Constipation in dogs and cats can be a problem. They shouldn't go for more than 48 hours without a bowel movement. The longer the stool is in the intestinal tract the harder, dryer and bigger it will be. If your dog starts vomiting and it smells like stool, becomes lethargic, and the stomach swells or becomes hard could be a sign of bowel obstruction, which is very serious. In this case you need to take your dog into a veterinary.
For relief of stress when your pets have this problem, apply a drop of lavender to their collar. Or add a little bit of oil diluted half and half with a carrier oil or vegetable oil to your pets ears, neck, or tummy. One holistic veterinarian uses it for constipation to ease discomfort until the problem is resolved.
To help resolve the problem of constipation add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of olive, sesame, fish, or avocado oil to your pets food twice a day.
Add fiber to your pets diet. This can be done by adding more vegetables to your pets diet. My dogs love green beans, asparagus, cucumbers and squash. As a matter of fact, I had to put a fence around my garden so they wouldn't chomp bites out of the growing veggies. Many dogs enjoy grated carrots, grated apples, canned pumpkin, and fresh figs. If you give your pet dried figs or prunes, make sure you soaked them overnight or give them the pureed baby food kind. I know one dog who enjoyed carrot sticks. When I'm outside working in my yard, my dogs love to play fetch with apples, cucumbers or a zucchini, then when they're tired of running around they lay down and eat it.
Another way to increase fiber is to give 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of canned pumpkin to small pets and one teaspoon to two tablespoons to medium or large pets at each meal.
Fiber can be added in the form of psyllium husks, oat bran or flaxseed. Give about 1/4 teaspoon per day for every 10 pounds your pet weighs. Mix it with unsalted chicken broth, juice or water, divide and add 1/2 to your pets food morning and night. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink.
A drop of Bach Rescue Remedy in the drinking water every day will also help relax the pet. Stress can cause constipation in some pets.
Take your pet out often to go to the bathroom. Sometimes if you have to hold it, the bowels become harder to pass. For cats make sure they have a clean litter box handy.
Exercise is great for preventing bowel problems. I see this in people all the time. They get sick, become inactive and they start having problems with constipation. Pets are the same, they need to be active.
Keep the hair cut short or better yet clipped at the anal area on long haired dogs. If stool gets caught on the hair there, it will prevent it from coming out.
Brush your cat and dog to prevent it from swallowing hair. Swallowed hair can also cause constipation.
To help pass hair balls faster and naturally. Mix raw oatmeal, honey, and olive oil into a paste. Feed your pet one to two tablespoons daily.
A herb that is a normal mild laxative is senna leaf or cascara sagrada. Add just a pinch to the food and increase if needed.
I hope this is helpful to you. Be well and good luck. :)