Dogs deal with many digestive issues in life and hemorrhoids are one of many, even though they aren’t one of the most common. Hemorrhoids in dogs only happen in rare cases and may vary due to each dogs’ diet, former health history, and may even be breed-specific. I experienced this three years ago when our American bulldog developed an extreme case of hemorrhoids.
There are many healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids you probably already have in your home. These foods can help prevent constipation that leads to straining in dogs with hemorrhoids.
How Hemorrhoids Occur:
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins and blood vessels in the lower part of the rectum and anus. The walls of the blood vessels stretch out and bulge out when constipation occurs and we try to poop. Straining due to constipation makes things worse and can exacerbate a case of hemorrhoids too. The same occurs when dogs develop a rare case of hemorrhoids.
My Dog’s Story with Hemorrhoids:
If your dog develops hemorrhoids, there are many natural foods that are helpful for digestive issues that occur in different breeds of dogs. A diet that includes fresh homemade food is a great place to start.
My family and I have always fed our dog high-quality dry dog foods and gone to great lengths to ensure she has optimal care when it comes to nutrition. So you can imagine how surprised we were when our dog developed a bad case of hemorrhoids. She bled when she went to the bathroom, had a very hard time with elimination, and constantly strained during her outside time. Her hemorrhoids were so bad they eventually became externally visible all the time, so we arranged a vet visit to see what treatment options were. Our vet was quick to confirm the diagnosis of hemorrhoids and said that they occur in only 2-3% of the dogs she sees. She also said that hemorrhoids were more common in bulldog breeds than other breeds she sees.
Unfortunately, our vet didn’t offer much hope when it came to treatment. In fact, she told us there was nothing we could do except continue to wipe our dog when she came in from outside, give her enough water (which we already did), and try to feed her as healthy as possible. However, as a nutritionist who specializes in healthy diets and has studied pet nutrition for my own personal interests, I decided to try a dietary approach to help our dog with hemorrhoids.
At the time, our dog regularly ate a high-quality grain-free dry food that contained real food, such as chicken and brown rice, but that apparently wasn’t enough. I decided to cook our dog homemade, freshly prepared foods for a couple of months to see if it would help. Real, freshly prepared foods such as vegetables, certain fruits, and lean meats can provide nourishment to dogs with digestive issues, especially dogs with hemorrhoids. A real food diet is also high in water and natural fiber that can moisten stools and pass more quickly through the digestive tract.
How Eating Real Foods Can Help Dogs With Hemorrhoids:
Many vegetables are very healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids, including common vegetables such as carrots, peas, broccoli, and potatoes. These foods can help your dogs digestive system and provide well-rounded nutrition too.
Since dogs have shorter digestive systems than humans do, they sometimes require special diets for digestive issues like hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, or poor nutrient absorption. Also, keep in mind that dogs’ digestive tracts are horizontal where ours is vertical. Feeding your dog foods that are simple to digest can help food move along the digestive tract more easily due to these gravity differences.
A diet rich in moist, fiber-rich foods, healthy fats, and lean protein is optimal for dogs with digestive issues, especially hemorrhoids that develop from constipation and straining. High-fat foods and foods that take a long time to digest, such as refined grains, low-fiber foods, processed foods, and high-fat sauces, spreads, and meats are not optimal for dogs with hemorrhoids.
Healing Foods That Help Dogs with Hemorrhoids:
Vitamin-rich vegetables are great for dogs with hemorrhoids and are easy to digest since they’re high in fiber, low in fat, and contain water to help stools pass more easily. If your dog has hemorrhoids, consider giving them options such as sweet potatoes which all dogs love!
I began feeding our dog with hemorrhoids healing foods that were simple to digest and nourishing to her gut. I’m happy to say within two months, our dogs’ hemorrhoids were completely gone. While it did require a small amount of work on my part in terms of food preparation, it was well-worth it to see our dog feeling better. Below are eight healing foods I fed our dog with hemorrhoids every day. These healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids improved her energy levels, satisfied her hunger, eliminated her hemorrhoids, and even improved her coat health!
Here are 8 healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids that you can try with your dog too.
Pure plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) is very nourishing to a dogs’ gut health and is commonly used to treat constipation and diarrhea due to its soluble fiber content. It’s also great for dogs with allergies as a bonus. Pumpkin is high in water and is very lubricating to the digestive tract in both humans and dogs so it helps keep stools forming and passing along. Pumpkin is also high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps form vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A supports the skin, coat, and immune system in dogs. It’s also a good source of plant-based iron to help your dog feel their best.
How to Use: Simply mash pure canned pumpkin with some of the other foods below, just like you would mashed potatoes. Avoid adding any seasonings or high-fat foods like butter. You’ll be surprised how quickly your dog gobbles it up!
Carrots are a nutrient-dense vegetable great for all dogs, especially dogs with hemorrhoids. Carrots are water-rich, high in fiber, and easy to digest. This combination makes them a perfect food to feed your dog with hemorrhoids. Carrots are another great source of beta-carotene which helps form vitamin A in the body for a healthy immune system and a healthy coat. They’re also budget-friendly as another plus.
How to Use: You can choose to cook frozen, fresh, or canned carrots but if you choose canned options, avoid those with added salt, sugar, or preservatives. Fresh carrots are best. Cut or dice the carrots into fine pieces before cooking and add them to your dogs’ bowl with some of the other healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids in this list.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in water, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin A. They are also very easy to digest and are usually one of dogs’ favorite foods! Sweet potatoes are affordable and also easy to prepare.
