Is your dog struggling with certain health problems? Or is your dog overweight and needs to get rid of excess fat? Eating a high-fiber diet is an excellent way to help your pooch shed the pounds and get his or her health back. Besides the wide range of pet food available in the stores, and certain supplements that you may or may not need, your dog will get plenty of great fiber from ingredients that are natural, rich, and healthy for pups of any age.
Try not to worry the next time you are running low on dog food. In fact, you can let your dog enjoy a nice meal with you directly from your dinner table. Just remember to give your furry friend foods that contain high amounts of fiber, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and other ingredients that you’ll add to homemade dog food recipes including pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other healthy vegetables that contain plentiful amounts of fiber that can be found in the garden.
As far as diets are concerned for dogs, it’s best to understand the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber. They are the necessary ingredients to healthy homemade dog food. Remain informed about ways to combine the right sources of dietary fiber to help your dog improve the quality of their fur and overall health.
Is High-Fiber Dog Food Really Necessary?
Your dog will likely eat anything. But on the other hand, there are certain dogs that are very selective with their food choices. Switching meals on a dog to a high-fiber diet is often tricky and sometimes difficult. Think about trying to get an infant to start eating vegetables. It’s sort of like the same thing. In fact, as soon as a dog smells their new high-fiber meals they’ll know that their menu choice has suddenly changed.
By switching things up, you can teach your dog to fall in love with their new diet loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber within fresh pet food containing healthy amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
The Benefits of Healthy Fiber
You definitely want your dog eating high fiber food because it’s the perfect way to ensure that he or she grows up to lead a healthy and happy life. Pet food with high-fiber gives dogs regular bowel movements, which reduces colon cancer risk. Blood sugar and blood glucose maintenance is a necessity to assist with weight loss and also prevent the onset of diabetes. Giving your dog a rich diet with fibrous vegetables will even minimize potential issues with diarrhea or constipation. The combination of insoluble and soluble fiber will create moisture within your dog’s feces. This will prevent your pooch from suffering from constipation. It’s also going to help prevent diarrhea from becoming a problem.
When dietary fiber is found in the colon, it helps with bowel regulation and even provides a way for your dog to eliminate their pet food through their system much quicker. This diet is a great way to fight back against constipation and it also helps protect the colon wall as well as the digestive tract from cancer producing elements.
Because of its tendency to absorb lots of water, pet food with plentiful supplies of dietary fiber is an excellent choice to help your dog lose weight if he or she is overweight. The additional water will provide your pup with a greater feeling of fullness much sooner, and the fiber works in conjunction with the additional water. Human beings react the same way to drinking water before a meal as well and it makes them less hungry and they’ll consume fewer calories.
Making the Switch to High-Fiber Dog Food
As you attempt to switch your dog over to high-fiber dog food, you must first look closer at the food he or she has consumed up to this point. Even more important, when introducing a new type of food to your dog’s diet, it’s best to do so as gradually as possible. You can mix high-fiber dog food in with their regular food gradually before you initiate a total switchover.
By increasing the high-fiber food gradually, you can eventually make the total change meal after meal until the diet is 100% high-fiber and the old food is out of the picture. Then again, many dog food options already have plentiful supplies of dietary fiber. Adding additional fiber to the mix is a great way to help your dog become accustomed to the new food that is loaded with lots of rich vitamins and minerals. During this transitional phase, you need to focus on your choices. What foods have plenty of fiber? Which sources a dietary fiber are you looking to add to your dog’s diet? What fiber supplement options are the best for your pup?
The Best Sources of Fiber for a Dog’s Diet
It’s not necessary to purchase designer dog food from fancy pet stores to get food containing high-fiber. In fact, the best place to get foods with high dietary fiber is located right in the produce section of your grocery store. Vegetables and fruits are the best food in the world to increase fiber intake in a dog’s diet.
Besides fresh fruits and veggies you can also consider the canned varieties. Have you ever considered feeding your dog pumpkin out of a can? The canned pumpkin available for dogs is a great choice because it is loaded with fiber as well as vitamins and nutrients. Getting it out of the can means you don’t have to mash up these fruits and vegetables and you will not make a mess of your kitchen. This is a low-cost way to get excellent tasting and healthy fibrous food for your pup without having to do a lot of additional heavy lifting and legwork. Your dog will feel better, look better, maintain a healthy weight, and even have regular bowel movements.
Diet Dog Food Low in Fat
In an effort to help your dog will lose weight through a low-fat diet, you’ll also notice that low-fat high-quality dog food is very rich with plentiful supplies of dietary fiber. They add these additional fiber ingredients to give your dog the experience of feeling fuller much quicker, so the pup will not eat as much food which will initiate weight loss.
Grain free diets are usually part of a low-carb diet. Feeding meals free of grain will also help the dog experience fewer allergies and provide a way to maintain health and weight loss. Dog food containing low-fat levels is a common way to feed older less active dogs who require fewer calories than the younger more active dogs.
