Pet parents are often focused on getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in their furkids‘ diet. However, we sometimes overlook the importance of dietary fiber in their diet. Let’s take a closer look at fiber and discover how it helps improve your dog’s digestive health.
Health benefits of fiber
Fiber is an edible part of a plant that the stomach cannot completely digest. It is found in the cell walls of plants, which is the reason why only grains and vegetables have it. Main health benefits include:
- Improved digestion. Fiber ferments into fatty acids which help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive tract.
- Prevention of both constipation and diarrhea. Fiber can attract moisture into the large intestine and prevent constipation. In the same way, it can also absorb excess water in your furkids’ poop and prevent watery stools.
- Lesser risk of colon cancer. Fiber helps in speeding up the process of excretion and reducing your dog’s exposure to carcinogens consumed.
- Weight management. Fiber expands whenever it absorbs water thus contributing to the feeling of fullness inside the stomach.
Types of fiber
Not all fibers are the same. Your dog will need a certain type of fiber depending on his condition. Remember that before you do any changes to your furkid’s diet, consult your veterinarian first.
Insoluble Fiber. This type of fiber can’t be digested and will pass through the digestive tract unchanged. Because of this, your dog can’t benefit much from the calories that insoluble fiber has. This is why insoluble fibers are mainly used to help clean the colon and maintain weight. Insoluble fiber can also help relieve constipation by adding bulk onto your dog’s stool, thus, stimulating bowel movement. It is mostly found in whole grains (wheat, corn) legumes (peas), and seeds (flaxseed).
Soluble Fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water and will help pass the food smoothly through the digestive tract. Upon reaching the colon, soluble fiber ferments and creates intestinal gases. This process will help prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria in your dog’s gut. However, too much soluble fiber can cause bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. Fruits (like apple, mango, blueberries, papaya) and vegetables (like pumpkin, carrots, broccoli, spinach) are great sources of soluble fiber.
Adding fiber to your furkids’ diet
Fortunately, there are lots of dog food in the market that include both soluble and insoluble fiber in their ingredients list. You should take note, however, of the quality of fiber used in your dog food. Opt for pet foods with the right blend of quality insoluble and soluble fibers, like Wishbone Pet Foods.
Wishbone’s gourmet recipes include 8 types of fiber-rich and nutrient-rich superfoods like flaxseed, blueberries, cranberries, papaya, mango, basil, rosemary, and peppermint. What’s better, we only use high quality and highly digestible meats from New Zealand. This helps your furkid absorb more of the good stuff, improving his digestion in the long run.