The Need-to-Know about High Fiber Dog Food
We only want the absolute best for our four-legged paw friends. Whether you do all that you can to ensure that your puppers always has enough mental and physical stimulation or you try to keep up with the latest and greatest in animal holistic health, you try and do 100% of what you can. But, what if we shared with you that one of the most common supplements you’ve probably heard of, is also one of the most commonly overlooked?
Fiber friends, fiber. It’s a nutrient that provides extremely important benefits for your furry companion. However, many paw parents assume that their doggo is getting plenty of fiber from their daily diet…….sadly, that’s not always the case. Fortunately, there are effective options available to ensure that your dog is getting all the fiber they need.
Let’s get to it!
High Fiber Dog Food
It’s exactly what you would initially think: dog food that is made with high amounts of natural fiber. If your dog is struggling with maintaining a healthy weight or has constant digestive issues, a high-fiber dog food may be exactly what they need. Unfortunately, making the food switch to high fiber dog food isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3. Even more so, paw parents sometimes compare it to getting a child to eat their fruits and veggies.
It’s like your dog knows this meal includes their new food, full of vitamins and nutrients, so they give you a face and walk away. Don’t fret though, if a higher fiber dog food is the appropriate option for your dog, there are numerous ways to help them grow to love the taste.
The 2 Types of Fiber
1. Insoluble Fibers
This type of fibers increase the bulk of the contents that undergo digestion (the digesta) in the digestive tract. Thus, increasing the bulk of the fecal matter. Insoluble fibers stimulate motility, even though they are less metabolically active. Insoluble fibers do not typically produce intestinal gas and are well-known for its ability to control overall transit time within the digestive tract. In layman's terms, it can help speed things up in instances of constipation and help slow things down in instances of diarrhea.
In general, insoluble fiber is considered to be safe. However, in high doses, insoluble fiber can result in a reduction in the nutrient availability or nutrient digestibility, due to the binding of some minerals. This can lead to issues of weight loss, diarrhea, poor coat quality, vomiting, and flatulence.
2. Soluble Fibers
This type of fiber can produce both short-chain fatty acids and gases during the fermentation process of the colon. It is also capable of absorbing water. If soluble fibers are introduced too quickly or in too high of quantities, this can result in gas and diarrhea. It’s always crucial to start off slow with soluble fibers!
When adding either type of fiber into your pup’s diet, always start with the recommended amount and go slow. There’s no need to hurry!
The High-Fiber Benefits
The beautiful benefits of fiber for dogs are similar to their benefits for us humans. Think about it - if you had a carb loaded weekend and forgot about those greeny veggies, your stomach was probably not the happiest. Dogs can have sensitive stomachs too. Grain-based, heavy food may fill them up quickly, but dogs need high-quality fiber sources to keep things moving easily. If your dog isn’t consuming appropriate amounts of fiber, they made me faced with a laundry list of health issues that you may not have even thought about. Luckily, you can prevent these potential health issues by incorporating fiber into fido’s diet - made simple.
1. Helps Maintain Healthy Weight
Obesity can be a serious concern among our four-legged fur friends and can do more damage than some paw parents may realize. In fact, obesity is listed as one of the leading causes of illness in dogs. Most obese doggos remain obese throughout their lives because paw parents are reluctant to decrease the amount of food they serve.
If your doggo is obese, consider switching to a high fiber dog food. Fiber will allow your dog to feel full and nourished without eating as much that can be found in the typical grain-based diet.
If you decide that you don’t want to make the switch to high fiber dog food, you can still help your dog maintain a healthy weight by supplementing their diet with a natural fiber source. This simple and healthy additive will help them feel full and energized for a longer duration, without those consequences of weight gain or overeating.
2. Helps Promote a Healthy Colon
Studies have found that fermentable fiber has the ability to prevent colon cancer in dogs. But how? Well, fiber speeds up the elimination process and lessens the exposure to any carcinogens that the dogs may have previously eaten. Fiber aids in colon wall and digestive tract health, protection from cancer abiding elements from entering.
Fiber Sources for Dogs
Now that you’ve read about the wonderful ways that fiber can benefit your pup, you’re most likely wondering about how and where to start. Many paw parents aren’t sure of whether they should make a complete dog food switch or simply add fiber-rich foods into their diet. Well, there isn’t a clear, cut answer here friends.
However, we do recommend trying out a few different options of incorporating fiber into your dog’s diet and seeing which one works for them best! Go slow….don’t bring home high-fiber foods, supplements, and treats expecting for your pup to react with excitement. Slowly incorporate whichever fiber source you choose, allowing your dog’s body to get accustomed to the new source of nutrients on its own time.
The Best Fiber Foods for Dogs
High fiber foods don’t have to be store-bought brands of pet food. In fact, you may score the most going down your local produce aisle. Most fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog to eat, not to mention that they are packed with fiber that can be easily incorporated into their daily meals.
A) Green Beans
Green beans make for a great source of fiber for dogs (and humans too)! Paw parents can steam fresh green beans, leave them to cool, mash them up, and add them to their dog’s dry food!
B) Sweet Potatoes
First off, sweet potatoes can provide an excellent source of support for your dog’s digestive health. Secondly, they are a great source of fiber! For instance, one medium-sized sweet potato contains over 3 grams of dietary fiber - WOW!
When preparing this sweet sweet potato feast, first clean the whole potato with warm water and poke it several times with a fork. Cook the potato in the microwave for 9 - 10 minutes, turning it over around 5 minutes. Once it’s cooked, cut the sweet potato in half and scoop out all the insiders. Mash the sweet potato with a fork and allow it to cool thoroughly. You can add 1 to 3 tablespoons of this dietary fiber to your dog’s food for a healthy, and not to mention tasty, treat.
C) Canned Pumpkin
Pumpkin for dogs? Yep. Pumpkin is a great source of soluble fiber, containing essential vitamins and minerals that help in relieving doggy diarrhea. Canned pumpkin contains vitamins A, C, E, iron, and potassium, among other nutrient-packed goodness. The natural fibers and essential vitamins help to slow down digestion, absorbing water, and adding bulk to your dog’s stool. If your doggo is experiencing diarrhea, simply mix their current food with a tablespoon of canned pumpkin and wait for the dietary fiber magic to take place!
Pumpkin can also help significantly with weight loss and management. Canned pumpkin can be a great option to ensure that your pup maintains a healthy weight without feeling overly hungry.
When purchasing canned pumpkin, please ensure that the pumpkin is the sole ingredient. The product should not contain any added salt or sugar! These ingredients may do a lot more harmful than good to your pup’s upset stomach.
Other foods that may be a great source of fiber:
- Green vegetables
CBD and High Fiber Dog Food
Since cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-toxic, 100% natural compound, it can be safe to use in conjunction with other supplements. And what do you know, fiber is an all-natural compound too! You dog’s stomach issues can soon be a thing of the past by just making a few simple changes to their diet. Implementing CBD and fiber as part of their well-rounded diet may be the recipe you didn’t know you needed.
Here’s at Petly CBD, we’ve created a whole line of CBD products fit to your doggo’s needs! The four-legged fav product by far? Pet Hemp CBD Dog Treats! Not only do our treats contain all-natural certified water soluble broad-spectrum CBD, but also are corn free, soy free, and grain free.
High Fiber Dog Food: Final Thoughts
When all is said and done, we know that you only want the best for your puppers. We totally understand! We know just how hard it can be to navigate the world of owning a pet. It’s important to know that so many health conditions can be prevented by making sure your dog is consuming a high-fiber dog food. Talk with your holistic veterinarian to determine if a high fiber diet may do the trick!