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Do Dogs need High Fiber Dog Food?
You might know the benefits of dietary fiber in human diets, but do you realize how beneficial it is for your dog? Recently these fibrous ingredients have faced renewed interest and scrutiny. High fiber dog food might be one of the best things you can do to ensure your pet lives a happy and healthy life, especially as they age. Once you learn why a high fiber dog food is so beneficial and what to look for in a high fiber diet, you will then want to know how to find the best foods for your pet. So, let’s get to work!
Basics of High Fiber in Your Dog’s Diet
Fiber is actually a part of edible plants that cannot be digested, or at least resists digestion. Fiber cannot be found in any animal based products, only in plants. It is made up of several compounds, all of which are carbohydrates. Usually fiber is characterized in two ways, solubility and fermentability. Insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved in water, and instead absorbs it. As such, as it works through the digestive tract, fiber helps promote regular bowel movements and clears the tract.
One major contribution is that fiber affects how quickly food passes through the digestive system. It is the ultimate regulator! In cases of diarrhea it will slow things down. In cases of constipation it works to speed things up. This is why fiber has such a normalizing effect on digestion. In turn, a healthy digestive system will also improve your pet’s immune system. It will also help them maintain a healthy weight and prevent bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Fiber in Dog Food
Fiber is not usually considered an essential nutrient in a well balanced diet for your dog. Dogs cannot derive any energy from it and it is not a big part of their ancestral diet. Despite this though, fiber is still included in almost every commercial dog food. This is because a high fiber dog food will help improve your dog’s digestive health. It can also help improve conditions like diabetes, chronic constipation, and diarrhea.
Perhaps the leading reason many dog owners put their dogs on a high fiber dog food is to help them maintain a healthy weight.
Your pet’s nutritional requirements for fiber will depend on their age, breed, activity levels, and overall well being. If you have questions about fiber in your dog’s diet you should consult with a veterinarian. Find out the amount of fiber your pet needs and start feeding your dog something to help instead of hinder their digestive health. Most manufacturers will use vegetables and whole grains, for both nutritional value and as a source of fiber. But, some use less quality sources like peanut shells or grain hulls.
Ideal Fiber Content in your Dog Food
Look at the Guaranteed Analysis section of your dog food label. This will tell you how much of each nutrient is in the food. Usually your dog’s diet should include anywhere from 1% to 10% fiber. Moderate levels of fiber are usually around 2% to 4%. High fiber dog foods are usually in the 5% to 10% range. In amounts more than 10 percent, the food may actually be detrimental to your pet unless recommended by your vet. Unfortunately, the Guaranteed Analysis does not tell you the whole story. It says nothing about the quality of fiber.
For that information you turn to the listed ingredients. Usually the top five ingredients make up the majority of your dog’s dry dog food. There you will find the highest sources of fiber. You will also be able to determine if they are quality ingredients for your pet, or whether they are causing gastrointestinal problems.
Not Any Fiber Will Do
If rapidly fermented fiber sources are used in excess, your dog might have negative reactions to the food. What you need to do is check out the fiber sources. Not all fiber sources will be good for your dog, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities to certain grains or ingredients. In fact, fiber sources like corn, soy, wheat, and rice most often cause allergic reactions in dogs. You will need to find the best dog food brand that is rich in fiber, but also suits the individual needs of your pet.
Our Choice: High Fiber Dog Food
Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food Reduced Fat Formula
One thing a lot of dogs suffer from as they get older is obesity. They slow down and tend to pack on the pounds if you are not paying attention. Fortunately, a high fiber dog food can help maintain a proper weight.
This is where the Wellness CORE Reduced Fat recipe comes in. It not only has 25 percent less fat than the original formula, but also is packed full of fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system on track. Even though it is a high fiber dog food, it still full of high quality protein to help nourish your dog, without the excess weight. It has a great turkey taste. It is made without the most common allergens. Top listed ingredients include deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes and peas. It also has dried ground potatoes, pea fiber, and tomato pomade for added fiber. This product has crude fiber listed as a maximum of 8.5 percent, a good mid to high range of fiber for your dog.
