Best Sources of Fiber for Dogs
Dog owners often overlook dietary fiber’s importance in their dog’s diet. It mostly comes from plant-based foods, but there are other ways it can be included in your dog’s diet. Other ways of including fiber for dogs are safer and more dog-appropriate. Feeding your dog things like green beans or sweet potato is a tasty and healthy way to incorporate some much-needed dietary fiber for your dog. Plus, dogs seem to love the taste.
The fiber included in your dog food must be a quality-sourced ingredient. You should check its source because the tag “cellulose” on dog food packaging might sound safe, but cellulose can come from shredded paper. Before you start feeding your dog foods high in fiber, there are some things you should know.
Fiber is vital for healthy digestion, and dog owners should know a lot more about fiber than they know at the moment. It can help the dog retain more nutrients and help with digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea. There are two types of dietary fiber for dogs, and they are - soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber offers a unique set of benefits to our dogs. This type of fiber for dogs will increase fermenting inside the colon. It will create gas and speed up the digestion process. However, too much soluble fiber can cause diarrhea and excessive gas. Start slow and steadily increase the dosage of soluble fiber you are giving to your dog.
The second type of fiber is insulable fiber. This type will not create gas and increase fermentation. Instead, insulable fiber will move through the digestive tract and regulate the overall digestion time. Vets are not entirely sure why, but insulable fiber speeds up digestion if the dog is constipated and soaks up excess fluids if the dog has diarrhea. One ingredient can be beneficial for both issues.
However, feeding your dog too much insulable fiber can become a problem. It works like a “binding agent,” and it can bind healthy minerals and decrease the dog food’s overall nutritional value if it is not regulated. Overfeeding your dog with insulable fiber can lead to weight loss, poor coat quality, hair loss, excessive flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Dietary fiber is beneficial for dogs, just as it is beneficial for humans. It is beneficial for the dog’s digestive tract because it will get fermented into fatty acids. These acids will, in return, prevent the overgrowing of “bad” digestive bacteria. Fiber will help restore the balance between the “good” and “bad” digestive bacteria. It is an ideal nutrient for dogs recovering from gastrointestinal upsets or injuries.
Some studies have shown that fiber helps prevent dogs from developing colon cancer. It will speed up digestion and reduce the time certain carcinogens can influence the dog’s body (most carcinogens are ingested through food). As we said earlier, fiber can help with diarrhea and constipation.
Fiber for dogs is an excellent way to control and manage their weight. Dogs that eat high-fiber dog foods will feel full, but the difference is - the amount of calories ingested is a lot lower. Obesity is a massive problem in the US, and Merck Veterinary Manual shows that dogs in the US are still worryingly overweight. Fiber is a great way to control their weight and help them lose a few pounds. Keep in mind that obesity in dogs causes different health issues and shortens their lifespan for 2 years on average.
If you want to know more about this health concern, check out this article - Obesity in dogs.
Dogs that have diabetes mellitus need to be on special diets. All the ingredients they ingest should be controlled, and fiber is an excellent aid in controlling dog diabetes. Some types of dietary fiber for dogs will slow down digestion, which will prevent blood sugar from spiking. High-fiber dog foods will cause fewer uncontrolled blood sugar fluctuations, which will help you and your dog control their disease.
Veterinarians have reported cases of dogs getting a reduced insulin sensitivity after switching to high-fiber dog foods. This is an issue scientists haven’t deciphered yet. Still, there are ongoing studies that are trying to understand how fiber causes reduced insulin sensitivity. Vets usually recommend putting a dog with diabetes on high-fiber dog food. However, the right amount of fiber will depend on the dog’s reaction to it. Some dogs do better with smaller amounts.
This is a severe health problem that can be very dangerous if left untreated. If you want to know more about it, check out this article - Dog diabetes.
One of the most important things all dog owners should think about is - dietary fiber sources. If you are considering putting your dog on high-fiber dog food, make sure it includes healthy fiber sources. All dog foods that have unclear or masked sources shouldn’t be trusted. Make sure you make the best possible decision for your dog; their health depends on it. Some of the healthy fiber for dogs come from;
- Sweet potatoes
- Beet pulp
- Ground Flaxseed
- Green beans
- Brown rice
The best thing about including these fiber sources in your dog’s food is - your dog will love the taste. Dogs cannot eat spices, and including healthy fruits and veggies in their usual diet will make a fun twist in your dog’s meals they will absolutely enjoy.
World Dog Finder team