Is lack of exercise making my dog constipated?

Is lack of exercise making my dog constipated?

(Q) One of my mother's Border Terriers is getting old and is becoming reluctant to go on walks, preferring to take her exercise in the garden (admittedly a large roaming area). My mother feels Millie may have become constipated from getting less exercise than usual and she wondered whether there is a natural remedy she could use as a laxative?

(A) Vet Roberta Baxter says: It is true that a reduction in exercise can contribute to constipation, and sedentary dogs often move their bowels less frequently and may start to show an increased effort in passing faeces. 

Senior foods contain a higher proportion of dietary fibre to assist defecation, and adding water to the food may also be helpful. 

Fibre supplements such as Peridale can also be used to aid bowel movements.

Feeding a laxative is not normally necessary, but those cases that show clinical signs of constipation, such as obvious straining and the passage of small, dry stools, can benefi t from laxatives. In such cases, seek veterinary advice as to the most appropriate product for the dog.