Keep Their Mind & Body Firing
Fibre has always played an important role in the human diet – lowering cholesterol levels or keeping the digestive system running.
But did you know? Fibre plays an equally essential role in your dog’s diet too! Yes. It’s true. Introducing a high-fibre diet can do wonders for the gastrointestinal system of your little furry friend.
Before getting to the “how”, let’s first quickly get an idea about the “what”.
What is Fibre?
Fibre is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that passes through the digestive tract intact. This brings us to the question – if it can’t be digested, what’s the use of fibre anyway?
Fibre does have its set of benefits. It helps in regulating your intestinal functioning and promotes colon health. It also helps in decelerating the absorption of glucose into your blood.
Types Of Fibre
Fibres are classified by their ability to absorb water into two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibres have the capability to absorb more water while insoluble fibres don’t. Both have their individual benefits in your dog’s diet.
Soluble fibres can easily be digested by your dog and improve the immunity system. They also improve the digestive health of your dog by providing the necessary energy for the smooth intestinal functioning. Soluble fibres help in fighting conditions like chronic diarrhoea and Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
Insoluble fibres speed up the digestion process by adding bulk to food without increasing the calorie intake. Thus they are beneficial for the diets of obese dogs. The bulk also helps in stimulating bowel movements of your pets, thereby improving the regularity of their stools. Insoluble fibres are also recommended by vets to fight chronic constipation and smooth functioning of anal glands.
Benefits Of Fibres In Your Dog’s Diet
The benefits of a high-fibre diet for your dog are many.
- Fibre enhances the digestive ability of your dog to a great extent. By inducing water into the intestine, it fights constipation and by absorbing water from the intestine, it fights diarrhoea. Also by adding bulk to your dog’s stools, it ensures proper functioning of their intestines.
- Fibre helps in keeping your dog’s blood sugar levels consistent, thereby preventing obesity and canine diabetes.
- Fibre reduces the chances of colon cancer in dogs by hastening the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract.
- By improving the digestive system of dogs, fibre helps in improving their immunity too.
- Fibre also helps in curbing intestinal dysfunctions in your pet.
How Much Fibre Is Right For Your Dog’s Diet?
Fibre in dog food generally ranges from 1% to 10%. However, as per vets, 5% is considered to be the benchmark for classifying high and low fibre food. Anything above 5% is considered to be high-fibre dog food. Fibre content exceeding 10% is not advisable for dogs, so always make sure to check the dog food label for the fibre content before giving it to your dog.
How To Choose A High-Fibre Diet For Your Dog
Before you finally choose a high-fibre diet for your dog, there are a few considerations you need to make.
- Age – The age of your dog is a crucial factor while planning to introduce fibres in their diet. The amount of fibre will depend on the life stage your dog is in – puppy, adult or senior. For example, while a puppy needs more fibre and calories, a senior will not.
- Breed – Every breed of dog has different diet requirements. Depending on the lean weight and the feed of your dog, it can be determined how much and what kind of fibre is ideal for them. For example for a low-weight dog, providing a high-fibre diet is advisable.
- Preference – Depending on what your dog prefers, you can provide canned or dry high-fibre dog food. For example, if your dog likes chewing, you can give him/her dry high-fibre dog food.
- Allergy – You should choose a high-fibre diet based on your dog’s sensitivity. If your dog has symptoms like itching, lactose intolerance or skin infections, then you should choose their diet accordingly. Since certain high-fibre dog food may contain fillers and preservatives, it’s better to be careful while deciding on a diet.
Best High-Fibre Foods For Your Dog
Oats are the perfect food to serve to hungry dogs. Serving your dog oats during snack time will keep them full for a long period of time. A bowl of porridge is not only satisfying but also low on calories.
Vegetables top the list when it comes to high-fibre foods for dogs. Broccoli, cabbage, green beans, carrots, sprouts and sweet potatoes are some examples. You can serve them by steaming and chopping them or mashing them.
This alternative to white rice is a rich source of fibre for dogs. It provides a wholesome appetite for dogs.
Fruits like apple, tomato pomace, citrus pulp are excellent high-fibre food for your dog.
Some other high-fibre dog food includes whole grains, psyllium husk, legumes and flaxseed.
Fibre is one of the most important elements of a balanced diet. Apart from this, there are several other components in a balanced diet like carbohydrates, proteins etc. To keep your dog healthy, you must provide him/her with a balanced diet. A properly balanced diet can be introduced to your dog through either food or treats.