The dog’s ancestral diet comprises of a minimal amount of fiber or roughage. When thinking about the importance of fiber in your dog’s diet, you need to remember that there are no physiologic requirements of wild canines for the plant fibers used in most processed pet food.
These are inexpensive products which include the beet pulp, buckwheat, and other grain hulls, guar gum, flaxseed, fruit pectin, oat, and other brans, peanut shells, powdered cellulose, psyllium, and tomato pomace.
Why Your Dog’s Digestive System Needs Fiber for Proper Functioning?
Dietary fibers are complex carbohydrates which are resistant to the digestive enzymes produced by an animal’s gastrointestinal tract. The primary source of fiber comes from plants since most no more extended hunt and eat prey animals.
Fibers are indigestible and have little nutrient value; it plays an essential role in your dog’s digestive process, which helps to maintain microbiome health and diversity. The type of fiber in digestive tract determines how fast food passes through. It can either a speed up or slow process depending on the type of fiber.
Some fibers break down in the intestine into fatty acids which help to prevent the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria and keep a healthy gut microbiome. Fibers allow time for nutrients and water to pass from the large intestine into the bloodstream. Moreover, it binds certain toxins in the gut and illuminates them from the body in faeces.
Types of Fiber
Fibers could be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibers dissolve in water and more digestible then insoluble fibers. They promote the smooth passage of food to the GI tract. The insoluble fibers speed up the rate which food passes through. Following are the examples of soluble fibers:
- Root vegetables
- Root tubers
- Psyllium husk
- Some fruits and vegetables
Following are the sources of insoluble fibers:
- Whole-grain foods
- Wheat and corn
- Potato’s skin
- The leather of some fruits
- Green beans
Is your Dog Eating a Fiber Deficient Diet?
As it’s mentioned earlier, a little amount of fiber in your dog’s diet is significant. However, a diet loaded with fiber can be extremely detrimental.
If you are feeding them a nutritionally balanced diet which includes low-glycemic, fibrous vegetables, and appropriate supplements and your dog is easily producing small and firm stools, your dog is probably getting the amount of fiber her body needs.
Unfortunately, many vets put all raw and fresh foods into one category which demonstrate the lack of knowledge within the vet community regarding the fresh food diets. There are several categories of fresh food; some are healthier and nutritious than others.
The vet must become “fresh food literate”. Many vets have concerns about animals eating, which is a nutritionally unbalanced, raw, “prey model” diet for many reasons that include the lack of microbiome-building fiber. Researches show that animals who are eating these diets have poorer microbiomes from the lack of roughage in the diet.
You need to use a variety of low-glycemic, high-fibre vegetables to help to maintain your dog’s blood glucose and insulin at low and stable levels while providing the critical polyphenols and antioxidants needed for immune recovery. Chopped or minced Brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, cabbage, dark leafy greens, and asparagus are best choices.
How to Add Healthy Sources of Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet
If your pet can get benefits from additional dietary fiber you need to add one of the above veggie options to your dog’s meal. About 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight need once or twice a day.
If it’s not useful, try adding psyllium husk powder at ½ teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight or coconut acacia fiber at 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight once or twice a day.
Your dog may advantage from the addition of a soluble fiber if he is consistently producing narrow and loose stools. This is called slippery el bark. When it combines with digestive juices, it produces a gel-like material which is called mucilage. Mucilage coats and soothes the GI tract and helps to firm the stool.
Approximately ½ teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight per meal should do the trick.
Canned or freshly steamed pumpkin can be 100 % beneficial as an added fiber source which provides about 80 calories and 7 grams of soluble fiber per cup along with 505 mm of potassium. For every 10 pounds of body weight, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin is mixed with your dog’s food one to two times per day can help to alleviate both constipation and loose stools.
These are free tips to the healthiest diet for your dog:
- What you need to feed your dog to keep them happy and healthy
- Toxic human foods to stay out of your dog’s reach
- How dog foods made from euthanized pets and rotting animal carcasses can kill your pet
- Must know feeding hacks if you have an obese dog