Picking out the right food for our best friends is no small task. After all, you need to consider the ingredients used, whether or not a meal is suited to your dog's particular breed, age, and lifestyle, and many other factors that can make the average pet parent's head spin!
It's no wonder that, in the world of pet nutrition, there are a few essential ingredients that often go overlooked; one such ingredient, which many disregard entirely, is fibre. And, while fibre is often underutilised in meals, it has many benefits that you and your dog should prioritise.
In this post, we'll be looking at some of the benefits that fibre provides, and why you may want to start incorporating it into your pup's diet.
The benefits of fibre
As we've mentioned, fibre is often unfairly overlooked, and this is mostly because the quality of the fibre itself can impact the positive effects it provides. In particular, fibre that comes from whole ingredients, such as whole fruits and vegetables, is probably your best bet.
There are two main types of fibre to consider: Soluble and Insoluble.
Soluble fibres absorb water as food moves through your dog's digestive tract, which can have a tremendously positive impact on their metabolic health. Be sure not to give them too much soluble fibre at once, though, as this can cause gas and diarrhoea. For that reason, start your pup out with small doses, gradually increasing the amount of soluble fibre they consume at a comfortable, steady pace.
Insoluble fibres, on the other hand, work to regulate intestinal transit time, increasing the speed at which food travels through the intestine when a dog suffers from constipation, and slowing it down when they suffer from diarrhoea. In both instances, this fibre assists in providing relief as quickly as possible, significantly reducing the symptoms associated with both issues. Slowing down intestinal transit also gives your pup a much higher chance of adequately absorbing the nutrients in the food they consume.
Just like with soluble fibre, do not encourage excessive insoluble fibre consumption, as this can lead to weight loss, poor coat quality, and diarrhoea. Carefully balancing both insoluble and soluble in a controlled manner can ensure your dogs get the best of both worlds without risking the side effects.
Intestinal Health And Weight Control
It's clear that fibre is crucial when it comes to digestion, but that's not all it does for our pups. Fibre also dramatically aids in matters of intestinal health. Insoluble fibre often ferments into short-chain fatty acids when in contact with the beneficial bacteria naturally found in a dog's intestine, acting as a prebiotic for your pup.
Prebiotics are a variety of fibre that work to prevent the overgrowth of any potentially harmful gut bacteria, allowing the positive digestive flora to flourish. They can also significantly reduce the potential risk of certain illnesses and medical issues, such as diarrhoea.
Dogs who regularly consume prebiotics tend to see improved digestive health, and a more robust immune system, and when prebiotics are combined with probiotics this balance also supports the intestines, ensuring they function efficiently.
Focusing on your dog’s intestinal health will ensure they have the energy to live and play actively throughout the day. Fibre can also assist your pup’s colon in recovering from injury or sickness, reducing the risk of colon cancer, as it works to quickly eliminate and reduce the exposure of any carcinogens your dog may unknowingly consume.
Being overweight is just as dangerous for our dogs as it can be for us humans. And, for pup parents looking to get their best friends into tip top shape by putting them on a diet, or maintaining a healthy weight for their pooches, fibre should not be overlooked. Fibre helps dogs feel full faster, while consuming fewer calories. It provides them with more energy, and helps them burn more fat as it promotes greater thermogenesis to keep them lean. You'll see visible results fast, and your dog will look and feel better than ever, too!
Fibre even works to aid dogs suffering from diabetes, as the slower digestion time created by eating fibre reduces the risk of blood sugar levels spiking. This, in turn, leads to fewer blood sugar fluctuations throughout the day. Vets agree, and often place diabetic dogs on high-fibre diets to help them better manage this chronic illness.
With so many benefits, it's easy to see just how valuable the addition of fibre can be to any dog's diet. Eukanuba, experts in pet nutrition for over 50 years, understand this better than anyone, and ensure that every meal that leaves their doors contains a healthy level of fibre and prebiotics.
Make the smarter choice for your pup; browse the Eukanuba range on ZUKi today, and discover for yourself just how big of a difference fibre can make.