Table of Contents
- Metamucil for Dogs: What is it?
- Benefits of Metamucil for Dogs
- Metamucil for Dogs: How Much to Give Your Dog?
- Does Metamucil for Dogs Have Side Effects?
- Common Questions about Metamucil for Dogs
- Metamucil for Dogs: Final Thoughts
HUMANS can take fiber supplements safely as needed, but is Metamucil for dogs safe?
If your dog is like mine, who often gets constipated, you've probably come across the advice to have your dog take fiber.
Our fur babies can suffer from irregular bowel movements just like you and I do.
In fact, constipation is among the top problems of our dogs.
But luckily, you can treat your pooch with Metamucil, a well-known supplement.
But is it safe? Are there any side effects? When exactly should you use it?
In this article, we will go over the following:
- How Metamucil is a great fiber supplement for Dogs
- The Metamucil benefits your dog can get when taking it.
- How Metamucil uses psyllium husk for dogs and why.
So let's dive in!
Metamucil for Dogs: What is it?
Metamucil is a brand name for psyllium, a fiber often used as a bulk-forming laxative.
Psyllium is a soluble fiber.
This means it passes through your dog’s digestive system without being broken down or absorbed.
Instead, psyllium absorbs water and helps regulate a dog’s bowel movements.
Sounds good for our dog's tummy, right?
A tiny caveat, though.
If you decide to give your dog Metamucil, make sure to go with the original formula.
You should avoid flavored formulas, especially if they contain chocolate or xylitol.
As you know, these are both toxic for dogs and can lead to severe side effects.
Also, Metamucil is not FDA-approved for dogs.
However, don't fret.
Because experts still prescribe this for treating various gastrointestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea.
There are several studies and peer-reviewed journals that say psyllium is healthy and full of benefits.
One study confirmed this fiber's role in the gut health of whoever takes it.
“…Psyllium husk mucilage has activities in intestinal regulation, preventing constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, reducing glucose in the post-prandial period and lowering cholesterol.”
On top of that, Metamucil is available over the counter.
Frankly, you don’t even need a prescription from a vet.
But don't do that.
It is best to consult your veterinarian before starting your dog with psyllium.
ALSO READ: Top 11 Best High-Fiber Dog Food Brands
Benefits of Metamucil for Dogs
As mentioned before, Metamucil is often given to dogs to help with gastrointestinal problems.
Here are some of the most well-known benefits of Metamucil for dogs.
1. Relieving Constipation
Since psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, it can increase your dog’s stool size and help relieve his constipation.
This supplement works by binding itself to partially digested food going through your dog’s stomach into his small intestine.
After this, it also helps with the absorption of water.
This means it helps add moisture to your dog’s stools which allows him to pass stools easier.
Although performed on humans, a study by Stevens et al. (2008) found that psyllium can improve the total weight, texture, and moisture of stools better than bran.
2. Treating Diarrhea
Does your dog get diarrhea out of nowhere?
Metamucil can help your dog with this, too!
By absorbing more water, it does not only add moisture to your dog's stool, but it also thickens it.
This means the stool slows down their passage through the colon.
If your dog has diarrhea, consult your vet first about the cause.
If your vet recommends it, ask him about the dosage, too, before giving your pooch any Metamucil.
3. Has Prebiotic Effects
Prebiotics are compounds found in the dog’s intestines.
They are non-digestible and can help good intestinal bacteria grow.
Metamucil is believed to have prebiotic effects.
While psyllium is resistant to fermentation to some extent, some psyllium fibers can be fermented by bacteria in your dog’s intestines.
This can lead to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which positively affect your dog’s overall health.
4. Other Benefits
There are a few other benefits of Metamucil, although there isn’t much scientific evidence available to back these claims.
However, there have been studies on humans, so we can safely assume that Metamucil has the same or similar effects on dogs.
Dietary fibers from psyllium have been used extensively both as pharmacological supplements, food ingredients, in processed food to aid weight control, to regulation of glucose control for diabetic patients and reducing serum lipid levels in hyperlipidemics.
For example, studies on humans have shown that psyllium can help lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, and help weight loss.
Metamucil for Dogs: How Much to Give Your Dog?
If your dog is constipated or your vet has prescribed Metamucil for his diarrhea, it is important to follow instructions when you give this product to your dog.
Although Metamucil is not dangerous, it can lead to diarrhea if ingested in large amounts.
Generally, the appropriate amount of Metamucil depends on your dog’s size, age, and health.
For your reference:
- 1/2 tsp. for >20lbs/9kg small dogs
- 1 tsp. for 20-40lbs/9-18kg medium dogs
- 2 tsp. <40lbs/18kg large dogs
You can put the Metamucil on their meal for easy administration.
However, and we can't this stress enough. Consult your vet for his advice about the exact dosage.
Also, remember that it may take a day or two for you to notice the positive effects of Metamucil.
Does Metamucil for Dogs Have Side Effects?
Metamucil is generally safe, and side effects are minor and rare.
For example, the most common side effect of Metamucil has increased flatulence.
In addition to this, diarrhea is another possible side effect, especially if you give your dog too much of it.
Esophageal and intestinal obstruction can happen if your dog doesn’t have free access to water.
Hydration is essential when you give your dog Metamucil, so make sure that he has access to fresh water at all times.
In fact, you need to encourage your pooch to drink more water if you start giving him psyllium.
Common Questions about Metamucil for Dogs
Still unsure about Metamucil for dogs?
The following questions and answers should clear up any doubts you have.
Can I Give Metamucil to My Dog?
Yes, you can give this soluble fiber to your dog.
The ideal dose is about one teaspoon for every five pounds your dog weighs.
Add the Metamucil to your dog's diet.
Can a Dog Have Metamucil for Constipation?
Yes, dog owners can give their pups Metamucil for constipation.
There are also other treatments for constipated dogs, including canned pumpkins.
Your vet can also suggest other remedies.
What's a Good Laxative for Dogs?
If you are dealing with a constipated dog, you can try administering Metamucil.
Other options include canned dog food (thanks to its moisture content), canned pumpkin, and bran cereal (thanks to its insoluble fiber).
Just giving him more water or making sure he gets exercise can also help.
Metamucil for Dogs: Final Thoughts
So, there you have it.
Metamucil is an effective supplement to treat dog constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.
And another thing you need to know—Metamucil is safe for our dogs IF they're given the proper dosages.
So feel free to give this to your dog, BUT only after getting your vet's approval!