How to Use: Bake some sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge to keep all week. When you’re ready to serve your dog with hemorrhoids, simply reheat ½ one sweet potato, remove the peel, and mash into a small bowl for your dog. You can pair sweet potatoes with the other foods below or give them to your dog alone as a simple breakfast option.
- Green Beans
Green beans are easy to digest, rich in fiber, and a great source of plant-based protein for dogs. Green beans are also satisfying for dogs and can help increase fecal transit without being harsh like other beans. It’s best to choose canned or frozen green beans without any salt or sugar added (both can be drying to the digestive system).
How to Use: Steam frozen green beans and cut them up before serving to your dog. You can also reheat canned green beans; just be sure to only buy canned green beans that include water and green beans in the ingredient list.
- Green Peas
Much like green beans, green peas are very helpful for dogs with hemorrhoids, with general constipation, and for dogs with diarrhea. Green peas are high in vitamin C, contain plant-based protein, and move quickly through the digestive tract. Green peas are also satisfying for dogs and commonly found in many dog food varieties for these reasons.
How to Use: Buy frozen green peas which are highly affordable and reheat before serving to your dog. Be sure to pair them with some of the more water-rich vegetables in this list, such as sweet potatoes or pumpkin for best results. This combination makes a great lunch or small dinner for your dog and is quick to prepare if you’re on a busy schedule.
It’s best to avoid lots of high-fat meats or protein sources if your dog has hemorrhoids, so lean fish varieties that contain healthy fats, such as salmon, are a great alternative. Salmon is rich in lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and contains antioxidants that can support a dog’s overall health. Salmon is great for dogs with hemorrhoids because it’s easy to digest and is lubricating to the digestive tract due to its omega-3 fatty acids.
How to Use: You can buy fresh, frozen, or canned salmon to feed your dog with hemorrhoids. However, if you buy canned salmon, avoid varieties with salt and sugar or preservatives (the only ingredient should be salmon). Serve your dog no more than 3 ounces at a time and be sure to pair with some of the vegetables in this list for best results. Do your best to only serve salmon once per day as more isn’t always better (and can get expensive).
- Ripe bananas
Dogs love bananas, but you’ll want to ensure you give your dog with hemorrhoids ripe bananas that are heavily speckled, not unripe bananas with a green or bright yellow color. Ripe bananas help stools pass more easily since their starches have been converted to enzymes and natural sugars whereas unripe bananas can be constipating and are very drying to the digestive tract since they’re higher in starch. Ripe bananas are also a great source of vitamin C, fiber, digestive enzymes, and B vitamins that make them great for your dog. They’re also affordable, sweet and delicious, and easily accessible!
How to Use: Mash ripe bananas into some sweet potatoes for your dog with hemorrhoids. Anywhere from ½ to one ripe banana is a perfect amount to start with. This combination not only tastes great but is quick to prepare and very satisfying to dogs!
- Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a water-rich winter squash that’s another fantastic source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin A. It’s packed with antioxidants that support your dogs’ immune system as well to help them feel their best. This water and fiber-rich vegetable is great for keeping things moving along to make stools easier to pass. Dogs also love winter squash such as butternut squash just like they do sweet potatoes and pumpkin!
How to Use: Serve butternut squash occasionally in place of sweet potatoes to give your dog with hemorrhoids some variety. You can prepare fresh butternut squash or choose to reheat frozen butternut squash.
Final Tips and Things to Remember:
If your dog has hemorrhoids, be sure to avoid high-fat protein foods such as red meat and include lean, healthy sources of protein that your dog will enjoy, such as lean fish varieties like salmon. Pair lean protein foods with lots of veggies to nourish your dog with hemorrhoids too.
There are a few other things to remember when feeding your dog these healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids. First, avoid adding salt, sugar, seasonings, condiments, and high-fat cooking ingredients to your dogs’ food. Although humans tend to prefer these options before we eat, dogs actually enjoy simple foods without much fuss. Seasonings, salt, sugar, and processed condiments are also not healthy for any dog, especially for dogs with hemorrhoids. You’ll also want to avoid these toxic foods for dogs at all costs.
Second, if you want to add one teaspoon of healthy fats to your dogs’ meals each day to help with nutrient absorption, this is an option you can choose if you desire to. Healthy fats that are easy to digest can also help them get enough calories when they’re eating lower calorie foods or aren’t very hungry. Extra virgin olive oil is the best option since can lubricate the gut and may boost nutrient absorption, but it’s important to only include a teaspoon per meal to avoid too much fat during mealtime. If your dog tolerates natural peanut butter, this is another healthy source of fats if you purchase one that only contains peanuts (without salt or sugar).
Be sure to avoid hard-to-digest sources of fats such as tree nuts, seeds, and processed snacks along with foods high in saturated fats including butter, pork, and red meat.
Many fruits and vegetables are great foods for dogs with hemorrhoids, including apples, potatoes, and carrots. Consider adding fiber-rich sources of whole grains such as barley, whole grain brown rice, and oats for dogs with hemorroids too.
Other foods you can give to your dog with hemorrhoids are fruits and vegetables that are easy to digest and contain fiber. Applesauce, cooked apples, cooked blueberries, chickpeas, lentils, regular potatoes, zucchini, steamed spinach, and broccoli are great examples. If your dog tolerates brown rice, barley, and oatmeal, these whole grains are also rich in fiber and easy to digest for most dogs, including those with hemorrhoids.
Hopefully, these healing foods for dogs with hemorrhoids will help if you’ve tried other options without success. This special diet may only be required for a short term, while other dogs may need to be on a special diet long-term. Your dog may need to be fed anywhere from three to four times per day, so know your pet and feed them accordingly. Avoid large portions and keep serving sizes small at first, then increase if needed to be sure they get enough calories.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.