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Have you ever considered adding fiber to your dog’s diet? Like me, you have probably heard of all the benefits to us humans and have wondered if the same applies to your dogs. Basically, yes, but you may not need to add any more since it is already present in dog foods.
So when should you consider adding fiber to your dog’s diet? There are some times when you should supplement the fiber, but it’s probably best to let you veterinarian tell you when to do so. A good quick rule of thumb to keep in mind can be found in an article on the Drs. Foster and Smith website:
Fiber is not considered an essential nutrient in your dog’s diet, but it is present in almost every commercial dog food. While dogs do not derive any energy from fiber, adding fiber to a diet improves colon health, helps with weight management, and helps with diarrhea, constipation, and diabetes mellitus.
So if your dog is experiencing those problems, then considering supplementing the fiber in its diet. Fiber is an excellent ingredient and medicine for your dog. As prescribed by your vet, there may be instances that you need to add fiber to your dog’s diet to re-establish his health and/or cure an illness or disease. Senior dogs can benefit from added fiber as well.
Following are a few easy ways of adding fiber to whatever your dog eats. Remember to start with small amounts and gradually increase depending on the dog’s capacity.
Adding Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet
- Bran is the outer shell of a grain and often removed during processing. Bran is rich in fiber, so sprinkle some in your dog’s food. It can either be rice bran, oat bran, or wheat bran. Because of its nutritional value, it is one of the most common home remedies for constipation and lack of fiber. It is best when you soak it in water so that it can be digested better by your dog.
- Apples are also very rich in fiber and many other good nutrients, and your dog can eat them. Make sure to remove the core and the seeds, because the seeds contain bits of cyanide which can be toxic to your dog. Your dog may choose from either red or green apples for his diet and unsweetened applesauce can also work for your dog’s kibble.
- Canned pumpkin that is unseasoned is also good for your dog. Spoon some on your dog’s food, around ½ teaspoon for smaller dogs and around 1 tablespoon for medium-sized and bigger dogs. It helps relieve them from constipation and diarrhea and even has a good taste. They can also be put in ice cube trays on the fridge, and then put in freezer bags.
- Brown rice is also rich in fiber, and even has three times the fiber of regular white rice. Make it a family meal and give some to your dog as a topper on his kibble. You can also put plain broth as a flavoring.
- Vegetables are also helpful in establishing a good fiber diet for your dog. Use them as treats (e.g. carrot sticks, green beans, peas, etc.) or mix them with your dog’s meal. However, DO NOT feed him canned vegetables because these contain a lot of sodium, which is known to be harmful to pets. You can try the readY-made mixed vegetables which are normally frozen and easily cooked, as they are low in sodium content. Chicken broth can also be added to put flavor, especially if your dog is a picky eater and likes flavored food.
- There are many other ways of preparing fiber-rich products. Your vet can also recommend supplements that are rich in fiber content. Some dog snacks and treats are also packed with fiber and can be bought from different pet stores.
- Also, remember to not add too much fiber because your dog may have loose stools instead! Or, they may tend to bloat, or have too much gas in their stomach. If that happens, you should give him regular exercise to reduce the gas.
Hopefully these tips will help you decide when and if you should consider adding fiber to your dog’s diet.