Intestinal problems

Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage

María Besteiros
By María Besteiros, Expert veterinary assistant and canine/feline hairdresser.. Updated: January 30, 2024
Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage

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Malt is not commonly associated with dogs. It is a product which is most commonly associated with cats. This is because its main purpose is to aid digestive transit of food through the gastrointestinal system. Since cats groom themselves regularly, they are prone to developing hairballs, something which can be remedied with malt paste. Dogs also groom themselves, but not to the same extent. This doesn't mean dogs will won't have any benefit of malt paste.

AnimalWised explains the benefits and dosage of malt for dogs. We look at how this product can help dogs, even if they are not prone to hairballs.

  1. What is malt for dogs?
  2. Uses of malt for dogs
  3. How to choose malt for dogs
  4. Dosage of malt for dogs
  5. How to give malt to a dog

What is malt for dogs?

Malt is a food supplement that facilitates intestinal transit. It usually comes as a paste or extract and provides a slight laxative effect that will promote proper elimination of feces. Its appearance is that of a dark brown paste, although it can vary in appearance. This coloration is due to the malting process to which the barley is subjected. This process consists of three steps which are germination, drying and, finally, roasting.

Malt paste for dogs can be given to dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes. The dosage will be adjust according to their individual need. It is a product that does not require a veterinary prescription and can be purchased at any clinic or establishment specializing in pets. However, it is advisable that we offer it to the dog by always following the recommendation of a professional.

Uses of malt for dogs

Malt is associated with hairballs. Cats spend much of their time grooming themselves, ingesting considerable amounts of hair. This is especially the case with longhaired breeds of cat. Sometimes this hair joins with the remains of food and gastric juices. When this happens, a trichobezoar is formed. Otherwise known as a hairball, this can be difficult to pass and cause gastrointestinal upset. If the hairball is sufficiently large, it can threaten the animal's life.

Malt paste is used as a kind of lubricant in the gastrointestinal tract. It allows food to pass through more easily and can also help to break down the hairball within the cat's system. If we see a cat keeps making choking noises or retching, it may be due to hairball. If malt paste does not work to dislodge it, they will need to see a veterinarian.

Dogs do not have the same hygiene habits as cats, even the longhaired types of dog breed. They will scratch when they have an itch and lick themselves regularly, but they do not dedicate the same amount of time as cats. If a dog does keep licking themselves, it is likely the sign of a problem and they will need to see a veterinarian.

However, malt paste is not only used for hairballs. It is also applicable to help aid digestive transit in general. For dogs, it can be used for the occasional treatment of certain mild digestive disorders. This is not the replacement for veterinary treatment, but it can be used if your dog has mild issues such as short-term constipation. This is only if we are sure of the problem.

If our dog suffers from constipation confirmed by the vet, giving them malt from time to time will act as a preventative and generally aid digestion. This will be in addition to the other measures we will need to take such as providing a suitable diet which is high in fiber and ensuring they receive the right amount of exercise. If we observe any more serious symptoms in the dog such as prolonged vomiting and diarrhea, it is essential we take them to a veterinarian. Using malt paste instead can delay diagnosis and allow the problem to worsen.

Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage - Uses of malt for dogs

How to choose malt for dogs

Before giving to our dog, we need to choose the right kind of malt for dogs. It often comes in a tube which may be marketed specifically for cats. However, since it does not contain anything toxic for dogs, it can be given to canines also. Some brands may have other ingredients, but the best option to choose is pure malt extract. Some types of malt for dogs may also contain:

  • Beer yeast
  • Soy lecithin
  • Vitamins
  • Antioxidants
  • Prebiotics

While these ingredients are fine for your dog, it is important to avoid any products which contain sugars, dyes, preservatives or anything else harmful to the dog.

Dosage of malt for dogs

Regarding its administration, each manufacturer will indicate instructions for use. These will explain to us how much to give the dog and how often.

You always have to check this information with the veterinarian. It is this professional who has the last word when it comes to giving any product to the dog, even if it is a supplement that does not require a prescription. Be aware that too much malt could cause spoilage or diarrhea.

Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage - Dosage of malt for dogs

How to give malt to a dog

It is usually very easy to administer the malt for dogs, maybe even more so than in cats. Normally it is enough that you get close enough to your dog and squeeze a little into their mouth. Since the malt extract can be appetizing to the dog, they may enjoy it. If they do not enjoy the taste for any reason, you can mix some in with their food or a treat. This should be done with wet food.

We will need to keep in mind the caloric value of malt paste. For this reason, we need to treat it as if it were any other kind of treat for the dog. They should only eat it in small amounts every so often. Ensure the addition of malt paste in their diet does not exceed their recommended calories for the day. This is especially important for overweight and obese dogs.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage, we recommend you visit our Intestinal problems category.

  • Carlson and Giffin. 2002. Practical Manual of Canine Veterinary Medicine . Madrid. Publishing the Drac.
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Malt for Dogs - Uses and Dosage