Dogs can suffer from irregular bowel movements just like humans. One of the most common problems is constipation, which can be treated with Metamucil, a well-known fiber additive. But is Metamucil safe to use for dogs, are there any side effects, and when exactly should you use it?
Metamucil is a brand name for psyllium, a type of fiber commonly used as a bulking laxative. Psyllium is soluble fiber, which means it will pass through your dog’s digestive system without being broken down or absorbed. Instead, psyllium absorbs water, thereby regulating a dog’s bowel movements.
If you want to give Metamucil to your dog, use the original formula. Avoid flavored formulas, especially if they contain chocolate or artificial sweetener xylitol, which are both toxic to dogs and can cause serious side effects.
While Metamucil isn’t FDA approved for dogs, it’s often prescribed by veterinarians to treat various gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea. In fact, Metamucil is available over the counter so you don’t even need a prescription from a veterinarian. However, it is best to consult your veterinarian before giving psyllium to your dog.
As mentioned earlier, Metamucil is often given to dogs to help with gastrointestinal problems. Here are some of the most famous Metamucil benefits for dogs.
1. Relief from constipation
Since psyllium is a mass-building laxative, it can increase your dog’s stool size and relieve constipation.
This supplement binds to partially digested food that passes through your dog’s stomach and into their small intestines. After that, it will also help absorb water, increasing both the size and moisture of your dog’s stool and allowing him to pass the stool more easily.
A study done on humans found that psyllium can improve the overall weight, texture, and moisture of stool better than bran.
2. Treating diarrhea
In addition to constipation, Metamucil can also help treat diarrhea. It does this by absorbing water, which increases the thickness of the stool and slows its passage through the colon.
If your dog has diarrhea, ask your veterinarian about the dosage before giving Metamucil to your pooch.
3. Has prebiotic effects
Prebiotics are compounds found in the dog’s gut. They are not digestible and can encourage the growth of good intestinal bacteria. Metamucil is believed to have prebiotic effects.
While fleas are resistant to fermentation to some extent, some flea fibers can be fermented by bacteria in your dog’s intestines. This can lead to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are beneficial to your dog’s overall health.
4. Other benefits
There are several other benefits of Metamucil, although not much scientific evidence is available to support these claims. However, human studies have been conducted so we can assume that Metamucil has the same or at least similar effects in dogs.
For example, human studies have shown that psyllium can help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and aid in weight loss.
If your dog is constipated or your veterinarian has prescribed Metamucil for diarrhea, it is important to follow the directions when giving this product to your dog. Although Metamucil is not dangerous, if taken in large amounts it can cause diarrhea.
In general, the appropriate amount of Metamucil will depend on your dog’s size, age, and health. The rule of thumb is that one teaspoon of Metamucil should be given twice a day for every 50 pounds of body weight. Basically, small breeds can have half a teaspoon with each meal, while larger dogs should be given 2 teaspoons with each meal.
Remember, it is best to consult your veterinarian and get their advice on the exact dosage. Also, keep in mind that it may take a day or two before you notice the positive effects of Metamucil.
Are there any side effects?
Metamucil is generally safe and side effects are minor and rare. For example, the most common side effect of Metamucil is increased gas. Additionally, diarrhea is another possible side effect, especially if you give too much of it to your dog.
Obstruction of the esophagus and intestines can occur if your dog does not have free access to water. Hydration is very important when giving Metamucil to your dog. So make sure he has access to fresh water at all times. In fact, when you give him psyllium, you need to encourage your pooch to drink more water.
Metamucil, or another psyllium-based drug or dietary supplement, is a mass-building laxative primarily used to treat constipation in dogs. However, it can also help with diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
Although Metamucil is available without a prescription and has minor side effects, you must consult your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.