Supplements like thiamine mononitrate and d-calcium pantothenate are also excellent aids for weight loss because they break down fats and carbs and turn them into energy. Talk to a veterinarian before adding supplements to your pet food.
Foods Loaded with Plenty of Fiber
Since there are so many available choices in the produce market, it’s often tough to figure out how to add fibrous food to your dog’s diet. Quite often you’ll decide to give your dog his or her regular dry food but you’ll open up a can of pumpkin and pour some on top to provide additional taste and extra fiber. No matter what, it’s good to attempt a few different options to see which one your dog likes the best.
Dog Food Brands Selling High-Fiber Food
It’s always a wise choice to start feeding your pup new dry or wet food with lots of dietary fiber and low protein levels. Choosing a brand of dog food with an excellent reputation is always smart thinking as well. This is especially true if you depend on other people to feed your dog from a can or a bag of dry food. When seeking out dog food containing high-fiber, the best place to begin your quest is to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
The vet might make a particular recommendation or even prescribe a specific brand of prescription dog food for your dog’s particular needs. Some brands to consider are as follows:
- Royal Canin
- Hill’s Prescription Diet
When purchasing dog food with high-fiber, make sure you read the ingredients label to determine if it contains the best ingredients. You should also do this to compare labels amongst other brands of high-fiber dog food. The most common brands usually have around 2% to 4% levels of fiber. Prescription high-fiber dog food contains roughly 6% to 10% fiber, it has less protein, and it focuses on low-carb eating. A wide range of the food choices containing high-fiber often have real vegetables and fruits as ingredients in the formula.
Foods Containing High Levels of Fiber
As you search for ingredients that contain dietary fiber, you should put your focus on vegetable options. Brands of high-fiber dog food contain fiber rich fruits and vegetables, and you’ll also benefit from adding veggies and fruit to the food yourself if you decide to go with homemade dog food.
Excellent sources of fiber include:
- Beet Pulp
- Green Vegetables
- Sweet Potatoes
The foods we recommend the most for dogs because of their fiber rich and vitamin rich content include canned pumpkin, green beans, and sweet potatoes.
Canned pumpkin is the right choice to add additional fiber to the diet of your dog. Always purchase real canned pumpkin and avoid choosing pumpkin pie mix because it’s loaded with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. If you have a small dog, only add about a teaspoon of pumpkin and mix it in with his or her food. If your dog is 50 pounds or more, you can put a quarter cup of pumpkin mixed into their meal.
Green beans are an excellent vegetable to add as a supplement to give your dog a high-fiber diet. When you prepare the green beans, make sure to steam them or buy frozen green beans in steamer packages that you can toss in the microwave. After you cool down the green beans, cut them to small pieces and mix them in with your dog’s meal.
Are sweet potatoes a good choice for dogs? Absolutely! And the reason is they contain plentiful amounts of fiber. In fact, a medium sized sweet potato has more than 3 g of fiber inside. Clean and thoroughly wash the potato and prick the skin with a fork. Afterward you can wrap it in a paper towel and cook it in the microwave for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cut the potato in half lengthwise, scoop out the middle, and toss the skin instead of feeding it to your dog. Use the middle of the sweet potato and mash it up with a fork and let it cool down. Put 1 to 3 tablespoons of the mashed sweet potato into your dog’s meal and save the rest for their next meal.
Dog Supplements Containing Fiber
Just like people, dogs also suffer from constipation. More important than anything else, if a dog is having trouble going to the bathroom their bowel movements will improve if they take a dose of fiber.
High-quality fiber supplements for dogs are the best option. Miralax is an excellent example because it’s clear, tasteless, acts as a laxative, and easily mixes in with dog food. Metamucil is another option that works best with lots of water, so mix it in with water before putting it in your dog’s meal.
Brown rice and bran flakes also mix well with dog food and act as a fiber supplement when you mash it into their meal. Talk with a veterinarian before adding fiber supplements to find out how much you should give your pup.
Sustaining Excellent Health with High-Fiber Dog Food
If you intend to have your dog live a long and healthy life, high-fiber dog food is the way to go. This food limits health risks and even helps your dog lose weight. And it’s a great way to prevent colon cancer too.
Make sure you give your pup the right amounts of dietary fiber each day. Talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet suddenly and ask for recommendations.
Watch Video: Homemade Dog Food (High Fiber)
High-Fiber Dog Food Benefits
Many pet owners fail to realize the big benefits of dietary fiber even though it’s such an important ingredient. The main types of fiber include insoluble and soluble fiber and they help your canine live a significantly better life.
Soluble fiber ferments in the colon and creates gas. Insoluble fiber goes into the digestive tract and absorbs water which makes it metabolically inert.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t create gas in the intestinal tract like soluble fiber. In fact, taking in too much soluble fiber will cause diarrhea, gas, and bloating, which happens when you first introduce large amounts of fiber to your dog’s diet, or anyone’s diet for that matter.
