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Mineral oil makes bowel movements less straining, but can this substance also be used on dogs?
Here’s the deal:
Mineral oil is effective for canine constipation too, but overuse can result in nutritional absorption.
Also known as Paraffinum perliquidum, there is a right and a wrong way to provide mineral oil to your dog.
Keep reading to get more details regarding this mild laxative!
Mineral Oil Can Be Carefully Given To Dogs
This household product should only be used sparingly and infrequently.
As a by-product of petroleum distillation you do not want to depend on mineral oil every time your pet has trouble with bowel movements.
Why is prolonged use to be avoided?
Careful Causing a Deficiency
The trade off with mineral oil is your dog could lose fat-soluble vitamins which could result in deficiencies.
The thing is Paraffinum perliquidum is completely indigestible and it will even flush out valuable vitamins from the digestive system.
Misuse mineral oil and constipation could be the least of your dog’s problems!
Beware of Lipoid Pneumonia
Another important thing owners must be aware of is this:
Aspiration (or inhalation) of mineral oil can cause lipoid pneumonia. This entirely avoidable complication applies mostly to children, but animals are also vulnerable!
The key takeaway:
Never pour mineral oil into your dog’s mouth.
A possibility of mineral oil entering the respiratory system means direct oral use is most certainly a bad idea.
How To Provide Mineral Oil
A safe way to provide mineral oil is to simply mix it in with dog food.
Take the time to measure an amount based on body mass. A general rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon for each 10 pounds (5kg) of your dog’s weight.
Do that and the constipation should begin to subside within 6 to 8 hours.
Please Note: Mineral oil does not always help in which case giving more is not recommended. You should get your veterinarian’s help if that’s the situation.
Lack of Fiber And Dehydration
It is a fact that insufficient fiber can cause constipation.
Switching to a better dog food could result in noticeable improvement. But do it gradually because sudden changes to your dog’s diet may trigger a bout of diarrhea.
Dehydration is another common reason for constipation. Be sure to always have fresh water at the ready!
Is your pooch a poor drinker?
Try placing ice cubes or popsicles in their water bowl. Dogs generally like to drink cold water so that could do the trick.
Warning: Mineral oil can actually contribute to dehydration which is yet another concern.
For A Physical Obstruction?
A strong case can be made that mineral oil should not be your first option. Sometimes constipation is an indication of obstructed intestines.
Again, head to your vet as soon as possible if you suspect that your dog is suffering from this condition.
An x-ray may be needed to rule out an intestinal blockage.
Obviously mineral oil would be counterproductive, even harmful, in such an unfortunate scenario.
Cases of Severe Constipation
Is your dog straining while they try to defecate?
It could be severe constipation. Sometimes pets can’t poop at all. There could be some hard and solid stools backing them up and this causes owners to turn to mineral oil.
For recurring and/or serious bowel trouble it is really best to leave it to the professionals.
Tips For Constipated Canines
Feed your dog some rice or oatmeal. You can also put some olive oil in their regular food.
Olive oil is generally safe and it will usually soften up stool.
And exercise is excellent for constipation. Allow your dog to play outdoors as it can stimulate them to poop more regularly in addition to the other health benefits.
The Bottom Line
Unlike castor oil, you can cautiously use mineral oil on your constipated pet dog.