What Should I Look For In A High
When looking for premium quality high-fiber dog food, you need to consider features like natural ingredients, balanced formula, and flavor preference. In addition to these factors, it is useful to opt for a recipe featuring one or more of these high-fiber fruits & veggies:
- Beetroot: Beet pulp has one of the highest-fiber sources amongst natural ingredients 11-19% per cup.
- Carrots: Contain 2.8 grams of fiber on average and improve liver and kidney function.
- Pumpkin: A flavorful superfood with 7.1 grams of dietary fiber per cup
- Ground Flaxseed: Features 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon. They are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that improve skin and coat health in dogs.
- Berries: The most indulgent source of natural fibers. Blueberries and strawberries contain at least 3 grams of dietary fiber in each cup.
What Fiber Has To Offer Dogs
Its true that the wild canine diet contains very little fiber, and the dog has no absolute physiologic need for it. However, dogs eating processed commercial foods do appear to benefit from the addition of fiber.
While fiber itself is indigestible and generally considered non-nutritive, some fibers do contain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that can be extracted during digestion, either by the mechanical grinding action of the stomach and intestines, or through bacterial fermentation in the colon. However, the nutrients present in fiber are not the reason it is often included in dog fods.
Fibers major contribution to commercial dog food is modulation of the digestive process the fiber content of a food greatly affects the speed of passage of food through the digestive system. Fibers moisture-absorbing and lubricating actions can slow down peristalsis in cases of diarrhea, or speed it up in the case of constipation. In other words, fiber has a normalizing effect on the gut.
The presence of adequate fiber allows time for absorption of nutrients and water from the intestine into the blood. Some fibers also impart mucilaginous qualities to the food, helping it slide along the gut walls. Certain fibers increase the rate of stomach emptying , while others slow it down. Fiber binds some toxins in the gut and eliminates them in the stool.
Adding Fiber To Your Dog’s Meal Plan
If your vet informs you that your dog needs more fiber, the simplest and most effective solution is to feed your dog a therapeutic food based on their recommended feeding instructions. Depending on what your vet tells you about your dog’s specific needs, the meal plan should contain increased amounts of either soluble or insoluble fiber.
Remember that the bacteria in a dog’s gut take time to acclimate to abrupt changes, as dogs eat far more routine meals than people do. Always transition to a new food slowly, over the course of one to two weeks, and know that any change to your dog’s food may cause diarrhea.
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What To Feed Dogs To Express Glands
If the duct gets clogged, the gland continues to produce secretions and this can lead to impaction, infection or rupture. Chronic soft feces may more commonly lead to lack of stimulation for natural expression of the glands. Adding high fiber to the dogs diet, using foods such as broccoli or canned pumpkin, can help.
How To Know When Your Dog Needs Fiber
As youve seen, dogs DO need fiber in their diets. Or sometimes they need fiber for short-term or long-term health issues as you aim for good quality, regular bowel movements.
The first indication that your dog needs fiber is from his stool. If your dog is constipated or has loose stools, either can indicate a need for fiber. When you start adding fiber, youll want to ensure your dog gets frequent walks to avoid accidents.
Chronic digestive conditions like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency affect the small intestine. When you add soluble fiber, it will slow the flow so nutrients absorb better. A dog with one of these conditions may be under the care of a holistic veterinarian so ask for help determining the amount of fiber.
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Signs Of A Fiber Imbalance
If your dog has a fiber deficiency, they may have constipation or very watery stools. It’s important to understand that excess fiber can also cause health issues. If your dog consumes too much fiber, they may have a hard time absorbing minerals. A fiber imbalance can lead to:
- Increased stool frequency, urgency to defecate and/or defecating in the house
To Beet Or Not To Beet That Is The Question
Recently there has been renewed interest in fiber as a dog food ingredient. One pet food manufacturer published an article on the Internet condemning beet pulp in dog food as unhealthy, if not downright dangerous. There is a lot of myth and misunderstanding concerning fiber, so lets take a closer look at this controversial ingredient.
The term fiber applies to complex carbohydrates that are resistant to mammalian digestive enzymes, although certain bacteria possess the enzymes needed to break them down. Even ruminants, with their four-chambered stomachs and cud-chewing habits, rely on their symbiotic rumen bacteria to digest plant fiber.
Fiber is found only in plants hair, hooves, bones, fish scales, and feathers do not contain any fiber. Fiber is composed of polysaccharides , and is found in plant cell walls, where it provides structural strength and rigidity.
While some food manufacturers use whole grains and vegetables to serve as both a source of nutrients and fiber the method WDJ most admires many others use dedicated fiber sources such as beet pulp, peanut shells, oat and other brans, tomato pomace, buckwheat and other grain hulls, psyllium, fruit pectin, guar gum and other gums, flaxseed, and powdered cellulose. This last one is defined as purified, mechanically disintegrated cellulose . . . from fibrous plant materials. I fondly refer to it as sawdust, which I believe is a fair description .
