Today, a vast range of veterinary drugs are available in the market that is effective against a huge range of infectious diseases of canines, felines, and other animals as well. Anti-Biotics are prescription drugs that restrict the growth of bacteria and kill them.

In this piece of article, I decided to talk about the relation between the usage of antibacterial drugs and constipation.

Do Antibiotics Cause Constipation in Dogs?

The Question if antibiotics can lead to constipation in dogs, is more than reasonable – and I find this question is important to answer:

In Short – Yes! it’s possible.

Antibiotics may cause constipation in dogs. It’s one of the most commonly occurring side effects of using those veterinary medications.


How Do Antibiotics Cause Constipation in Dogs?

Antibiotics have the potential to induce constipation in dogs for several reasons:

  • Interference with gut bacteria: Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of the beneficial bacteria in the dog’s gut – leading to changes in the way how the food is broken down and digested. This can trigger constipation in dogs by slowing down the movement of food through the digestive tract.
  • Dehydration: Antibiotics can also cause dehydration, which can lead to constipation. When the dogs body is dehydrated – the stools become harder and drier – making them more difficult to pass.
  • Nausea: Some antibiotics can cause  nausea, which can make a dog less interested in eating and drinking. This can lead to constipation – as a lack of food and water can cause the stools to become harder and drier.
  • Direct impact on the muscles of the gut: Some antibiotics can directly affect the muscles of the dogs gut  –  slowing down their contractions! So constipation is a possible side effect of antibiotics in dogs!
  • Interaction with other medications: Some antibiotics can interact with other medications – your dog may be taking – such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs, which also can contribute to constipation.

It is important to let your VET know if you notice constipation in your dog while taking antibiotics, and also to give them  enough water and help them with a diet that will ease the digestion.

There is an associations between Antibiotic Therapy and Constipation in Dogs.

Antibiotics work by killing off harmful bacteria in the body, but they can also destroy the beneficial bacteria in the gut, leading to digestive issues like constipation.

Gut Bacteria

Intestinal Gut Bacteria

Read also: Is it safe for Humans to take Apoquel? – Side Effects and Alternative Drugs!

How Do Antibiotics Affect Your Dogs Gut?

When your furry friend is not feeling well; your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to help fight off any bacterial infections. While these medications are effective at eliminating harmful bacteria, they can also disrupt the delicate balance of good bacteria in your pet’s gut.

The Dog’s Gut Microbiome, which is made up of various bacteria and other microorganisms, plays a crucial role in maintaining your pet’s overall health. Antibiotics can wipe-out both; beneficial and harmful bacteria –  leading to an imbalance in the gut.

This imbalance can cause a variety of digestive issues such as Chronic Diarrhea, Vomiting or Constipation. It is important to work with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s gut microbiome is healthy and balanced, and to minimize the use of antibiotics whenever possible.


Most Common Side Effects Of Antibiotics On A Dog’s Digestive System

Antibacterial medicines may kill the good bacteria (commensals bacteria) of the digestive system that may fluctuate and imbalance healthy gut flora in the canines.

The most common side effects of antibiotics on a dog’s digestive system include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas and bloating
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Yeast infections
  • Overgrowth of harmful bacteria
  • Disruption of the gut microbiome balance
  • Interaction with other medications
It is important to note that these side effects can vary depending on the type of antibiotic and the individual dog, and not all dogs will experience the same side effects.
I always suggested to give an antibiotic dose to a pet on a full stomach. It helps to decrease the risk of upset stomachs in dogs. A dog’s body must be hydrated while taking antibiotic medication.

Probiotics For Dogs & Antibiotic Medication

Probiotics may be beneficial for dogs on antibiotic medication, as antibiotics can disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut and improve overall digestive health.

Probiotics Concept

However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before giving your dog probiotics while on antibiotics, as some probiotics can interact with certain antibiotics.

Your veterinarian can advise you on the best probiotic and timing to use it in relation to the antibiotic medication.

Anyway giving probiotics during antibiotic treatment can help to minimize the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and other digestive side effects like Constipation.

Some veterinarians recommend starting probiotics a few days before the antibiotic treatment to help establish a healthy population of gut bacteria, and to continue giving the probiotic for a few weeks after the antibiotic treatment is completed to help repopulate the gut microbiome.

It’s important to give your dog the right probiotic supplement which is formulated for dogs, and to follow the instructions on the label carefully. Giving your dog probiotics with antibiotics can be helpful, but it’s important to do so under the guidance of a veterinarian to ensure that it is safe and effective.

What are the Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs?

Is Your Dog Straining to Poop? Signs and Symptoms of Constipation in Dogs A dog’s digestive system is designed to work quickly, but sometimes things can slow down and cause constipation.

If your furry friend isn’t going to the bathroom at least once a day, they may be experiencing constipation. But not all dogs will show obvious signs, and it’s important to be aware of the subtle signs that can clue you into their digestion problems.

Here are some common symptoms of constipation in dogs to keep an eye out for:

  • Circling and straining before defecating
  • Attempting to defecate with no success
  • Crying or vocalizing during bowel movements
  • Passing mucus without any feces
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to contact your veterinarian as they may need medical attention to relieve the constipation.

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms may also be caused by other conditions, and a proper diagnosis should be done to ensure proper treatment.”

