that you feed your little doggie with quality food. Fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, is an important nutrient that helps your pup’s bowel movement by increasing water absorption and making the stool bulky.
Just like in humans, dehydration often leads to constipation in our canine friends. If your pup is still breastfeeding, you might want to check if its mother is dehydrated or has stopped producing milk. If your pup’s body doesn’t get enough water, it will absorb the water that it needs from ingested food, and this will lead to hard poop or sometimes no poop. At this age, you should introduce your pup to drinking water by putting a shallow dish in the sleeping area.
Feeding Low-Quality Food
A 4-week-old puppy is ready to be introduced to solid foods. Low-quality food that is highly processed can cause your pet to struggle to do his business. These highly processed foods often have little fiber content and many preservatives added to them. You should not feed your pup with rawhide chews until they are at least 6 months, as these can also lead to constipation or choking.
If your pups are still staying with their mother and she hasn’t been groomed in a while, your little babies could swallow fur. If this hairball is too large, it can cause a GIT blockage or even ferment and produce dangerous toxins in the body. In addition, your small dog could have mechanical constipation if his fur has matted over his anus as a result of poor grooming practices.
A new puppy often suffers from severe anxiety and may show some signs like crying at night in a new house, attempting to hide, diarrhea, panting, pacing, and constipation. A frightened pup could suffer from constipation if he refuses to drink or eat anything. If your pup has been separated from his mom and litter mates recently or has found himself in a stressful situation, he might end up constipated due to stress.
Although diarrhea is the more common symptom seen in worm infestation, in some cases, constipation is a sign of a parasitic infection. If your pup’s mum has parasites, there is a big possibility that she has passed them to her babies.
Although constipation in puppies is rarely caused by diseases, some diseases like kidney disease, bacterial infections, and a perineal hernia can impact the digestive process and cause constipation. Tumors of the digestive tract and pelvic region can cause obstruction in the gut and prevent the movement of digested food. This leads to constipation.
Little Physical Activity
Body movement helps bowel movement proceed easily and at a faster rate. If your pup is sedentary, this might be the cause of constipation. This is often seen in larger puppies who are too lazy to move around.
Is It Common for A 4-Week-Old Puppy to Be Constipated?
Constipation is common in orphaned puppies and puppies that are sedentary. Since a pup’s mother often helps the newborn stimulate bowel movement, when a mother dies during birth, they have no one to help them. Constipation is also commonly seen in large pups who don’t get enough exercise.
All dogs need to poop. Be it a 4-week-old puppy or a 4-year-old dog; defecating is an essential step in food digestion for every canine. Constant bowel movement is necessary to remove undigested food, bacteria, and pieces of your dog’s intestinal lining.
A constipated puppy might show signs like not popping for days, straining to poo, producing stool with mucus, etc. It is a stressful condition for your pup. He will be uncomfortable, restless, and in pain.
What Should I Do if My 4-Week-Old Puppy Is Constipated?
If you think that your pup is constipated, you should first assess the situation and reach out to your veterinarian. Check the pen environment for any signs out of the ordinary, check your pup’s temperature, examine the stool (if there is any) and check for any signs of dehydration. More than just examining the pup, you should also inspect your pup’s mom and check for any signs of parasitic infection, uterine infection, agalactia, and other health issues.
Many home remedies can be used in treating constipation in a fur kid. These include giving the abdomen soft massages, giving Karo syrup, and adding mineral oil to feed. Karo syrup helps to pull water into the stool, subsequently softening it while mineral oil lubricates the gut. The most common method for treating constipation in such puppies is using a warm wet cotton ball to rub the rectal area and giving Karo syrup orally.
One of the best ways to prevent and treat constipation in puppies is by using organic digestive remedies. The right product is natural and safe for newborn pups, will help lubricate your pet’s GIT, make eating and drinking water easier for your pup, and will have your little canine friend back to his normal toilet schedule in no time. This product is perfect for constipation relief for your pup!
If your pup has not pooped at all in 24 hours, chances are that he is constipated. A constipated 4-week-old pup might be frightening for you as a pet parent, but you must keep a clear head to help your pup. You simply have to assess the situation, make the necessary changes and try out the home remedies under the supervision of your vet. If after 2-3 days nothing changes, reach out to your veterinarian.