Speak to a vet within minutes

4.9 On the App Store 3600+ reviews

Stool Softener for Dogs: Can I give my dog a laxative?

dog constipation laxative

Our pets are family and we often think of them as a miniature version of ourselves. When it comes to over-the-counter medication such as laxatives (both oral and rectal), we may think it’s safe and harmless to give our dog a dose since we already have it in our medicine cabinet. Keep reading to learn why you should NEVER give your dog human laxatives for constipation without first consulting your vet.

While there are laxatives specifically labeled for dogs, you should NEVER give your dog human laxatives without first consulting your vet. Laxatives labeled for humans can cause severe symptoms when given to dogs, leading to serious or even fatal complications. ALWAYS consult a licensed veterinarian before giving any medications to your dog, including over-the-counter medications such as laxatives.

How do I know if my dog needs a laxative?

If your dog passes small, hard stools, or postures to have a bowel movement but doesn’t produce any stool, your dog may be constipated. Constipation can be uncomfortable and even painful for your dog so it’s understandable that you want to help.

Follow this link for some at-home remedies you can try to help safely alleviate your dog’s constipation.

When should I take my dog to a veterinarian?

Please note that if your dog has been constipated for two days or longer and/or straining or crying out when trying to produce stool, schedule an appointment with your vet right away.

Chronic constipation can quickly turn into an emergency situation that causes dehydration, decreased appetite, weight loss, vomiting, severe pain, infection, and more. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, she may need more aggressive care and hospitalization.

What do I do if I already gave my dog a human laxative?

Don’t panic but DO call a vet or the Pet Poison Helpline. Make sure you have the following information when you call:

  • Name of the medication
  • Strength of the medication (listed on the container)
  • Amount that you gave your dog
  • When did you give the medication to your dog
  • Any symptoms your dog is having

Bring the medication container with you to the veterinary hospital.

Read more:

Constipation in Dogs

Should you be worried if your dog’s stool changes color?

Straining to Eliminate: First Aid

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding laxatives, your dog's constipation or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

More articles about dog

Are you concerned about your pet?

Book a video consultation with an experienced veterinarian within minutes.

Get started
  • Low-cost video vet consultations, 24 hours a day Low-cost video vet consultations, 24 hours a day
  • Experienced, licensed vets Experienced, licensed vets
  • Over 700,000 satisfied pet owners Over 700,000 satisfied pet owners

Speak to a vet within minutes

4.9 On the App Store 3600+ reviews