In some ways, a dog’s digestive system is much like a human’s. Dogs can develop problems with constipation and diarrhea, leaving owners worrying over their furry friends. Helping your dog get relief from these digestive system woes is essential for protecting his health and keeping him comfortable.
If your dog has irregular bowel movements, it is important to take action and find the cause. Dogs can suffer from diarrhea and constipation. When constipation strikes, fiber supplements like Metamucil can help. But, are these supplements safe? When should you give your dog Metamucil?
What Is Metamucil?
Metamucil is the brand name of a psyllium fiber supplement. This supplement increases bulk in the stools and helps to push the fecal matter through the bowels.
Psyllium is what is referred to as a soluble fiber. The body does not absorb psyllium, and it passes through the dog’s bowels without being broken down.
Psyllium absorbs water as it goes through the digestive tract of a dog. It adds moisture to a dog’s poop so it can evacuate without as much strain or discomfort.
Choose the Original Metamucil
Should you decide to give your dog Metamucil, you must choose the original formula. Please do not use any flavored formulas or extra strength varieties because they can contain additives that are dangerous for your dog.
Some varieties contain ingredients like chocolate or xylitol. Both of these ingredients are highly toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. Make sure you are purchasing the original plain version of Metamucil.
Metamucil has not been approved by the FDA for use in dogs, but many veterinarians prescribe dogs this fiber supplement when there are issues with their bowel movements. Metamucil can be used for relieving constipation and diarrhea.
Although vets routinely prescribe Metamucil for their dog patients, you do not need a vet’s prescription to give your dog this fiber supplement. You can purchase it over-the-counter. Before administering Metamucil to your dog, it is wise to seek veterinary advice for the proper dosage.
How Does Metamucil Benefit Dogs?
Metamucil is a natural fiber supplement that helps dogs in many ways. You should know the benefits of giving your dog Metamucil before you start the first dose.
Constipation is difficult for humans and dogs. Because dogs cannot speak, they cannot tell us when their tummies are in pain. Metamucil helps to bulk up your dog’s poop, allowing a constipated dog to be relieved.
In addition to increasing the size of the dog’s poop, the Psyllium fiber in Metamucil also helps to add water to the stool, ensuring it is easier to for your dog to poop.
Psyllium has been proven in humans to be more effective than bran supplements. Vets trust this fiber supplement to help their patients go to the bathroom regularly.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from constipation is diarrhea. While constipation can be unhealthy for a dog, diarrhea issues can be even more serious.
Metamucil works to relieve diarrhea by bulking the poop and making it less watery. By giving more substance to the watery poop in your dog’s colon, the passage of waste will slow down. By bulking the poop, dogs will lose fewer nutrients and electrolytes.
Prebiotics are found in both a human’s and a dog’s digestive tract. Prebiotics are essential for keeping good bacteria growing and thriving so bad bacteria is kept at bay.
Medical scientists believe Metamucil has prebiotic properties that help with gut health. Gut health is essential for overall health.
While psyllium fiber is primarily resistant to fermentation, some fibers hang around in the digestive tract long enough to experience the fermentation process. The bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract make the fermentation process occur.
When the psyllium begins to ferment in your dog’s digestive tract, short-chain fatty acids are created. These acids help to protect your dog’s health, no matter its age.
In addition to the gastrointestinal benefits above, Metamucil also offers the following benefits that are still being studied in humans.
- Lowered cholesterol
- Lowered blood sugar
What Is the Proper Dosage of Metamucil for a Constipated Dog?
When you first begin giving your dog Metamucil, it is essential to get the dosage right. Metamucil for dogs is not dangerous, but if it is given in too great an amount, it could lead to diarrhea, so it is important to be cautious.
How much metamucil should you give a dog? The amount of Metamucil you give your dog is going to depend on his age, weight, and health. Most vets recommend dogs be given one teaspoon per 50 pounds of body weight. You can give Metamucil up to two times a day.
If you are treating a smaller breed that weighs less than 50 pounds, keep the dosage of Metamucil to only 1/2 teaspoon. Give Metamucil with meal for the best results.
Again, remember that it is best to consult with your dog’s vet before you give Metamucil. It is especially important to talk to the vet if your dog has diarrhea because there could be an underlying issue making him have loose stools.
Does Metamucil Cause Any Side Effects in Dogs?
Metamucil is a safe and natural psyllium fiber supplement. It is generally well tolerated by both humans and dogs. Side effects are typically minor and rarely occur.
