Dog food containing fiber can help your dog with many health issues, including colon health, weight management, stabilizing blood sugar, and controlling diarrhea and constipation. A lot of dry dog foods contain fiber in the form of vegetables and grains, as meat does not contain fiber. Gluten free or grain free dog food, such as Orijen dog food or Taste of the Wild dog food, has additional vegetables to provide the fiber your dog needs for health benefits.
Dog Colon Health
Dog food containing fiber can help prevent colon cancer in a few different ways. Short chain fatty acids are formed in your dog’s stomach from the good bacteria that ferments fiber. These short chain fatty acids helps your dog’s colon repair itself, which in turn can help prevent cancer. In addition, the insoluble fiber that helps absorb water into the colon makes fecal matter swell against the colon wall. The swelling creates pressure, which in turn causes muscle contractions, pushing food through the digestive tract at a faster speed. The faster speed allows less contact between your dog’s colon wall and the cancer-causing substances.
Stabilizing Blood Sugar in Dogs with Diabetes
Dog food that is high in fiber helps to manage wild swings in blood sugar that is often found in dogs with canine diabetes. Since insoluble fiber absorbs water, this water-holding fiber creates a barrier in your dog’s intestine that slows down nutrient absorption. It also delays the time it takes for your dog’s stomach to empty. Your dog’s blood sugar will remain more steady when digestion takes a little longer to occur, preventing problems with uncontrolled diabetes.
Dog Weight Management
When fiber is added to dog food, the caloric content of the dog food is “diluted,” creating fewer calories per serving. Since your dog will be ingesting fewer calories, fiber significantly aids in weight loss. In addition, fiber absorbs water, causing the fiber to expand. This expansion makes your dog feel like he has a full stomach, and feeling full is a signal of hunger satisfaction for your pup. High fiber in your dog’s food is definitely a dog food requirement if your dog needs to lose weight.
Controlling and Preventing Dog Diarrhea and Constipation
Dog food containing fiber has both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber absorbs water. Insoluble fiber can attract moisture from outside your dog’s colon and into your dog’s stools, which promotes regular bowel movements. Insoluble fiber can also absorb excess water inside your dog’s colon, which helps control diarrhea. By feeding your dog a diet rich in fiber, you are providing a stool “normalizer” for your dog that provides a solution to many canine regularity problems.
Grain Free Dog Food and Fiber
Many dogs have health issues when their dog foods contain grain. Since grain is used primarily as a filler in dog food, your dog can benefit greatly from foods that are grain free. Rather than adding grain to your dog’s food, better meat products and vegetables containing beneficial nutrients and fiber are used instead. Grain free dog food can cost more than foods containing grain, but dogs eating grain free dog food need less of it to feel satisfied, which allows the same size dog food bag to last longer than a food containing grain. Dogs eating grain free dog food need less food to feel satisfied due to the quality fiber found in the food – the food will expand in the stomach, digest more slowly, stay in the intestine longer, and produce a quality stool.
What to Look for on the Dog Food Label
When it comes to looking at your dog food label, there are a few things to know:
- “Crude” fiber refers to the percentage of fiber in your dog food, but not the quality. In addition, you can get food with too much fiber, which then decreases the digestibility of other nutrients. In fact, it is usually a good idea to avoid foods with more than 10% crude fiber.
- Beet pulp is a fiber providing good stool characteristics without compromising other nutrients.
- Carrots are nutrient dense vegetables that also provide beneficial fiber.
- Fiber is not considered an essential nutrient, but you should still check for fiber information when purchasing food.
- Dog food with little to no fiber is probably food to avoid.
Have your dog try a dog food containing higher and better quality fiber if he is suffering from any of the health issues listed above. You may solve a lagging health issue that has plagued your dog!