psyllium (Plantago psyllium) is a fiber generally used as a supplement in the treatment of diseases that led to constipation. To understanding of the effects of this fiber in dogs, two experiments were conducted. The first evaluated in healthy dogs a diet supplementation with 0%, 2% and 4% of ground whole psyllium seeds (as-fed basis). Eight adult Beagle dogs were used. They received the experimental diets for eight days. A linear increase of faecal moisture was verified with the addition of psyllium (R²=0.54 and P=0.0012), with no alteration on faecal score or number of defecations per day. The second experiment included 24 dogs with constipation. The dogs received a diet supplemented with 2% of psyllium as part of the treatment, and the owners were invited to answer a questionnaire. Nineteen (79.2%) owners reported that their dog had an easier defecation process during supplementation. Fifteen (62.5%) reported that the animals´ faeces, which were dry or hard at the start, became normal or pasty after psyllium consumption. The results confirmed a laxative effect of psyllium in dogs, which was already reported in human medicine, supporting the use of this fiber in the clinical management of diseases that cause constipation in dog.
Plantago psyllium; dog; defecation; soluble fiber; faeces