The biggest benefits of adding fiber to your dog’s diet include:
Fiber Helps the Digestive Process
Just like with people, fiber is an excellent choice to help improve the health of your dog’s digestion. Normally, fiber combines with beneficial bacteria to turn into fatty acids that live naturally in a dog’s intestine. These fatty acids provide aid for digestion by preventing bad bacteria overgrowth and help dogs recover from: injuries.
Fiber is also an excellent substance to help limit the risks of colon cancer for dogs by creating speedier elimination and decreasing the amount of carcinogens within a dog’s digestive tract. And as we’ve discussed, fiber also helps with constipation and diarrhea-like symptoms as well.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Fiber is a wonderful substance for dogs to maintain or lose weight. Obesity is one of the biggest reasons why dogs suffer from unhealthy illnesses, although dog owners fail to realize the need for additional fiber for their pups. Fiber allows dogs to consume fewer calories and still feel full. So switching to a high-fiber diet is the right choice for dogs looking to maintain a healthy weight.
You’ll quickly learn that most dog foods focused on weight control have high levels of fiber within them. If you aren’t ready to switch foods, you can always add additional food to your dog’s current meals by putting sweet potatoes or green beans in them to increase the fiber count.
Eliminating Diarrhea and Constipation
Certain types of fiber slow down the digestive process, which prevents a spike in blood sugar levels. Eating this way will cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate less and add stability which will help dogs stay healthier and illness free.
Vets realize that fiber can reduce insulin sensitivity in dogs, although research doesn’t necessarily know why this happens. We do know that veterinarians place dogs with diabetes on high-fiber diets to help solve the problem. This style of eating doesn’t work for every dog, because some pups with diabetes fare better when eating their normal diet or a diet with less fiber.
We usually like to associate constipation with high-fiber food. This type of dog food will eliminate constipation in dogs because the insoluble fiber will absorb water and create larger and softer stools. These bigger stools cause the colon muscle to contract and eliminate waste better and faster. There are a number of things that can lead dogs to suffer from constipation, so if this problem happens chronically, you should talk to the veterinarian to get additional help.
You might be surprised to learn that dog food high in fiber also helps dogs that have diarrhea problems. As mentioned, insoluble fiber has the ability to absorb excess water in the colon. Combine this with soluble fiber that produces acidity level regulation in the colon and helps create and produce healthy bacteria. If your dog is suffering from chronic diarrhea it could mean other complicated problems are happening, so a high-fiber diet might not be the answer to their problem and you may need to contact a veterinarian to get a physical and expert help.
Every dog has scent glands located on both sides of the anus. These glands are activated during defecation and secrete oils. They create unique feces because of the scent, which is how dogs also mark their territory. When these glands are blocked it can be a painful experience for dogs. It can also lead to a disease of the anal glands. High-fiber food creates bulking action that leads to larger stools that can release impacted anal glands by pressing up against them and providing relief for your dog.
If your dog happens to be overweight, it’s wise to switch to dog food focused on weight control. Remember to read the list of ingredients to determine if high-fiber content is in the mix. This food is bulky, healthy, and helps dogs lose weight by adding satisfying food with fewer calories to their diet.
Dogs that have received a diabetes diagnosis will also benefit from eating dog food high in fiber. The insoluble fiber can slow down the digestive process and regulate blood sugar levels. According to Denise Elliott, an expert veterinarian, soluble fiber fermentation releases hormones that help diabetic dogs experience less sensitivity to insulin. The research hasn’t pinpointed why or how this works. But we do know that it works nonetheless.
Colon Cancer Risk Reduction
Foods containing lots of fiber reduce your dog’s risk of getting colon cancer. The fiber in food speeds up the elimination process and reduces the time carcinogens spend in the colon and intestinal tract. As soluble fiber begins to ferment in the colon, it produces short chain fatty acids. These substances act as fuel for the cells that line the walls of the intestinal tract. They also initiate a cleaning and repairing process.
Are you ready to feed your dog a high-fiber diet? It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before making a dietary change. Adding too much fiber to the diet too quickly can create excess gas, diarrhea, and frequent stools. It also could potentially cause a disruption in the absorption of minerals and vitamins. So talk to your vet, listen to their recommendations, and use their expert guidance to transition your dog to this type of food.
By switching to a high-fiber diet, you let your pup know that you really care about his or her health. But at the same time, you should also focus on spending a lot of time with your dog, playing with him or her, and putting in the work to meet their personal needs.
Help your dog get comfortable by providing a high quality and extremely comfortable place to sleep, like a Tempur-Pedic dog bed. This bed has memory foam just like the Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Heated beds are also a great option for dogs with joint problems or short hair.
Even better, if you prefer a more hands-on approach you can take a dog massage workshop. During the grooming process, focus on brushing your dog’s hair using a normal routine and even use special conditioners and shampoos to make your pup clean, silky smooth, and very healthy.