Newborn Puppy Constipated – Causes And Help

When puppies are born, they often need help passing feces from their intestines.

This is usually done when their mothers help them through stimulation.

Why is my newborn puppy constipated?

When puppies do not have their mothers to guide them or the mothers are too gentle in their care, the newborn puppy may become constipated.

There are a few reasons why your newborn puppy may be constipated; let’s look at the causes and ways to prevent the issue.

Is Your Newborn Puppy Constipated?

You may believe that your newborn puppy is constipated if they are straining while trying to pass feces or if they are lazy and overweight.

This is because active puppies have healthier bowel movements.

Diarrhea and constipation have similar symptoms.

To determine whether the newborn puppy actually has constipation, it is important to be sure.

You can check by using a thermometer:

  • Use a lubricant jelly, petroleum jelly, or Vaseline to lubricate the thermometer
  • Place the thermometer 1 or 2 inches inside the puppy’s rectum, and examine the stool that sticks to the thermometer when it is taken out. If the stool is hard, that means that the newborn puppy is constipated, and if it is soft, it may indicate diarrhea.

Causes Of Newborn Puppy Constipation

1. Diet

If a newborn puppy has a diet that is low in fiber, it may develop constipation.

Other food-related causes of constipation include eating rawhide chews, bone meals, and over-processed dog food.

Puppies need to have a high-nutrient and high-fiber diet. Another link to constipation is dehydration.

If a puppy is not drinking adequate water and losing more than he or she absorbs, the body will absorb more water from the intestines, resulting in hard feces.

Newborn puppies are more likely to eat foreign objects, which can cause blockages and problems in the intestine.

They are also likely to eat hairballs or strings from toys which can cause problems in the passage of stool.

2. Injuries

A newborn puppy is not that aware of its surroundings.

While learning about the environment and getting used to the new world, they can easily get hurt or injured, even unintentionally.

It is important to keep the puppies in a confined or safe space to avoid any activity or objects that can cause them injuries.

The puppy adjusts and learns self-protection in the first few weeks, so it can keep itself from harm.

3. Health Problems

If your newborn puppy is exhibiting other symptoms along with constipation, such as lethargy or avoiding eating and drinking, it may be an indication of an underlying health condition.

Even if the puppy only has constipation, there may be other issues.

Constipation can signify cancer, intestinal ruptures, tumors, blockages, nerve damage, or prostate issues.

If your newborn puppy has recurring constipation or one that is not getting better, it is best to consult a vet who can diagnose if there is a deeper health issue.

4. Environment

Since newborn puppies are adjusting to a life outside their mother’s womb, the environment can easily trigger them.

Take note of any stressful factors in your environment, such as loud noises, kids who may not know how to handle a puppy, or a cold or hot climate.

You can determine whether these factors are bothering the newborn puppy when decreased.

newborn puppy constipated – causes & how to help

The puppy may also be facing psychological problems due to the factors mentioned above, the combination of which can lead to constipation.

5. Medications

If your puppy or their mother has recently been on medication, they may be causing constipation.

Common medications that can cause constipation include Pepto-Bismol for diarrhea and antihistamines for allergies.

If the puppy or its mother is currently taking any medications it is best to avoid their use until constipation reduces.

Always check the medications taken by the puppy to determine right away if it’s making your puppy constipated.

Take him to the vet to make sure everything is fine.

6. Surgery

If the puppy’s mother has recently undergone surgery, it is likely they are recovering and not feeding the puppy adequately.

This may be due to the disruption in their routine or due to the medications they are taking.

If a puppy is not breastfed by its mother, it will be dehydrated and will end up constipated.

7. Mechanical Constipation

Puppies get constipated due to their hairy bottom which gets matted or tangled easily.

If the tangles irritate the puppy, they can prevent him or her from having normal bowel movements.

This is because the hair can cause discomfort and pain to the puppy when they are trying to pass through stools.

How To Help Newborn Puppies Who Are Constipated

1. Keep Them Well Fed

Pet owners should keep newborn puppies hydrated through electrolytes or water. They should have a diet high in fiber.

If you want to soften the stool, you can give the puppy cow, goat milk, canned gravy, or honey as a laxative.

Olive oil and ginger can also be added to the puppy’s food to help improve bowel movement.

You should also ensure they don’t have access to eating things like hair, toys, and cat litter during the recovery period.

These can disrupt the healing process.

2. Check And Stimulate Their Abdomen

Similar to how mothers help train their puppies to defecate, you can encourage them to pass stools.

Start by rubbing the belly of the puppy and helping them exercise.

To safely do that, make sure your puppy is safely resting in your hands before picking him up.

You can use your thumb to rub its belly in a circular motion from the upper part to the lower part of the abdomen.

Also, make using the toilet a rewarding process for them by adding commands and rewards to it.

This process will help you train the puppy and help them learn that passing stools is a positive act.

You can also stimulate the puppy by using a warm wet cotton ball on its bottom, which should be rubbed on the area for 15-20 seconds with intervals of a few hours.

3. Keep Their Temperature In Check

If the puppy develops symptoms such as a fever, it may indicate that their constipation is due to them getting sick.

That’s why you should keep their temperature in check so that you can consult a vet as soon as it rises.

4. Give A Lukewarm Water Enema

An enema can be given to the newborn puppy once it is determined that they are in fact constipated.

This means that you should fill a syringe with water and insert the tip in the anus.

You should insert small amounts of water into the rectum for 30 seconds to a minute.

If the puppy’s condition does not change, you should repeat the process after 2 hours.

5. Visit the Vet

If the puppy does not feel better in a few hours or starts to show other symptoms of sickness, it is best to visit a vet.

The vet may decide to use pediatric simethicone drops or a Karo syrup for oral use to help relieve the puppy.

Only after you consulted a vet, that you can use these medications instead of self-administering.


Constipation in newborn puppies may seem scary, but once puppies grow and become more active, it should not be a common problem.

Take care of your little ones, and if constipation stays for more than a few days, consult a vet.