Every dog owner wants their dogs to be happy and healthy. At the very least, dog owners will feed their pup well, play with him, and take him to the vet. While it’s important to make your pup feel safe and loved in your home, you also want to make sure he is as healthy as possible.
That’s why it’s a good idea to include high fiber dog food in your pet’s diet. Your dog’s life expectancy, growth, and well-being can all be improved with good nutrition. All pets need enough fiber to support the proper function of their digestive system as well as provide many other health benefits.
Even if you are feeding your dog the most expensive dog food that you can find, it doesn’t mean that there is enough fiber in it to keep your dog healthy. It’s important to have your dog on a diet that features plenty of insoluble and soluble fiber to help your dog control his digestive issues and weight.
Does a Dog Need Fiber?
Playing an important role in gut health, fiber is a carbohydrate that comes in both insoluble and soluble forms. Each of which has a place in your dog’s body’s ecosystem. When we refer to digestible fibers, we mean any fiber that can be broken down into many simple molecules and can be eaten by the bacteria that is found in your dog’s gut. And indigestible fiber is a carbohydrate that offers very little nutritional value however, it will massage your dog’s gut to lessen inflammation as well as clean out mucous membranes.
Fiber basically helps a dog maintain a healthy balance in his gut by regulating his bowels and keeping his colon healthy as well. Fiber can also aid with both constipation and diarrhea. Any dog that suffers from chronic diarrhea will respond well to fiber.
How Much Fiber Does a Dog Need?
How much fiber a dog needs really depends on the dog. Not every dog will need a lot of fiber to be added to his diet unless it is a dog that has a lot of gastrointestinal issues. Dogs do get fiber from their diets, but dogs that have digestive issues like diarrhea will benefit from supplementing their food with fiber. It’s not hard to add a little more fiber to your dog’s diet, just remember that too much fiber may also upset the gastrointestinal tract. Always consult your vet before you add more fiber to your dog’s diet.
Understanding the Fiber in Dog Food
As you shop for high-fiber dog food, you will find that many of the commercial dog foods found on the shelves of your local pet store will have a high fiber content. Typically, these dog foods are designed for weight loss since fiber will help keep a dog fuller longer causing the dog to eat less.
You will also find special fiber-rich foods that are designed for a dog with chronic diarrhea or colitis including prescription dog foods. These special dog foods often have formulas that were created by veterinarian nutritionists.
When you read the labels on high-fiber dog food, it’s possible that you will find beet pulp along with pumpkin, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. You can also feed these items as a treat along with your pet’s regular food. Always discuss any meal-time additions with your vet before you feed them to your dog.
Benefits of High Fiber Dog Food
Many dogs have issues with their weight. Obesity in a dog can lead to tumors, skin diseases, arthritis, breathing and heart conditions as well as difficulties after receiving anesthesia. Unfortunately, some owners are not willing to decrease how much food they give their dogs or even play more with their pups. Weight problems can affect your dog’s quality of life, and it can even take up to three years off of your pup’s lifespan.
When you switch to a high fiber diet, you can help your dog with weight maintenance his weight and also allow him to lead a healthy life. With added fiber in his diet, your dog can feel full as well as energetic since he’s not overeating.
You don’t necessarily have to put your pup on a diet. All you need to do is just add some cooked pumpkin or green beans, which are a natural fiber source, to your daily meal. It will help to improve his digestive system and keep him from suffering from constipation or chronic diarrhea. Also, eating a high-fiber diet will promote colon health since fermentable fiber can help to prevent colon cancer by protecting his colon wall while speeding up his elimination process. Fiber food also helps avoid problems in the anal gland.
If your dog has diabetes, you should also consider feeding him more fiber. Certain foods high in fiber can help to slow down digestion and keep him in control of his blood sugar level. A high fiber diet will also help with digestion if your dog has pancreatic insufficiency (1) or kidney disease. Always make sure to talk to your veterinarian before you make any diet changes for your dog, especially if he has kidney disease or diabetes.
Sources Of Good Fiber For Dogs
Food that is high in fiber typically isn’t that expensive. That said, you’ll want to be aware of foods dogs can’t eat when selecting a high-fiber food to add to their diet. Fruits and vegetables are often the best options and are safe for a dog to eat. Here are a few good sources of fiber:
Pumpkins that are cooked are safe for a dog to eat. Pumpkin is a good source of soluble fiber, minerals, and vitamins, plus it can help to stop diarrhea while helping to manage your pup’s weight. If you buy pumpkin in a can, make sure it does not have any added salt or sugar.
An average-sized sweet potato will contain about four grams of fiber. Sweet potatoes are usually loved by dogs and are easy to prepare. You can cook one easily in the microwave and then mash it up with a fork before putting a few teaspoons in your pup’s food.
Thought to be a filler by some nutritionists, beet pulp is a good source of fiber for a dog. A stringy and colorless sugar byproduct, beet pulp is easy to digest and common in a lot of pet foods, especially in dog food that is high in fiber.