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Talk To Your Veterinarian
Nobody knows your pet better than you do, but nobody knows what they need to thrive better than their veterinarian. Never make a major change to your dogâs diet without first seeking out their expert guidance or attempt to diagnose any health issue on your own. Sudden updates to their daily meals could leave your dog dealing with digestive issues and potentially result in more serious health consequences.
Your vet or a Board Certified Veterinary NutritionistÂ® will first help you determine whether supplementary fiber will help your dog and then work alongside you to safely introduce it into their diet.
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How To Add Fiber To Your Dog’s Diet
Alycia Washington is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with nearly a decade of experience as a small animal emergency veterinarian. She currently works as a relief veterinarian for various emergency and specialty hospitals. Dr. Washington recognizes the importance of education and also works as a freelance veterinary writer.
Getty Images – Westend61
All commercial dog food will have something called an AAFCO statement that declares whether the food was formulated or whether the food underwent animal feeding trials and it also declares what life stage the dog food was made for. As of right now, AAFCO only recognizes two life stages: adult maintenance and growth/reproduction. Its important to note that if a food is labeled for all life stages it will more closely fit the regulations for growth/reproduction as those are more stringent. Obviously, this fails to represent the senior pet population. As dogs age, they may require less protein and more fiber in their diet. Unfortunately, with no recognized life stage for senior dogs, you may find that your senior dogs needs fiber supplementation if it develops chronic GI issues.
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Recipe
Blue Buffalo Wilderness has their own weight management recipe that can also provide for a dogs daily needs and helps with weight loss. This brand, however, is geared more towards active breeds that generally make a living in the outdoors. Its designed to help dogs develop and maintain lean muscle mass, allowing for clean weight loss. Its protein is derived from natural sources, such as lean chicken and turkey, and is also low in carbohydrates.
Its high fiber content comes from fresh fruits and vegetables that can help support your pets digestive process while still allowing them to maintain a healthy weight. Much like Dr. Tims, Blue Buffalo also has L-carnitine in their weight loss recipe to help with metabolizing fats.
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Fiber
Maximum Fiber Content: 12.5%
Ingredients:Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, chicken fat, powdered cellulose, rice hulls, corn, wheat, corn gluten meal
PROS: The majority of owners who purchased Royal CANIN Gastrointestinal Fiber Response were happy with their purchase. Most reported that their dog liked the foods taste, and many explained that this food helped firm up their dogs stools.
CONS: The biggest single problem with Royal CANIN Gastrointestinal Fiber Response is its reliance on chicken by-product meal as the primary protein source. This is a pretty disappointing ingredient choice, given the foods high price. Additionally, many of the carbohydrates used in the food are of negligible nutritional value. Additionally, although the food claims to help nourish intestinal flora, it does not contain any probiotic bacteria.
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Does Your Dog Need More Fiber
Probably not. Most dogs get all the fiber they need from commercially-produced dog foods. A veterinarian may recommend supplemental fiber for the following types of dogs:
- Dogs suffering from diarrhea or constipation or who regularly deal with these conditions
- Dogs with high levels of fat in their blood
- Overweight or obese dogs
Give Them Proper Exercise
A healthy bowel needs to keep things moving along in order to function properly, and physical activity helps greatly in that regard. Not only does regular exercise keep your dogs temperament in check, it also keeps them healthy and maintain their weight. Depending on your dogs breed, make sure you give them the amount of exercise they need daily.
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As Fed Versus Dry Matter
The percentages of protein, fat, etc., shown on a pet food label are expressed as fed meaning, as the food is delivered in its package. Some percentage of the food is comprised of moisture , which of course contains no protein, fat, fiber, or other nutrients. Kibble generally contains about 10 percent moisture wet foods contain as much as 80 percent or more moisture.
So, think about it: When a label says that a food contains 4 percent fat, in order to really understand how much fat you are about to feed your dog, you also have to know how much moisture is in the food. What you really want to know is how much fat is in the food part of the food the dry matter. Any serious discussion of nutrition, or comparison of dry and wet diets, then, requires the conversion of the nutrient values from as fed to dry matter. Dont worry it sounds technical, but its easy to do.
-To calculate dry matter percentages, first determine the amount of dry matter by subtracting the percentage of moisture from 100. Then divide the as fed percentage by the amount of dry matter to get the dry matter percentage. For example, if a canned food has 75 percent moisture and 4 percent fat:
100 75 = 25 percent dry matter
4 ÷ 25 = 16 percent fat on a dry matter basis
What To Look For:
When shopping for high-fiber dog food, youll want to seek out:
- Increased fiber content
- High-fiber fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, such as brown rice and oatmeal
- Supplemental sources of fiber, such as flaxseed and psyllium husk
Look for fibers that come from nutritious sources, such as whole grains and fresh produce, rather than refined grains like corn and wheat.
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Why Is Fiber Not Good For Dogs
But high-fiber diets and the shorter digestive tracts of dogs dont always mix well. High fiber levels in dogs can cause digestive problems and interfere with proper nutrient absorption. Unlike humans, dogs are carnivorous, meaning their nutritional needs are better satisfied with meat rather than with plant materials.
