Most of us have heard of the benefits of fibre, but did you know dogs can benefit just as much from fibre? If you’re wondering what to give a dog for constipation or for diarrhea, look no further! Let’s take a look at why dogs need fibre and what is a good source of fibre for dogs.
What is Fibre
Exclusively obtained through plants, fibre is a complex type of carbohydrate. Consumed in moderation, fibre has a wide range of benefits from aiding digestion to reducing cancer risk. But it’s important to understand how best to incorporate fibre in your dog’s diet.
Solubility and Fermentability
Fibre can be split into different categories according to their solubility and fermentability. Solubility refers to how well the fiber disperses in water, while fermentability refers to the rate at which fibers produce specific types of fatty acids. In general, the soluble fibers tend to also be highly fermentable. Why is this important? Different categories of fibre help your pup in different ways.
Insoluble fibres like corn, kale, strawberries and blueberries absorb water while in your pup’s digestive system, helping promote regular bowel movements and can even control diarrhea. Supplements like Wholistic Pet’s Digest All Dog Supplements containing fibre are great for helping manage your pup’s digestive system.
On the other hand, soluble fibres typically found in cooked legumes, sweet potatoes, pears and carrots dissolve in your pup’s stomach to create a kind of glue-like substance that slows down their absorption of sugars. This helps manage their blood sugar levels and even their cholesterol.
The fatty acids created by highly fermentable fibre as it ferments also help build up the good bacteria in your dog’s digestive system, allowing your dog’s colon to repair itself.
Benefits of Fibre
Another reason fiber can be beneficial is in its ability to promote weight loss. As your pup consumes good dog food containing fibre, it absorbs water and expands, helping your pup feel full faster. For pups struggling with obesity, fibre can be a great way to help control their weight.
Other benefits of fibre include:
- Prevention of diseases like diabetes
- Reduced obesity risk
- Reduced digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome
- Prevents constipation
Fibre-rich Dog Food
In general, a healthy pup not currently trying to lose weight should consume between 2-4% of fibre in their diet. Their diet should also consist of sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre. If your dog has special dietary requirements, or if you are trying to help your pup control their weight, make sure to consult a vet before overloading your pup’s diet with fibre.
If you want to help your pup control their weight gain, give Wellness Core’s Grain-Free Reduced Fat Dog Food a go. Made of a protein rich formula of turkey, chicken and salmon oil, this delicious meal option is great for pups with sensitive stomachs. Plus, it’s reduced fat formula is great for dogs looking to lose excess weight.
But specially formulated dog food like Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Solutions Raw Dog Food is great for dogs that need more fibre in their diets. Containing fibre-rich ingredients like flaxseed, as well as other natural ingredients like pumpkin, papaya and pineapple, Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food is a great mixer, topper or entire meal for your pup.
However, consumed in excess, fibre-rich foods can actually cause gas, diarrhea and tummy upset (in which both Pet N Pet’s Biodegradable Poop Bags and Lactogold Probiotic K Gel are great to have on hand!) This is especially common when fiber is first introduced, as well as if the fibre content in their dog food increases suddenly. To reduce these side effects, increase your dog’s dosage of fibre gradually.
Another great way to incorporate fibre in your pup’s diet is through Kin+Kind’s Pumpkin Fibre Dog Supplements. Made with organic ingredients and packed with nutrients and fibre, supplements like these are great for aiding in digestion and bowel movement.
Fibre is an often overlooked portion of your pup’s diet, but properly introduced to your pup, it can have great health benefits especially for your dog’s digestive system. Nevertheless, always consult your vet before you make drastic changes to your pup’s diet as introducing too much fibre to your dog’s diet can be detrimental to their health!
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.