Boost Your Dog’s Digestion with These Superfoods

Healthy Dog Diet

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that help to  promote the “Growth and Activity of Beneficial Bacteria”  in the dog´s gut. Here are some examples of healthy-prebiotics that can be beneficial for a dog’s digestive system:

  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): These are a type of carbohydrate found in fruits and vegetables such as chicory root and leeks. They help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Important: Do NOT feed your Dog Onions and Garlic!
  • Inulin: This is a type of carbohydrate found in plants such as chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion-greens. It is a prebiotic that is also a source of soluble fiber and can help improve bowel regularity and bowel health.
  • Beta-glucans: These are a type of carbohydrate found in oats, barley, and also mushrooms. Beta-glucans can help support the dogs immune system and promote a healthy gut microbiome.

Prebiotics are not really digested by dogs, but they are fermented by the good bacteria in your dogs gut, but it is essential to start with small amounts and gradually increase to the recommended dosage.

Theses Foods Can Boost Your Dogs Digestive System:

  • Pumpkin: Not only most dogs love the taste of pumpkin, but it’s also a great source of fiber and liquid – which can help keep things moving-along smoothly in the digestive tract.
  • Prebiotics: Foods like Quinoa, Chickpeas, Pumpkin, and Sea Kelp will provide natural sources  of prebiotic fiber –  essential for promoting a healthy gut microbiome and proper nutrient absorption.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Foods like flaxseed and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support healthy digestion, a shiny coat, and healthy skin.
  • Fiber supplements: Metamucil or wheat bran can be safe options for increasing fiber intake, but it’s important to speak with your VET first – Make sure you’re not overdoing it. A better solution would be to switch to a high-quality diet that’s specifically formulated to support a dogs gut health.

Keep in mind that, before making any changes to your dog’s diet, it will help to consult with a VET – making sure admistered supplements are safe and appropriate for your dog’s individual needs and health status. With the right diet, your dog will be able to achieve optimal health and digestion.

How To Relief Constipation In Dogs?

When constipated, a dog’s stool becomes so hard that the dog has difficulty defecating. The good thing is that you don’t need to get panic because here in this piece of the article, I showed up some natural remedies and (safe) laxative drugs that instantly relieve constipation in dogs.


An adequate amount of goat or cow milk can surely relieve constipation in dogs. Milk is a natural dietary laxative for canines. It helps to overcome dehydration, as well as its laxative properties, helps to treat constipation when given in an adequate (small) amount.

shitzu puppy drinking milk

2. Pet-Enema

Enema’s that contains dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate and glycerin is very helpful in relieving constipation in dogs (on an urgent basis). It helps in softening the stool and makes stool easy to defecate from the body.

A Pet Enema is given through the rectal tube. First, you can lubricate the enema bottle with petroleum jelly and then insert it (one inch) through the anus of the dog (towers rectal tube). You can repeat the same procedure after 12 to 24 hours if needed.

3. Extra-Label Drug: Bisacodyl 5MG (Dulcolex)

Bisacodyl is a famous and most effective human laxative drug. Due to its high efficacy in relieving constipation, many veterinarians suggest it as an off-label (not yet approved by the FDA to use in pets) to ease dog’s chronic constipation.

Although, it’s a safe medicine and can be used in dogs. Avoid the use of (extra-label laxative drug) bisacodyl in small puppies.

The suggested dose of bisacodyl for a dog should below or equal to 0.5mg/lb. That’s mean a 10-pound dog may take 5mg bisacodyl tablet once a day.

Overdose of bisacodyl in dogs may result in high toxicity and fatal for their lives. Always consult a veterinarian before giving any kind of prescription drugs to your loved ones (pets).

4. Extra-Label Drug: Sodium Picosulphate Drops

Another off-label drug called “Sodium Picosulphate“, a human laxative drug can also help to relieve constipation in dogs when taken as a small amount dose.

Sodium picosulphate stimulates the mucosa in the large intestines that helps to increase intestinal motility. Add a few drops of sodium picosulphate drops (3-5 droplets) in milk or water and give it to your dog and see the magical results.

Always follow precautionary measurements when giving off-label human drugs to small animals. Because overdose (high doses) can be fatal and life-threatening for them. Overdosage may cause toxicity in the dog’s system.

But when used in an adequate amount these extra-label (bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate) provide outstanding results.


There is a link between antibiotic use and constipation in dogs – due to a number of reasons – such as interference with gut bacteria, dehydration, nausea, direct impact on the muscles of the gut, and interactions with other medications.

Let your veterinarian know if you  notice constipation in your dog while taking any antibiotics, and  follow your Vet`s instructions on the duration and dosage of the medication. Work together with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s gut-microbiome is healthy and balanced – Minimize the use of antibiotics whenever it’s possible.

Also, giving an antibiotic dose to a pet on a full stomach and keeping them hydrated can help decrease the risk of digestive side effects. Probiotics can also be helpful for restoring the balance of gut bacteria after antibiotic treatment. As always, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet or medication regimen.

Read Also: Do Dogs need Antibiotics after Spaying?

Doctor Xeeshan

Doctor Xeeshan

I am Doctor Xeeshan, located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In this blog, I am providing authentic information about dog breeds, diseases, medications, etc.


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