Breeding, Puppy and Kitten Care, Vet Minute

How to Give a Puppy Enema

Marty Greer, DVM

March 16, 2021

Dr. Greer

How to help a constipated puppy. Dr. Marty Greer, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services, shows how to give a newborn puppy enema and relieve puppy constipation. If you have any questions or need help with a newborn puppy that won’t poop, call a Pet Care Pro at 800.786.4751.

How to Give An Enema to a Puppy

How to Stimulate a Puppy to Poop

We have many people ask us about puppy enemas. Dr. Greer, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services talks about how to give a puppy an enema. But first, it’s important to make sure that the puppy is constipated before doing this.

Believe it or not, puppies rarely need enemas to relieve constipation. The most common concern we have with young puppies is diarrhea. But there are times puppies do get constipated and an enema is needed.

What Can I Use for a Puppy Enema

If you’ve determined an enema is necessary, before starting, gather your supplies for the enema. You will need a soft feeding tube, one that you will not use to feed puppies with again as it will be impossible to fully disinfect. You also need warm water in a bowl, a bar of Ivory soap soaked in the warm water, and a large syringe to fill with the soapy warm water. Place the bar of Ivory soap in hot water for 30 minutes, allowing it to soften. Using this now warm water, fill the syringe with the soapy water. Plan to use approximately 10 cc per 2 pounds of puppy body weight. Lubricate the rounded 1 inch or so of the tube with the ivory soap. Gently slip the rounded end of the feeding tube into the puppy’s rectum, with the syringe attached. Advance the tube 1 to 2 inches into the rectum. Once positioned, flush the puppy’s large intestine/colon, with the warm soapy water. Remove the tube and syringe and allow the stool to pass. If only clear or nearly clear fluid is returned, repeat this process until the puppy is able to produce stool or the stool sticks to the tube and is removed as the tube is removed. Flush 3 to 4 times, then let the puppy rest and relax, to see if your efforts are rewarded.

If the puppy is under 3 weeks of age, you may need to stimulate him or her to encourage defecation. If the puppy is returned to the mother, you may not be able to fully assess if your efforts were successful. The enema can be repeated as indicated, based on the puppy’s symptoms and improvement. Please seek veterinary intervention if the puppy is not showing signs of improvement.

Written by: Marty Greer, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.