By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of dietary fiber. And if you haven’t… you really need to.
Because fiber might just be one of the most amazing (and overlooked) nutrients in dog food.
You simply won’t believe what it can do for your dog.
Now, before we talk about fiber’s many talents, what exactly is it?
Well, dietary fiber represents that part of edible plants that can’t be digested1.
Because fiber is only found in the wall of a cell… and since animal cells don’t have cell walls… fiber can only come from vegetables and grains. Never from meat.
Basically, dietary fiber includes the carbohydrate remnants of plant cells… after digestion.
There are two kinds…
- Soluble fiber
- Insoluble fiber
In a nutshell, one dissolves in water and the other doesn’t. That’s why each contributes different benefits to a dog food recipe.
Fiber Helps Prevent Constipation… and Diarrhea
Yes, you heard that right. It can do both!
That’s because insoluble fiber absorbs water… like a sponge So, it can attract moisture from outside the colon and into a dog’s stools… to help promote regular bowel movements.
And in certain conditions… it can also absorb excess water from inside the colon… to help control diarrhea, too.
Fiber is a stool “normalizer”. It’s the perfect solution to many canine regularity problems.
Imagine… help for both constipation and diarrhea… from the same nutrient.
Fiber May Help Reduce the Risk of Colon Cancer
In a dog’s gut, good bacteria ferment fiber to create special “short chain fatty acids” that can help a dog’s colon repair itself… and prevent cancer.
But fiber can help in another way, too.
As water is absorbed into the colon, fecal matter swells against the colon wall. This pressure causes muscle contractions… which can speed food faster through the digestive tract.
This faster “transit” time allows less contact between the colon wall and dangerous cancer-causing substances.
Fiber Helps Promote Weight Loss
Adding fiber to any dog food “dilutes” its caloric content. So, there are fewer calories per serving. And that can significantly aid in weight loss.
As fiber absorbs water, it expands… causing a dog to stop eating sooner. That’s because (in dog’s) a full stomach signals “satiety”… or hunger satisfaction2 .
So, dogs feel fuller… and consume less energy… fewer calories… per meal3.
A recent study showed that dogs fed a high fiber diet lost more than five times the fat mass of dogs fed a low fiber diet4.
As a matter of fact, trying to bring about canine weight loss without using dietary fiber makes the whole process needlessly more difficult.
Continue on to Part 2 and discover…
- How to help your dog avoid the misery of uncontrolled diabetes
- The one valuable detail most dog food shoppers innocently overlook
- The ideal fiber content to look for on a dog food label
Continue on to read The Amazing Benefits of Dog Food Fiber (Part 2).
- National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, p. 50 ↩
- Pappas et al, Gastric distension is a physiologic satiety signal in the dog, Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1989 34:1489-1493 ↩
- Brown RG, Current topics in nutrition, Canadian Veterinary Journal 199031:308-309 ↩
- Jewell et al, Satiety reduces adiposity in dogs, Veterinary Therapeutics 2000 1:17-23 ↩