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Can I Give My Dog Metamucil?

Can I Give My Dog Metamucil?

Just as with humans, dogs deal with irregular bowels

If you notice your pet leaving small, round, hard pebbles or straining without producing poop, it might be good to attempt to help them with a supplement.

There are countless factors for canine constipation, but commonly, this occurs after surgery or while a dog is pregnant. Sometimes it is a side effect of a medication that they are taking.

A change in diet (has your dog eaten any tiny bones recently?) and getting older are two other normal reasons for your dog to be constipated.

If you notice your pet leaving small, round, hard pebbles or straining without producing poop, it might be good to attempt to help them with a supplement.

Additionally, Metamucil can be used to help treat diarrhea in dogs. The Psyllium swells with water in your dog’s gut and helps to bind the poo together.

Is it Safe?

A well-known brand of psyllium, Metamucil, is already sitting in most of our medicine cupboards. Though it is not explicitly designed for pet use, it is commonly prescribed by veterinarians as a safe, easy method for regulating bowel movements.

Made from Psyllium husk, it adds bulk to the diet and makes it easier for loose stools to form.

The important thing is to make sure your pet is getting plenty of water while Metamucil is in their diet. It is recommended that humans drink at least 8 ounces of water when they take a serving of psyllium husks.

For your pet, you can add broth to their food or use wet food to encourage more liquid intake. At a minimum, be extremely vigilant that clean drinking water is available.

The handy thing about Metamucil that the dosage can be carefully controlled. For acute cases, the Veterinarian may also recommend something like the Hills Fiber Diet (Incidentally, this combination has lead to 80% success in treating chronic diarrhea in canines in one study.

Then, over time, the amount of psyllium husk can be carefully dialed back until the pet returns to healthy eating and pooping patterns.

Occasionally, Metamucil or a high fiber dog food may need to be used long-term to help them dog maintain regularity (for example with aging dogs).

How Metamucil Works

A healthy ratio of water to fecal matter is what makes poo “work.” Normally, this water absorption is carefully regulated by the colon.

It is when something interferes with the colon’s normal function that you begin to see bowel irregularity.

Metamucil contains psyllium husk which is superb at absorbing water from your dog’s gut. The husks then use their sticky properties to help stick the poo together in the right consistency for easy passing.

It is important to realize that this is different from dietary fiber supplements. Fiber supplements can be useful for constipation and are often used in addition to psyllium husks.

The difference is that psyllium husks help specifically with water absorption, making it a more versatile tool than added dietary fiber is by itself.

Canine Dosage

Veterinarians recommend using one teaspoon of Metamucil for every 50 pounds of bodyweight with each meal.

This might seem like a low prescription, but it doesn’t take much to be effective.

For dogs that are struggling to pass feces, mix the Metamucil with wet food to increase the amount of water that is getting straight to the bowels.

For dogs that are dealing with messy stools, you can add it directly to their dry dog food or to cooked white rice to help absorb the water in their stools and resolve diarrhea.

Call Your Vet

As always, anytime you are concerned about your dog’s health, it is essential to reach out to their veterinarian.

Calling your vet is especially crucial if your pup has gone several days without a good bowel movement, seems lethargic or is passing blood.

Your vet has a range of more aggressive treatment options available to them from powerful laxatives to the removal of dried, impacted fecal matter, to surgery, if necessary.

Switching To A High Fiber Diet

If your pet is consistently struggling to produce healthy bowel movements, it may be time to look at switching to a special diet of high fiber food.

Keep in mind that as you increase the fiber in their diet, they may feel less full and have a decreased need to eat. It is important to watch their weight during this change and make sure that they don’t lose too much weight.

Weight loss during a food change — if your pet is eating plenty — can be an indication that the food contains too little of a nutrient your dog needs. Choosing a high-quality brand can help ensure that your pet is still getting their daily needs met with high-quality nutrition.

It can also mean that you merely need to increase the amount of food you are feeding them.

Most pet foods have at least 5% fiber in them, which is more than enough for a healthy pooch.

Metamucil Vs. Benefiber

Some of you have moved on to a new supplement called “Benefiber.” This one mixes better in liquid and is more pleasant to drink.

This new supplement relies more on guar gum to absorb the water and pass it into the intestine.

Most of the dog blogs recommend avoiding it since there is not as much literature surrounding its use in veterinarian applications.

However, on page 293 of the book, Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition, it is listed as a viable alternative with a dose of 2-4 teaspoons per day recommended.

So, if you are in a situation where this is available, you can consider trying it instead.

Regardless of the supplement you choose, it must be unflavored and cannot contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners as those can upset your pet’s stomach.

Generally speaking, Metamucil is a safe, effective treatment for both constipation and diarrhea in dogs.

mm
Nina
Nina is a dog lover and enjoys blogging about dog food, toys and health. You can read more about her favorite high fiber dog food choices at Dogs By Nina.

3 thoughts on “Can I Give My Dog Metamucil?

  1. Denise says:

    I was not able to find unflavored brand name metamucil 9 orange flavored and/ sugar-free) but did have equate brand- however its the ingredients listed in this order are sugar, psyllium and silica. Ok to give to dog or keep looking for metamucil brand name?

    1. mm Nina says:

      Denise! The off brand should be just as fine since the Psyllium husk is what we are after. Also, Amazon may have some available online. I’ve updated the article with a link to this product: http://amzn.to/2Bpc70U

      I hope your puppy gets feeling better. Hugs.

  2. Julie says:

    can I just add the Metamucil to his water

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