The most common side effect your dog may suffer after taking Metamucil is excess gas. As discussed above, diarrhea is also possible, especially if you give your dog too much Metamucil for his body weight.
As a word of caution, you must make sure your dog has access to clean water and plenty of it while taking Metamucil. Without access to water, dogs can suffer esophageal and intestinal obstructions. If your dog is taking Metamucil, encourage him to hydrate often.
What Causes Constipation in Dogs?
Constipation is often caused by dogs swallowing things their bodies cannot digest well. Bones and hair can be difficult to break down in the digestive tract and may make a dog’s stools overly hard.
Other causes of constipation in dogs include the following.
- Lack of fiber in their diet
- Lack of exercise
- Blocked anal glands
- Digestive disturbances
- Kidney disease
- Trauma to the pelvis
If your dog is routinely becoming constipated, make sure to see the vet find the underlying cause. For occasional bouts of constipation or under your vet’s suggestion, give your dog Metamucil.
What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?
Diarrhea in dogs can have a host of causes. It can be highly stressful when your dog begins having diarrhea, especially if you do not know the reasons why. The following are some of the most common reasons for diarrhea to develop in dogs.
- Eating spoiled foods or garbage
- Anxiety or high levels of stress
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Ingesting poisons
- Eating non-food items
- Liver or kidney damage
- Intestinal cancer
If your dog develops diarrhea, do not panic. First, contact your vet right away. Your vet will ask if your dog is experiencing other symptoms with diarrhea, including a fever. If your vet says treating diarrhea can be done at home, ask about Metamucil. Remember, you must give your dog the right dose or Metamucil could make his diarrhea worse.
How to Prevent Digestive Issues in Dogs?
Prevention is key when it comes to your dog’s health. Certain digestive conditions can be prevented. The following are some important tips that can assist you in keeping your dog’s digestive system healthy so he does not suffer from chronic constipation or diarrhea.
- See the vet often, and make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments.
- Feed your dog a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for his age, weight, and health. Ask your vet for advice. Often, the best dog food delivery services offer a wide range of nutritionally dense meals.
- Limit giving your dog table scraps or too many dog treats. Choose healthy dog-safe vegetables for additions to your dog’s diet.
- Keep your pet from having access to garbage and dangers like poisons.
- Do not allow your dog to roam freely outdoors. Keep him inside an invisible fence for safety so he does not consume anything that could make him ill.
FAQ About Metamucil For Dogs
When your dog’s tummy is not feeling good, you want to do something right away to give him relief. Constipation is common among dogs , and diarrhea can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition for the affected dogs .
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding giving a dog Metamucil. The answers to these questions should help you better understand how to help your dog get the relief he needs.
1. Will Metamucil help my dog poop?
If you see your dog straining to poop but nothing comes out, it is important to take action quickly to give him relief. Metamucil can be used to treat constipation in dogs. Some vets even prescribe it for dogs as a preventative for constipation because it keeps a regular bowel movement. Giving your dog Metamucil will help him go poop.
2. Is there a downside to Metamucil?
Metamucil is generally safe for most dogs, but you do need to get the dose right. Too much will cause diarrhea, and too little will not be effective. Generally, you will give your dog one teaspoon for every fifty pounds of weight. Small breeds should be given 1/2 teaspoon. Give your dog access to plenty of water while taking psyllium fiber to prevent blockages.
3. What can I give my dog for constipation?
If your dog has constipation, ask your vet about giving him Metamucil. Metamucil is effective for constipation because it bulks up the stools and adds water. Adding water allows the stool to slide through the digestive tract easier, making pooping much less a strain for your dog. Do not give your dog human laxatives to alleviate constipation!
4. Does fiber help dog diarrhea?
When your dog develops diarrhea, you are naturally going to be worried. If the diarrhea is short-lived, a dose or two of psyllium fiber supplement can help. This fiber supplement adds bulk to your dog’s stool, making it slower to move through the digestive tract. If your dog’s diarrhea does not get better quickly or is accompanied by vomiting, fever, or blood, call the vet right away.
Treat Your Dog With Metamucil
Do not be afraid to give your dog Metamucil when an occasional bout of diarrhea or constipation occurs. Metamucil helps with these digestive issues and can even help improve your dog’s gut health.
If you are concerned about possible side effects, talk with your vet right away. Make sure you are giving the right dose for your dog’s age, weight, and health. Give plenty of water to ensure your dog stays hydrated and the psyllium fiber does not cause any blockages. Metamucil will make your dog’s bowel movements more normal.