‘Eat your fiber’ is something us humans hear fairly often, but when it comes to our dogs, it’s a nutrient that isn’t discussed quite as often. That said, it’s just as important to add fiber to your pet’s diet because it plays an important role in his overall health — and is especially essential for healthy digestion. Here’s what you need to know about fiber for dogs and adding fiber to your pet’s diet.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is actually a carbohydrate and one that your dog’s body has a tough time digesting at that. But, that’s precisely why it is so important for his digestive health. Because fiber does not break down in the stomach and intestines, it helps regulate your dog’s digestive process.
It’s also important because fiber actually feeds healthy bacteria that are also crucial to the digestive process. Without plenty of fiber to feed on, your dog’s biome—what you call all the living fungi, bacteria and other organisms in his GI tract—would not function properly. It requires the perfect balance of bacteria and other living organisms and that’s not possible without properly feeding that bacteria.
There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. The key difference is that soluble fiber dissolves in water while insoluble fiber does not.
Benefits Of Fiber For Dogs
Fiber is essential for healthy digestion for a number of reasons. It helps food move through your dog’s digestive system so that he can have healthy bowel movements and so that he can absorb as many nutrients as possible from every meal he eats. Your dog’s diet is packed with essential ingredients that his body needs to support cardiovascular function, his nervous system, brain health and more. Fiber helps ensure his body can make the most of all those ingredients and absorb the nutrients it needs from his dog food.
But, supporting healthy digestion isn’t the only reason to consider feeding your dog fiber-rich foods. Here are some of the other benefits of fiber for dogs:
Fiber Supports Healthy Weight Management
Because fiber doesn’t break down in the stomach, it helps you —and your pup— feel fuller, longer. This is key when it comes to managing a healthy weight or if you are trying to help your dog slim down. Fiber-rich foods won’t help your dog lose weight on their own, but they can benefit your pet by helping him resist the urge to seek out food because he feels full long after mealtime is over!
Fiber Helps Promote A Balanced Mood
Is your dog feeling blue? Experiencing occasional anxiousness? Having a tough time handling big changes? Then bump up the fiber in his diet. Fiber helps promote emotional wellness and mood balance for dogs and plays an important role in your pup’s mental health. Fiber is helpful for dogs that are extra stressed or who tend to be on edge.
Fiber Helps Your Dog Have A Healthy Inflammatory Response
If your dog experiences occasional joint discomfort, consider adding fiber to his diet. It has been shown to promote a healthy inflammatory response which makes it extremely beneficial for dogs who experience joint or mobility issues.
Fiber Is Heart-Healthy
Support your dog’s heart by feeding him plenty of fiber. It’s an ingredient that has been shown to promote healthy cardiovascular function and can even help prevent age-related heart issues from developing.
How To Add Fiber To Your Dog’s Diet
There are lots of fiber-rich foods you can add to your dog’s diet if you want to increase the amount of fiber Fido is consuming every day. Before you reach for new foods, though, make sure you discuss them with your Vet. It’s important to get the go-ahead from a trained animal nutritionist or your dog’s typical Vet because your pup has unique nutritional needs and you should only be feeding foods that support his individual health.
Here are some of the foods to consider for your dog:
- Pumpkin: This October staple is packed with fiber. It is a favorite for many pet parents because it’s been shown to help with digestive discomfort, can help with constipation and diarrhea. It’s definitely an ingredient to reach for the next time your dog has an upset stomach or other digestive discomfort!
- Greens: Leafy greens are so good for your health — and your dog’s! They are packed with fiber, especially if you feed him fresh greens that include their stems. It’s a good idea to start slowly if you’re planning to feed your dog leafy goodness for the first time since too many new veggies can cause your dog stomach discomfort.
- Apples: Apples are the perfect treat to satisfy your dog’s sweet tooth and introduce a little extra fiber to his diet. Just make sure you don’t accidentally feed him any seeds, since they are toxic to dogs.
- Brown rice: Did you know that you can feed your dog brown rice? It’s a food that contains tons of fiber and has been shown to help with healthy digestion and help your dog feel full.
- Carrots: They’re great for healthy eyes, but carrots are also full of fiber. They can be fed to your dog raw, cooked, or baked into some tasty treats and are a great way to help your dog eat more fiber on a daily basis.
Another great way to add fiber to your dog’s diet is in supplement form. Look for a dog supplement that contains prebiotic fiber to support healthy digestion and probiotic bacteria for a 1-2-punch that will help your dog’s gut function at its best.
Ready to add fiber-filled nutrition to your dog’s diet? Pick up a jar of Digestive Probiotics Chews. They contain billions of healthy bacteria that support your dog’s digestive process plus digestive enzymes to help your dog break down the food he consumes and fiber-rich foods like pumpkin for even more guy support. Or, reach for SuperVitamin+ Chews. They are made with a formula that is clinically backed and designed to help deliver all your dog’s essential vitamins and minerals plus digestive support all in one chew.