A great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed is good for a dog’s brain, coat, skin, and nervous system. It’s also a good source of antioxidants and dietary fiber, plus it can help a dog’s intestinal health.
You can add ground flaxseeds or flaxseed meals to your dog’s food and mix it all with peanut butter before rolling it into a ball for a treat. You can also mix in plain yogurt. Remember that it is best if you grind the flaxseeds right before you use them.
Kelp has long been known by the Japanese for its health benefits. High in iron, kelp is also high in fiber, and it’s safe for dogs to eat.
Green lettuce can be a great source of fiber although it does have a high water content, which doesn’t give a dog a lot of added nutrients. Make sure to chop it up to make it easy for your dog to eat and don’t put anything on the lettuce such as dressing that might be harmful to your dog. Even though lettuce might taste good, it doesn’t have a lot of fiber.
Apple slices can be a great high fiber treat for a dog, plus they are good for cleaning a dog’s teeth and are low in calories. Make sure you cut the apples into sizes that are proportionate with your pet’s size, and do not feed the core or seeds to your dog.
Some dog owners will feed baby carrots to a dog as a treat. They are also low in calories and are great for dogs that need to lose weight. They are also high in fiber, which will keep your dog full longer. Plus, studies have shown that if you feed your dog raw carrots it will help to improve his kidney and liver function.
Green beans are another consideration when choosing a vegetable to add to your pet’s food. Low in calories, green beans are also full of fiber making them a healthy treat for your dog.
You will find brown rice in a lot of high-fiber dog foods since it’s a good source of fiber. Plus, it mixes well with vegetables like green beans and carrots.
Blueberries and Strawberries
Dogs also like to eat blueberries and strawberries. All you need to do is rinse them off and feed them to your dog. Both are a natural source of fiber for a dog, which can also give a dog a boost of antioxidants. Just remember that blueberries and strawberries contain natural sugar, so make sure you don’t give your dog too many berries.
How to Introduce New Food to a Dog’s Diet
When introducing a new food into your dog’s diet, it’s important to do it gradually, especially with a high fiber food. This is particularly important if you have not given him fiber before since a sudden change in his diet can cause digestive issues.
Make sure you contact your veterinarian for recommendations and to help monitor your pet’s behavior after you first start giving him fiber. If you start without your vet’s help, just add a few green beans or carrots to your pet’s food. And remember that your dog will definitely let you know what types of food he likes.
Your vet will also be able to help you design a diet that will work along with your dog’s individual needs. Remember that adding too much fiber to a dog’s diet isn’t healthy and will dilute certain nutrients and decrease some mineral absorption.
Fiber Supplements for Dogs
Even adding brown rice, fruits, and vegetables to a dog’s diet, may not give him all the fiber that he needs, particularly if he has digestive issues. So, if your dog has irregular bowel problems, is overweight, or suffers from diabetes, he may need additional fiber than what can be provided in fresh food.
Make sure that fiber sources of vegetables and fruits do make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. You don’t want to create an unbalanced diet for your dog. If he still requires more fiber, you may want to look at additional fiber supplements.
How can I add more fiber to my dog’s diet?
There are several ways you can add more fiber to your dog’s diet. First, you can look for dog food that features a high fiber content. You can contact your vet for recommendations for a fiber supplement or high-fiber foods that are right for your pup’s needs.
Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of fiber as long as you don’t give him too much and cause him to have diarrhea. While fresh food is best, you can also use canned goods that are low in sodium and do not contain spices and sweeteners that would provide unneeded calories and possibly upset a dog’s stomach. Also, make sure you cut up larger pieces of fruit to accommodate your dog’s size to prevent choking.
Brown rice works as a great high-fiber supplement that you can mix in with your dog’s food. While white rice will work fine, brown rice has a much higher amount of fiber. Rice is easy to digest, and you can mix it with other foods to boost the fiber content of a dog’s food.
What are 3 foods that are high in fiber?
There are many fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. Some of these high fiber foods include cooked pumpkin, apples, and carrots. Just make sure you don’t feed your dog any of these foods with added sodium, spices, or sugar.
Is pumpkin a good source of fiber for dogs?
Pumpkin is a great choice of fiber thanks to its high soluble fiber content. Pumpkin is also good for a dog’s digestion and will add bulk to his stool. Not only does it help with diarrhea, but it also includes some beneficial fatty acids, which will supply energy to his cells.
Do dogs need fiber?
In general, a dog should be able to get basic levels of fiber from his dog food. If he requires more, you can always add food that is high in fiber to his regular dog food. These foods can include carrots, apples, cooked pumpkin, green beans, and brown rice.
If your dog has stomach issues or is overweight, adding fiber can be beneficial to his overall health. Just make sure that you do not overfeed him high-fiber foods, which can also cause him to be sick too.