Although some fiber can be good for canine digestion, excessive amounts of it can lead to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal woes in dogs. The substance should constitute just a small fraction of your pet's total dietary intake.
The Importance of Fiber in Canine Diets
Fiber is a big part of your dog's well-rounded diet. It's an energy source in dog foods, similar to other carbohydrates such as starches and sugars. It gives bulk to the meals a dog eats. It even assists intestinal matter in water absorption, which helps create formed bowel movements that your dog can easily pass. As a result, foods that lack sufficient fiber can often give pets loose and runny stools.
You can integrate extra fiber into your dog's diet to minimize their chances of constipation, flatulence and diarrhea. Fiber is capable of influencing the speed in which food travels through your dog's intestines. If your dog has constipation, fiber can speed up the movement of food in his intestines. If he has diarrhea, fiber can slow the movement down. Note, however, that this often depends on factors such as the specific kinds of fibers, their processing and portion size.
Rice bran, green beans, canned pumpkin, barley, corn, dried tomato pomace and beet pulp are all examples of fiber-packed foods. Beet pulp is often seen in dog and cat foods alike as a fiber source.
Symptoms of Too Much Fiber Intake
Moderation is key for fiber intake in dogs. If your dog consumes too much fiber, he may develop noticeable symptoms such as:
- Significant stool volume due to reduced digestible matter in food
- Frequent stools
- Hard stools
Fiber Intake and Fullness
You can use fiber to assist in weight management for your dog. Fiber is frequently seen as a canine weight control formula filler component. Standard dog foods generally have 3 to 6 percent fiber, while weight loss formulas often contain 8 to 25 percent fiber. Since fiber assists dogs in feeling full and satisfied faster, it can prevent them from eating too much and therefore gaining weight.
Beware of inexpensive varieties of dog foods often consist of too much fiber for filler purposes. This excessive fiber allows dogs to feel full before they're able to take in their required nutrients. Because of that, nutritional deficiencies are often associated with pet diets that have too much fiber.
Not only can excessively high levels of fiber have negative effects on adult dogs, but they can be bad for growing puppies. These youngsters require significant amounts of fats and proteins to promote growth and development.
If you have questions regarding fiber in your dog's diet, consult your veterinarian before making a change.