Home Shih Tzu Dog Problems Shih Tzu Constipation Relief and Prevention Tips

Shih Tzu Constipation Relief and Prevention Tips

by Scott Lipe
Shih Tzu Constipation

Is your Shih Tzu experiencing constipation? It’s important to address this common issue promptly to ensure their well-being. In this article, we will explore natural remedies for constipation in dogs, signs of constipation in Shih Tzus, dietary changes for constipated Shih Tzus, and effective ways to prevent constipation in these small breed dogs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding normal bowel movements for Shih Tzus is crucial in identifying constipation.
  • Soft, dough-like stools are normal, while hard or crumbly stools may indicate constipation.
  • Dietary changes, such as increasing water intake and adding fiber-rich foods, can help prevent constipation.
  • Regular exercise and a balanced diet play a crucial role in maintaining gastrointestinal health in Shih Tzus.
  • Consulting a veterinarian is important for specific advice and treatment options for your Shih Tzu’s constipation issues.

Causes of Shih Tzu Constipation

Constipation in Shih Tzus can be caused by various factors that affect their digestive system and gastrointestinal health. Understanding these causes is essential in preventing and addressing constipation issues in your beloved Shih Tzu.


One of the common causes of constipation in Shih Tzus is dehydration. Water plays a crucial role in maintaining regular bowel movements, and approximately 75% of a bowel movement is water. When your Shih Tzu doesn’t consume enough water, it can lead to dry and hard stools, making it difficult for them to pass stools comfortably.

Ingestion of Grass

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Another potential cause of constipation in Shih Tzus is the ingestion of grass. While some dogs may chew on grass as a natural behavior, excessive grass consumption can lead to blockages in the digestive system, causing constipation. It’s essential to monitor your Shih Tzu’s outdoor activities and discourage excessive grass eating.

Side Effects of Medication

The use of certain medications, such as antihistamines, can have side effects that affect the digestive system and cause constipation in Shih Tzus. If your Shih Tzu is on medication and experiencing constipation, consult your veterinarian for alternative options or adjustments in dosage to alleviate the issue.

Unhealthy Habits

Unhealthy habits, like holding back bowel movements to avoid going indoors, can contribute to constipation in Shih Tzus. These habits disrupt the natural bowel movement routine and can lead to a sluggish digestive system. Encouraging regular outdoor breaks and creating a designated indoor bathroom area can help prevent constipation caused by these habits.

Dry Food Diets

The type of diet can also play a role in Shih Tzu constipation, particularly for senior dogs. Dry food diets, which lack adequate moisture content, can contribute to dry and hard stools, increasing the likelihood of constipation. Adding wet food or incorporating water-rich foods into their diet can help alleviate constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

By being aware of these potential causes, you can take proactive steps to prevent constipation in your Shih Tzu and maintain their gastrointestinal health. However, if constipation persists or becomes severe, it is essential to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Prevention and Home Remedies for Shih Tzu Constipation

shih tzu constipation prevention

Preventing constipation in Shih Tzus involves simple steps that can be taken at home. Ensuring that your Shih Tzu drinks enough water is crucial. Offering water-rich foods like blueberries and raspberries can also help increase their water intake. Supervising your Shih Tzu to prevent ingestion of grass and lowering the dose of antihistamines if your dog is constipated and taking them are also important. Creating a designated indoor bathroom area can help prevent constipation caused by holding back bowel movements. Increasing exercise and adding more fiber to your Shih Tzu’s diet can also be effective in relieving and preventing constipation.

Here are some common remedies and prevention strategies that can help with Shih Tzu constipation:

  • Increasing water intake: Ensure your Shih Tzu has access to fresh water at all times. Consider using a bowl that encourages drinking, such as a wide and shallow dish or a pet fountain.
  • Water-rich foods: Offer your Shih Tzu fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, and watermelon. These can help hydrate your dog and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Supervise grass ingestion: Keep a close eye on your Shih Tzu when they are outside to prevent them from eating grass. Ingesting grass can lead to digestive issues and constipation.
  • Adjust antihistamine dosage: If your Shih Tzu is on antihistamines and experiencing constipation, consult your veterinarian about adjusting the dosage or exploring alternative medications. Lowering the dose can help alleviate constipation.
  • Create an indoor bathroom area: Designate a specific spot indoors where your Shih Tzu can relieve itself. This can help prevent constipation caused by holding back bowel movements.
  • Increase exercise: Regular exercise stimulates the digestive system and promotes healthy bowel movements. Ensure your Shih Tzu gets daily exercise through walks, playtime, and interactive toys.
  • Introduce fiber-rich foods: Add fiber to your Shih Tzu’s diet with foods like pumpkin puree, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Fiber helps add bulk to the stool and promotes regular bowel movements.

