Tampa Animal and Bird Hospital

For fifty years we've cared for Tampa Bay area pets of all kinds.

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How much fiber does my dog need?

Q: My dog weighs about 55Lbs. How much pumpkin should i give her for fiber a day? Do you have something else to recommend to add to her food? She eats mostly wet food so i wanted to add something to help the stool.

A: Thank you for contacting us regarding your pet’s gastrointestinal problems. You don’t mention whether you are adding fiber to help with soft stool (diarrhea) or hard stool (constipation). There are many conditions that can cause these changes in stool, and the first step would be a good physical exam to investigate any medical causes of the stool abnormalities. Be sure to take a sample of the abnormal stool with you to your appointment so it can be examined. At this time, your veterinarian will be able to give you recommendations on the best diet for your individual pet.

In general, dry foods are preferred to canned foods in our pet dogs. They have the added benefit of helping control dental disease as our pet’s teeth do more work crunching them as opposed to lapping up canned foods.

Some additional things that you might try once a physical exam rules out medical reasons for abnormal stools:
i) A gradual (over a week or so) change to a different brand of food. Just like people have preferences for food, so do our pets. Look for a premium, reputable brand such as Hill’s, Iams, or Royal Canine and a life-stage formula that is appropriate for your pet. These foods have been through extensive scientific testing and will provide balanced nutrition for your pet.
ii) Weight control formulas tend to have higher fiber levels than maintenance diets, so consider trying a weight control formula if your veterinarian determines that it would be appropriate for your pet
iii) Food additives (such as pumpkin) are generally discouraged as they change the nutritional balance of the food. Canned pumpkin is about 90% water, so as your pet fills up on this, she won’t be getting the balanced nutrition that is in her food.

We would be happy to meet you and your pet and help with her gastrointestinal problems. Please contact us to set up a Comprehensive Examination for your pet. 813 885 4477.

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