Usually, a dog can get all the fiber he or she needs from their regular diet. While fiber isn’t considered an essential nutrient, most commercial dog food brands will include a small amount. At times a dog may need a high fiber dog food for bowel regularity and health. Eating a high fiber diet can also help prevent certain health problems. If you dog suffers from digestive issues including diarrhea or constipation, it’s important that you meet with your veterinarian in order to determine the right amount of fiber for your special little guy. Often, for medium or large breed dogs, most vets recommend adding one to two tablespoons of pumpkin per meal to encourage bowel regularity and to help your pet to feel full faster, which is very important in older dogs that are significantly overweight.
High Fiber Needs
If your dog needs a higher level of fiber than what’s available in regular dog food, then you can purchase a brand that’s high in fiber to promote bowel regularity and intestinal health. Most brands will contain a mixture of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Not all brands of dog food that contain fiber are high-quality and some may contain sources of fiber that you won’t want your dog eating, such as paper. Unfortunately, you won’t find this information on the product’s label, so it’s recommended that you do a little research on a specific brand of interest, before you buy.
All foods will feature a list of ingredients, but they are not required to provide information on the source of ingredients. Another option is to speak with your vet regarding a high-quality safe brand of dog food that’s high in fiber.
Why Your Dog may need a High Fiber Diet
Dog food that’s high in fiber can help to treat chronic constipation. If your dog is chronically constipated your first step will be a visit to the vet. Chronic constipation can be caused by a variety of health conditions. However, constipation can also be fairly common in older dogs.
A high fiber diet is also recommended by vets for dogs that suffer from chronic diarrhea. Brands that contain insoluble fiber work by absorbing the excess water in the colon. Insoluble fiber can also work to balance acidity levels in the stomach and bowel, creating more healthy bacteria.
Using a dog food that’s high in fiber can also help to treat impacted glands. These scent glands are located on the sides of the anus. If these glands become impacted it can be very painful for your pet. In order to release the impaction you can give your dog a brand of food that features a high fiber content. This will work by bulking up the stool. This larger stool will press against the glands, thus releasing the impaction and providing immediate relief.
Most diet dog foods are aimed at senior dogs over the age of eight. These weight control dog foods are also high in fiber. Fiber is added to this type of dog food because it will make your dog feel full faster, allowing your pet to lose weight by reducing the amount of food they eat.
If your dog has diabetes your vet will probable recommended a high fiber diet. Fiber can works to slow digestion, which can help to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking.
The Most Overlooked Nutrient in a Dog’s Diet
By now, you may have heard quite a bit about the benefits of a diet that’s high in fiber for your pet. Fiber just may be one of the most amazing and important nutrients in your pet’s food. And you may be surprised at just what it can do for your dog. So what exactly is fiber and why is it so important? Well, fiber represents the edible portion of a plant that is digestible. Fiber itself is only found in the wall of a cell and because dogs cells don’t have cell walls, they can only get their fiber source from grains and veggies, but not from meat. Fiber features the carb remnants of plant cells after the digestion process. There are actually two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Basically, one type of fiber can dissolve in water and the other cannot. Which is why each type can offer different benefits to your pet.
Fiber has also been known to prevent both diarrhea and constipation in animals and humans. This is because the insoluble type works to absorb water just like a sponge, working from inside the colon, which in turn works to control diarrhea and firm up the stool. Fiber is considered a stool normalizer and it’s perfect for animals that suffer from regularity problems. The fact that it can help dogs that experience diarrhea and constipation just shows you why it’s so important to include it in your dog’s diet.
In order to create special short chain fatty acids in a dog’s gut, good bacteria works to ferment fiber. This process can help the colon to repair itself and can also prevent certain types of cancers. As the colon absorbs water, stool swells against the colon wall. This type of swelling can cause serious pressure and muscle contractions. The result is a speedier digestive tract. This faster process time means less contact between dangerous cancer causing substances and the colon wall.
A diet that’s rich in fiber can also promote weight loss in obese pets. Adding fiber to any food works to dilute the caloric content, which means fewer calories per meal. Once fiber absorbs water it expands, causing your pet to stop eating. A full stomach signals hunger satisfaction. So your dog will feel full longer, eat fewer calories and consume less energy.
According to recent studies, dogs that eat a diet that’s rich in fiber will lose four times the fat mass compared to dogs that eat little to no fiber daily. In fact, trying to get your furry friend to shed a few pounds can be almost impossible without the help of dietary fiber.