By following these preventive measures and incorporating these home remedies, you can effectively manage and prevent constipation in your Shih Tzu.

Treatment for Shih Tzu Constipation

If the prevention and home remedies mentioned earlier do not relieve the constipation, it may be necessary to seek veterinary treatment. Increasing water intake and fiber, as well as incorporating wet food into the diet, can help alleviate constipation. Offering a small amount of milk can also be effective in relieving constipation, but it should be done in moderation. If these steps do not resolve the issue, a veterinarian may prescribe a mild laxative. However, it is crucial to consult a vet before administering any medication. In some severe cases, a visit to the veterinarian or animal hospital may be necessary if there is an obstruction preventing bowel movements.

When your Shih Tzu is experiencing constipation symptoms and the home remedies are not providing relief, it’s important to consider professional treatment options. Consulting a veterinarian will help ensure the appropriate course of action.

In cases where your Shih Tzu’s constipation is not responding to dietary changes and increased water intake, veterinarian intervention may be required to alleviate the discomfort and address any potential underlying issues. A veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of the constipation and recommend suitable treatment options.

In some instances, if there is an obstruction preventing bowel movements or if the constipation persists despite initial treatment, a veterinarian may need to perform further diagnostic tests or administer more intensive treatment. These treatments may include enemas or manual disimpaction to alleviate the blockage and promote regular bowel movements.

Remember, it is essential to consult a veterinarian before attempting any at-home treatments or giving your Shih Tzu over-the-counter laxatives or remedies. A professional diagnosis and guidance will ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved Shih Tzu.


Effective management of shih tzu constipation requires a combination of prevention and treatment strategies. By understanding what is considered normal for a shih tzu’s bowel movements and being able to recognize the signs of constipation, you can take the necessary steps to keep your pet’s digestive system healthy.

Dietary changes play a crucial role in preventing constipation in shih tzus. Increasing your pet’s water intake and incorporating fiber-rich foods into their diet can help regulate bowel movements. Regular exercise is also important in maintaining gastrointestinal health and preventing constipation.

However, if prevention measures are not sufficient, it is essential to seek veterinary care for proper treatment. A veterinarian can provide guidance on specific shih tzu constipation treatments and may prescribe mild laxatives if necessary. Remember to always consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication to your pet.

By following these prevention and treatment methods and providing the necessary care, you can ensure your shih tzu’s bowel movements are regular and healthy, preventing constipation and promoting overall well-being.


Q: What are the signs of constipation in Shih Tzus?

A: Signs of constipation in Shih Tzus include infrequent or absent bowel movements, straining while trying to defecate, small and dry stools, and discomfort or pain during defecation.

Q: How can I prevent constipation in my Shih Tzu?

A: To prevent constipation in Shih Tzus, ensure they have access to clean water at all times, increase their fiber intake through fruits and vegetables, provide regular exercise, and avoid holding back bowel movements.

Q: What dietary changes can help relieve constipation in Shih Tzus?

A: Adding more fiber to your Shih Tzu’s diet can help relieve constipation. This can be done by incorporating fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, and green beans into their meals. Additionally, offering wet food instead of dry kibble can help soften their stools.

Q: Can I give my constipated Shih Tzu milk to help relieve the constipation?

A: Yes, offering a small amount of milk can help relieve constipation in Shih Tzus. However, it should be done in moderation, as excessive dairy can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

Q: When should I seek veterinary treatment for my Shih Tzu’s constipation?

A: If home remedies and dietary changes do not alleviate your Shih Tzu’s constipation, or if they show signs of severe discomfort or abdominal pain, it is recommended to seek veterinary treatment. A veterinarian can provide further evaluation, diagnosis, and prescribe appropriate treatment if necessary.

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