Can almond milk be used for constipation in dogs?
Almond milk may be good for constipation, but then, when dealing with your dog, there are several healthier choices you can make. Here, we will study the use of almond milk closely and help you decide whether or not you want to feed it to your dog.
Most dogs find it hard to digest the lactose present in milk, just like some humans too. These kinds of dogs are known to be lactose intolerant. Lactose is confined to milk obtained from dairy animals. Non-dairy milks like almond milk, oat milk, etc. are better options when you want to treat your dog to milk.
Let’s study almond milk a bit. What are the benefits of consuming this milk?
Health benefits of almond milk
- Almond milk boosts the health of the heart: The reason for this is because almond milk is a source of unsaturated fats, which is the good type of fat. Saturated fats usually cause obstruction of the arteries leading to the heart and other issues that could cause a heart attack. Most of the other heart diseases stem from the condensation of cholesterol within the arteries leading to the heart. Almond milk is also very low in cholesterol, consequently helping to boost the heart’s health.
- Almonds boost the health of the skin: Due to the fact that they contain antioxidants, free radicals in the body can easily be destroyed, thereby helping the skin to stay healthy and smooth.
- Almond boosts the health of the brain: One good thing about almond milk is the fact that it contains riboflavin and some other important proteins that help the brain to stay healthy.
- Almond boosts the health of the digestive system: Almond is very rich in fiber. The skin is also rich in prebiotics that help to maintain the good bacteria in the gut.
Even with all of these benefits, you still have to be very careful before feeding your dogs with almond milk. Most of the ones present in the stores have gone through a whole lot of processing, flavoring, and preserving. All of these steps usually end up reducing the nutritional value of the milk. Ensure that you check whatever milk you are getting. That way, you can be sure it doesn’t have any additive that would be bad for your dog.
Most of the almond milks out have already been sweetened with sugar. Sugar is bad for your dog. That is why you must ensure that the milk you are getting isn’t sweetened or flavored with additives like vanilla, chocolate or other ingredients that contain sugar.
The most dangerous of the additives is xylitol. It is a sweetener that would reduce the blood sugar of your dog to a very low value. Xylitol is very toxic to dogs as it causes damage to the liver. Other effects include weakness, seizure, loss of balance, etc.
Most of the bottles of almond milk out there also contain an additive obtained from sea weed. This additive is added to the milk to get it having a thick consistency. It has also been observed to causes issues relating to cancerous cells and inflammation.
Almond milk for dog constipation
Even though almond milk is rich in Magnesium—a mineral great for constipation—it shouldn’t be the first choice you make when you need to treat dog constipation.
Constipation occurs when your dog feeds on something that it normally shouldn’t have fed on. When your dog feeds on foods that are low in fiber, the result usually is constipation.
Let’s look at a few other causes of constipation in dogs;
- Lack of exercise will prevent the easy flow of poop down the colon of the dog. That way, the colon retains a lot of water from the stool, leading to constipation.
- Grooming your dog too frequently could also result in the accumulation of hair strands in the opening of its anus. At the end of the day, the mass of hair prevents the easy passage of stools.
- When your dogs do not drink enough water, they end up falling victim of constipation.
What to give your dog for constipation?
There are several other choices that you can make and they include the following;
- Feed your dog with foods that are rich in fiber: There are several kinds of fiber out there. One is soluble and the other, insoluble. The former would dissolve readily in water and help digestion occur naturally. It also helps the stool to get sturdier, thereby preventing constipation.
However, for dogs that are already victims of constipation, you must ensure that they are fed with the kind of fiber that doesn’t dissolve. This one will encourage the movement of water into the stool of your dog, thereby softening it and making it easy to be ejected. Sources of insoluble fiber include carrots, green beans, etc.
- Add herbs that produce mucilage to your dog’s diet. The mucilage would guide the stool easily out of the colon, thereby solving the issue of constipation easily. An example of this herb is the marshmallow root. You can easily get capsules that contain the major constituent in the marshmallow root. Contact your vet doctor on the dosage to give your dog.
Another example of an herb that can help to guide the stool of the colon of your dog easily is chickweed. It runs mucilage around the walls of the small intestine and also helps to cool the intestine adequately. When giving your dog chickweed, ensure that you process it into a fluid form.
Twenty drops of the diluted fluid will help solve issues related to constipation. Flax seeds also do a lot of magic when it comes to easing your dog of constipation. It helps to lubricate the colon. All you need to do is give it a quarter teaspoon of the ground flax seeds.
- Work with natural laxatives. Examples include Aloe Vera, Apple cider vinegar, Senna, cascara sagrada, etc. If you would be working with Senna, ensure that you contact your vet doctor for the right dosage as over usage of the drug can lead to diarrhea.
Also, if your dog is pregnant, the safest laxatives to use include marshmallow, flaxseed, and chickweed. Cascara sagrada for example shouldn’t be given to mothers who are feeding pups with breast milk. Before deciding to use any natural laxative, ensure that you contact your vet doctor for help with dosage.