Can I Give My Dog Castor Oil?

Can I Give My Dog Castor Oil?Giving your dog some Castor Oil in an attempt to relieve their constipation may seem like a good idea, but is it effective and safe? Castor oil as a treatment for digestive troubles is one of those old wives tales that still lingers even today.

People swallow it in a desperate attempt to rid themselves of being constipated. What is good for people is usually different than what’s good for dogs. This is especially true for unfounded and non-scientific approaches to medicine such as Castor.

This oil, at best, is a quick fix. It doesn’t do much to help in the long run. Your dog’s constipation will likely pass soon enough so you shouldn’t give them this. Read more to get the full scoop. We’ll also suggest some safer and more effective alternatives for you dog’s sake.

Can I Give My Dog Castor Oil? Answer: Not Recommended

This approach is possibly reckless. A typical bout of canine constipation is nothing to overly worry about.

A misconception has some people believing in the effectiveness of using Castor Oil for dogs. They give it to their dog and notice that the condition improves over time. But a dogs’ digestive system is much faster than that of a human. Constipation can be a several day affair for us, while it’s usually not as severe or a long-lasting problem for dogs.

Canine constipation usually resolves itself without intervention on your part.

Causes of Constipation in Dogs

Knowing what backs up your dog’s digestive system is helpful. You may be able to avoid this situation in the future. You also won’t be tempted to give them medicines and things like Castor Oil as a last ditch effort to help them.

Dogs follow an “eat first ask questions later” approach to what goes into their systems. If it fits in the mouth it’s fair game. They’re even known to tear bigger things into bite size pieces in an attempt to see if it’s edible. Since you can’t keep an eye on what they’re eating 24/7, they are bound to swallow something they shouldn’t.

A furry dog breed may consume enough hair to clog up their system and slow things to a halt until they can release it. Castor oil isn’t going to help this situation much.

Sometimes it’s the medication that you’re giving your dog that can cause constipation. That’s why it’s always best to consult with your vet before giving them any such medicine. If this is the case, try discontinuing what you’re giving them if possible.

Regardless of the ultimate reason, if you notice that your dog is having regular bouts of constipation, be sure to reach out to a veterinarian for proper treatment.

Signs of Constipation

Simply straining while they poop is not the only sign. Quite the contrary, it could even mean they have diarrhea on the way.

Your dog may run a fever and show no other indications of actually being constipated. But some other signs to look for are lethargic behavior as well as a tight abdominal region. They may even have trouble breathing as their feces backs up in their system.

Getting your dog thoroughly diagnosed with constipation, or whatever else it may be, is the first step in fixing the situation.

Conclusion on Castor & Constipated K9s

Castor Oil is a no-go. Take steps to keep your dog’s systems running at optimal levels. Try adding things to their dog food that will keep their stool soft, such as mashed pumpkin. Also, special dog food brands contain added fiber.

Keeping your dog and your home hairball free may reduce instances of constipation. Brush your dog regularly, not just when it’s obvious that they need it. Sweep up hair if you have hardwood floors, or vacuum the carpets in regular intervals. Mind the corners and cracks too because dogs will find their way into these places which are often full of dust and hair.

No matter which method you use, the goal is to keep things as natural as possible. Forget Castor oil and use prevention before everything else. Taking a reactionary approach to your dog’s health is never a good idea. If you can remove the underlying cause your dog’s constipation that’s great! If not, then a vet appointment is in order.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet June 7, 2014

My cross breed pet is about 12 years of age. I got him when he was about 4-5 years of age and have had him since. He was a stray which I picked up nearly dead, lying at the side of the road. Apparently he was hit by a car and his pelvis was broken and when it healed it narrowed the area for him to do his poop. Over the years he has been given enemas, stool softeners etc., but now these things do not seem to work very well any more.

Every two months I have to take him to the vet and he is given a “fleet’ enema which helps him for about two months and then his problem returns. Is it possible I can give him Castor Oil? I know it is not recommended to give dogs on a regular basis but considering his problem I think this will work or the other thing may be to put him to sleep which I do not want to do as he is such a gentle soul. Any advice would be appreciated.

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James June 7, 2014

Hi Janet,
If I were you, I would try lots of things in moderation and Castor Oil isn’t out of the question here. Considering you are thinking of putting him to sleep it is worth a shot. I hope your dog is doing okay today.

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Anna November 13, 2012

Plus your dog will spit it out or refuse it altogether.

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