Have you ever heard of using Metamucil for dogs? If you haven’t, you’ve come to the right place.
Oddly enough, some human supplements are safe enough for us dogs to use too, such as Metamucil. That said, you have to take caution when giving us any human supplement, as the dosage may be different, and they have side effects on dogs that they do not have on humans.
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I’m going to explain what Metamucil is, how to use it on dogs, and give you tips on how to tell whether or not your dog has digestive issues.
What is Metamucil?
Many of you humans may already be familiar with Metamucil, and you may already use it for yourselves. Well, did you know that you can use it on dogs too?
Let me start by saying that Metamucil is not FDA-approved for dogs. However, vets often prescribe this fiber supplement for treating various digestive problems, such as constipation and diarrhea.
Metamucil is a brand name for psyllium husk, a fiber often used as a laxative to bulk up the stool.
Psyllium is both soluble and insoluble fiber, meaning part of it breaks down as it passes through your dog’s digestive system and part of it does not. Instead, psyllium husk helps regulate our bowel movements by absorbing water.
There are several different types of Metamucil now, but if you choose to give Metamucil to your dog, choose the original formula. Flavored formulas may contain ingredients that do more harm than good or are dangerous for dogs, such as chocolate or artificial sweeteners.
You can get Metamucil over the counter, so you don’t technically need to go to your vet for a prescription. However, please consult your vet before you give your dog Metamucil as it might not work for all of us!
Signs that Your Dog Has Digestive Issues
As healthy dogs, we should have at least one healthy bowel movement a day. There’s no need to worry if your dog goes more than once a day, but make sure that you pay attention to the quality of his stool to ensure that he doesn’t have diarrhea.
If your dog has bowel movements less frequently than once a day, then it may be constipated.
Signs of a constipated dog include:
- 24 hours without a bowel movement
- Infrequent bowel movements over a few days
- Difficulty completing bowel movements because the stool is dry and hard
You may also find that your dog loses its appetite, appears restless, feels uncomfortable, and may even exhibit some pain. It can be stressful to have constipation and trust me, it’s no fun to be constipated, but luckily there are ways to fix it, including Metamucil.
Benefits of Metamucil for Dogs
If you decide to use Metamucil for your dog’s constipation, it may have several benefits and help resolve any digestive issues he might be having.
Here are some ways that Metamucil may help your dog.
Constipation relief is the most beneficial use of Metamucil for dogs.
Since Metamucil is bulk-forming, increasing the size of the stool and helping relieve the blockage when we’re constipated.
The way it works is by binding itself to partially digested food going through your dog’s stomach into his small intestine. Then, it helps absorb water, which increases the size and moisture of your dog’s stool and allows him to pass them a lot easier.
One study found that psyllium improves the texture, weight, and moisture content of stools better than bran. But take this information with a grain of salt since this study was performed on humans.
Metamucil can also help treat watery diarrhea in your dog. Similar to how it works for constipation, Metamucil absorbs water, increasing the size of the stool and slowing it down as it passes through the colon.
Consult your vet about the dose you should give your dog to treat diarrhea.
The idea of prebiotics in dogs is similar to the concept in humans in that they are found in our intestines. Prebiotics are non-digestible and encourage beneficial intestinal bacteria growth. Metamucil may have prebiotic effects on dogs. While psyllium resists fermentation, the bacteria in our intestines can ferment it. This produces short-chain fatty acids which have a positive effect on our overall health and gastrointestinal problems.
If your vet has given you instructions on how much Metamucil you should be giving your dog, be sure to follow their instructions. Even though Metamucil isn’t dangerous, it can have adverse effects if your dog takes too much and cause diarrhea. Other minor side effects include flatulence, and on rare occasions, esophageal and intestinal obstruction.
The amount of Metamucil you give your dog largely depends on his size, but it also depends on his age and sex. As a rule of thumb, you should give your dog a teaspoon of Metamucil for every 50 pounds of weight, ranging from half a teaspoon to two full teaspoons.
It may have surprised you to learn that Metamucil is a safe supplement to use on dogs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use it for your dog. Consult your vet before giving your puppy Metamucil, and if they recommend a certain dosage, make sure that you follow their instructions.
If you still don’t feel comfortable giving your dog Metamucil, you can try giving him a more natural remedy, such as pumpkin or cow’s milk, or give him a pet laxative to treat constipation.