The Benefits Of High Fiber Dog Food
Dogs benefit from two forms of fiber for a healthy digestive system. Insoluble fiber absorbs water and draws moisture from outside the colon and into a dog’s feces, promoting regular bowel movements. Meanwhile, soluble fiber forms a thick gel, which may help food travel more easily through the digestive tract.
In fact, a study was done to see whether providing a meal high in soluble and insoluble fiber to dogs suffering from acute colitis would be more beneficial than eating a diet with standard fiber levels. Colitis is a condition in which the colon or large intestine becomes inflamed and can result in diarrhea. The findings indicate that increasing dietary fiber concentrations is effective in managing acute colitis in dogs.
But what are the other benefits of fiber in a dog’s diet?
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S Of Nutrition Measurement
There are three different ways of measuring amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber in foods:
1. Percentage of dry matter
2. Percentage of calories
3. Grams per 1,000 calories
Dry matter percentages are easiest to use for commercial foods. Grams per 1,000 calories or percentage of calories are simpler ways to measure nutrients in a homemade diet.
How Much Fiber Do Cats Need
Generally speaking, cats need to have a crude fiber level of around 1.5%-3.5%.
The right amount of dietary fiber is the main issue. You should remember that your cat doesnt need a lot.
Make sure you consulted your vet first before starting to develop the new diet schedule. You need to know all about your cats health. Get your pet tested, find out if it has diarrhea or constipation before choosing the right type of fiber.
This substance can become a great treatment for many illnesses. However, you shouldnt include too much, no matter how serious your cat suffers. Less is more.
Jimmie OChutt is CEO at CatPet.club online magazine dedicated to cat nutrition, care and entertainment. If youre looking for expert commentary on cat diet feel free to reach out!
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Fiber Supplements For Dogs: Our Favorite Picks
All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
If your dogs digestive system needs a fiber boost, these products can help balance gut health, firm up loose stool, and keep your canine regular.
Can Dogs Have Metamucil
When people think of fiber Metamucila popular fiber supplement that is mixed with watercomes to mind. And if youre mixing up a glass for yourself, you might be wondering whether your dog can experience the same benefits from Metamucil.
Turns out, a small amount should be okayjust make sure to read the label carefully.
A pinch of Metamucil can be helpful for dogs, Feinman says. Just be sure its only Metamucil and not filled with artificial sweeteners like xylitol as those are dangerous for dogs.
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Royal Canin Canine Gastrointestinal Fiber Response
About: Royal CANIN Gastrointestinal Fiber Response is specifically designed to address the colitis and other intestinal issues from which some dogs suffer. It contains the highest fiber content of any food in our review and it is fortified with supplemental omega fatty acids to help reduce intestinal inflammation.
Complete And Balanced Dog Food Should Follow Aafco Guidelines
AFFCO is a private, nonprofit organization that defines the ingredients used in animal feed and pet food.
AAFCO helps ensure that animal feed and pet food products have undergone the appropriate analyses and have the necessary, required nutrients. A nutritional adequacy statement by the Association of American Feed Control Officials helps pet parents identify products that meet their dogs daily nutrient requirements.
AAFCO Label Requirements
Every pet diet and supplemental diet should include a statement from AAFCO and proper labeling to help consumers understand how much of each nutrient is needed daily and for what life stages. Keep in mind that pet food labels are different than human food product labels, which makes comparing food products difficult.
There are eight things that should be included on the bag or can:
Brand and product name
Medical and behavioral conditions
A large portion of energy in the diet comes from fats and proteins, followed by carbohydrates. The energy content of a diet determines the quality of the food and how much food should be consumed on a daily basis. The diet should meet the daily energy requirements of your dogs individual needs.
For example, dogs eating a diet that is high in energy will eat a smaller amount. It is important in this case to ensure that the percentage of other essential nutrients is high enough to meet the smaller volume consumed.
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Is It Okay To Include Plant Fibers In Your Cats Diet
As we already mentioned, plant fibers play an important role in the treatment of both constipation and diarrhea. This is a serious argument to include them in your cats everyday meal. Also fiber-rich diet helps to prevent smelly poop in cats. However, its not that simple.
If your cat is on a raw, whole-prey diet, it will have smaller, yet more-formed feces. The smell will also be not as distinctive as that one of the cats that eat food from the supermarket. That means that other cats wont be attracted to your home as much. Its very convenient.
Whole prey animals contain about 0.55% of plant fibers. They are presented in a fully-digested form. As for the average amount of fiber in cats food, it usually reaches 5%. It is 10 times higher than your fluffy needs.
Wet cat food usually contains 0.5 to 0.6% of fiber. Dry food is much higher in fiber because of the economical reasons. The thing is that it is easier and cheaper to increase the bulk of the product with fiber than with nutritional elements.
As a result, you have 2 options to follow. You can develop a raw, whole-prey animal diet for your kitty. If you cannot give your cat such fiber, you need to buy some wet food instead.