Customers who choose this product say it is nutrient dense and is the perfect weight loss food for their pet. They felt confident giving this high quality food to their dog and their canine loved it too.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites Dog Food
Balanced nutrition is the key to helping your dog maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This low fat, high fiber diet is specifically designed to control your pet’s weight. It has 19 percent fewer calories, compared to the Adult Advanced Fitness formula. It also has natural vegetable fibers to help keep your little dog feeling fuller, longer. This high fiber dog food contains L-carnitine to help your dog convert fat into energy to and to keep them active. There is no chicken by-product meal. The food is manufactured in the U.S. Top listed ingredients include chicken meal, pea bran meal, whole grain sorghum, whole grain wheat, and corn gluten meal. This product has a crude fiber listed as a maximum of 13.3 percent, one of the highest fiber diets on the market.
Customers who choose this dog food say their pets absolutely love it. It helps to keep the dogs healthy and overweight pets have shed the excess weight on this specialized diet. Some have been feeding this dog food to their pet for years and will only choose Hill’s Science Diet in the future.
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Large Breed Formula
As with all great dog food, this brand contains high quality proteins listed as the first ingredients. Most often this should be what to look for in any well balanced dog diet. Next it contains 15 percent less fat than their Shredded Blend Chicken and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs. It also contains EPA (Fish oil) and natural sources of glucosamine to support healthy joints and cartilage to help maintain mobility. These characteristics will keep your dog in top condition and at a proper weight. This formula uses wheat bran as a fiber source to help promote a healthy digestive system. The top listed ingredients include chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, and oat meal. This product has crude fiber listed as a maximum of 5.5 percent.
Customers who use this higher fiber dog food say it is perfect for dogs with weight issues. It is an excellent diet, appreciated by even the pickiest of eaters. They also say the price is not cheap, but is a good middle ground between high priced and low priced foods.
Natural Balance Dry Dog Food, Reduced Calorie Formula
If you have an older, overweight dog it might be high time to consider a dog food with higher fiber.
This reduced calorie option by Natural Balance contains 17 percent less calories compared to the 400 calories of the brands Ultra Premium Dog Food formula. It also contains more naturally fibrous ingredients. Natural Balance also understands that though your dog might require higher fiber, it does not mean you should skimp on the protein. This dog food also has the most natural proteins for your pet. They come from three distinct sources: chicken, salmon meal, and lamb meal. It also has essential fatty acids to keep your pet’s skin and coat looking great. Top listed ingredients include brown rice, chicken, chicken meal, potato fiber, rice bran, and tomato pomace. This product has crude fiber listed as a maximum of 8 percent, which is perfect in a high fiber diet.
Customers say that once they put their dogs on this high fiber dog food the dogs lost their extra weight and looked great. It is a good food for an affordable price. Many customers will continue to buy this dog food because it best suited their pet’s needs.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Weight Management Adult Dry Dog Food
If your dog has weight management or digestive issues, and needs to be on a more fibrous diet, then you should pick up a bag of this kibble.
It has fewer calories than the Natural Ultramix formula. It contains only top quality ingredients high in fiber. The special formula also has ideal protein levels to help maintain energy, promote lean body mass and help your dog manage body fat. Mixed in with the kibble are real pieces of minimally processed vegetables and fruits. There are no artificial colors or preservatives. Top listed ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, milo, ground whole oats, ground whole barley, and dried bananas. There is no corn, wheat, or soy. This product has crude fiber listed as a maximum of 4.5 percent.
Customers who buy this high fiber dog food say it really helped keep their dog lean and healthy. Some even tried many brands over the years. They were constantly disappointed until finding Castor and Pollux. They say it is a quality food with the added bonus of being made in the U.S.
Fiber does play a useful role in commercial dog food. Though it may not contribute to nutritional value or provide a lot of energy for your pet, fiber does provide important health benefits. High fiber dog food could help with dog obesity, digestive issues, blood sugar and diabetes, and anal gland disease. If you are unsure about what type of fiber content your pet needs, then consult with your vet. They will help you determine the best route to take when purchasing high fiber dog foods.
Also, you may have to test out a few brands to see which agrees best with your dog during this stage in their life. Put your pet’s health first. Find a premium dog food, full of fiber, and get their health and weight back on track.
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