The Benefits of Dog Food Fiber (Part 1)

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By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of dietary fiber. And if you haven’t… you really need to.
Dog Food Fiber Does All That?
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).

  1. National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, p. 50
  2. Pappas et al, Gastric distension is a physiologic satiety signal in the dog, Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1989 34:1489-1493
  3. Brown RG, Current topics in nutrition, Canadian Veterinary Journal 199031:308-309
  4. Jewell et al, Satiety reduces adiposity in dogs, Veterinary Therapeutics 2000 1:17-23
  • Happy Human

    Sometimes worms and other parasites can cause diarrhea. If your dog continues to have diarrhea, then take it to a veterinarian.

  • theBCnut

    Sounds like you are still feeding him something that he is reacting to. All Blue Wilderness varieties have chicken in them. Have you done an elimination diet to make sure he isn’t allergic to anything else?

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sabrina, have you ever tried Victor? Here’s their Yukon River Formula. http://www.midamericapetfood.com/victordogfood/pdf/Brochure-GF-Yukon%20River%20Canine.pdf If you’re interested in trying Victor, check their dealer locator at the top of their page. victordogfood.com I’ve heard from some people on this site that it works for their sensitive stomach/IBS dogs. I think it’s the Montmorillonite clay that clears up these issues. It’s worth a shot. :)

  • Sabrina H

    Hello- We have a sweet Boston Terrier who has IBS and is allergic to chicken. We have had him on quality dog food–Hill’s Science diet, Blue Wilderness Natural Evolutionary diet, raw food. and many others. We also add a small amount of flax seed to each serving. This works for a while and then–after a few months, his diarrhea returns. Any suggestions to help our sweet dog would be much appreciated.

  • texangirl64

    Put a large Ball in his Dog Bowl so he will have to eat around it or get a bowl that is made for fast eaters.

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you tried Nutrisca? Also, you could always add some fiber such as psyllium or chia seed. Who would have thought that feeding our dogs would be so complicated? LOL! Good luck.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Grain free foos are usually higher calorie and more digestable so the dog actually gets to keep more of the calories in it so when you feed a grain free food you have to really cut back on the amount feed. And free feeding with a grain free is always a big mistake too because they are often very tasty to dogs and the dog will overeat even more.
    Many dog foods express fiber as a percentage rather than as a weight since everyone feeds their dogs a different amount of food. I would consider any thing over 5% to be a high fiber food and Orijen easily falls in that category, but it has way more calories than perscription weight loss foods.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

    Honestly? The best HIGH FIBER FOOD we have ever used was Science Diet R/D with Chicken. Not only did my dog lose weight (he has thyroid disease so gains weight rapidly), but the fiber was a life saver for him as he also suffers from colitis. When I take him off the food for a break (cost & a change up on protein source) – he’ll start to get very small stools that are soft, and he goes OFTEN. He goes a lot as well on high fiber, but not nearly as much – and his stools are NORMAL, well formed, and he doesn’t strain. My poor dog has a lot of issues – but as much as people want to attack S.D. products – R/D has extended his life and keeps him comfortable and happy. Just had blood panels done recently – and for a dog with thyroid, colitis, and kidney disease – his blood work looked GREAT (while on R/D). I would speak to your vet about this product – maybe just to lightly incorporate into his present food just to fiber-it-up? Again – speak to your vet. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

    Natural Choice Lite (weight loss) food has 10 g of fiber. The highest I’ve found yet, next to prescription weight loss food which typically has around 30g.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

    The article states “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.” So if the grain free food has a lot of veggies – then it MIGHT have a high fiber content… but as I have a dog that MUST be on a high fiber diet, I have yet to find a single grain free dog food that has adequate fiber. The highest fiber food I’ve found are prescription weight loss foods – which have as much as 30 g of fiber. Without that – my dog could not have lost 13 lbs – or keep it off, for that matter. I take him off the prescrip. food for awhile, though, and then put him back on it – so that he can have a variety in protein source. I found that both of my dogs gained weight rapidly on grain free diets (even though they loved the foods).

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t think you’re going to get an email. It is your job to look for low fat & fiber foods.

    By the way, stop hand feeding him. Look for a bowl like this: http://www.brake-fast.net/

  • Sue66b

    You said that there’s a lot of low fibers out there, could u please email me on sue66b@hotmail with dry kibbles that are low in fiber & fat.. my boy is on Intestinal Eukanuba but this is very crumby the bottom of the bag is full of crumbs & so are my fingers as I have to hand feed as he gulps his feed.. this also makes him do stinky farts at nights He cannot have more then 2% Fiber & must also have no more then 10% fat.. Ive looked & looked & cannot find another brand that is low residue kibble low in fat & low in fiber, my boy has IBS he’s a 20kilo English Staffy also suffer from skin itching..

  • Shawna

    I agree with Patty.. “Smelly” gas is caused by the protein in the food not being thoroughly digested as well as by the wrong type of bacteria in the gut (anaerobic bacteria).

    Changing the bacterial population of the gut to beneficial bacteria by feeding foods with probiotics and giving probiotics. Adding a digestive enzyme will help with digestion of the protein.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is not necessarily “excess” protein so much as the body not having what it needs to digest all the protein. Adding digestive enzymes and probiotics gives the dog what they need to digest the protein and reduce the odor of the gas.

  • Michelle Maxwell

    This is often caused by an excess of protein in the diet that is not being digested. I would highly recommend discussing it with a veterinarian to choose a more balanced food. The trouble with Wellness and other foods like that is the quality control is infrequent, so proportions of ingredients are unpredictable.

    Hence puppy farts.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Since rotating dog foods is healthier for their gut, yes, it would make since to switch and then switch again and again. Talk to your vet about what the recommended amount of fiber is, because you may still need to add a bit of fiber. There are certain vitamins and minerals that are not absorbed as well on high fiber diets, so you may need to ask about what else you should be supplementing with as well.

  • Jennifer

    We will be adopting a dog that has had perineal hernia surgery and history of blocked stools. The rescue org that has him is feeding him a combo of dry and canned dog food – Holistic Select and adds stool softener. I would imagine having more fiber will help with this. Any thoughts on this? I’ve seen other posts by folks of other dog food that has higher fiber content, would it make sense to switch to one?

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  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, fiber comes from many sources besides grains.

  • Lori

    can grain-free dog food be high in fiber?

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  • guest

    Some owners have said that the Instinct LID diets made their dog’s poop quite firm if you read through the old posts on that review (Instinct LID).

  • Jcdesignstudio2002

    same situation here with one of our male chows.  Needed high fiber limited ingredient food.  Vet has prescribed Royal Canin Satiety Support….it’s pricey but has solved all Duke’s issues.  Good luck!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Dogswell Nutrisca, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Core Ocean and Core Reduced Fat are around 7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/acjuelich Adam Juelich

    Any good grain-free, 4-5 star, dry kibble with 5-10 of fiber?

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  • http://www.homemadedogfoodrecipesguide.com/ Homemade Dog Food Recipes

    Hey Mike, where is part 2?

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  • David Valenta

    interesting quandry:
    Akita-Shepherd mix; allergy test (ELISA) showed that he’s allergic to all grains, white potatoes, chicken, beef, dairy.. -took over a year to get that sorted out: he’s on a raw meat diet (Nature’s Variety) and a grain free kibble alternated in there.
    Now: latest vet visit shows his anal glands aren’t getting purged sufficiently, so, Dr. advises “Fiber”, ie: veg’s that have been cooked down and add 15-20% replacement of current meat portion (also to help reduce his weight).
    *catch: when resolving constant diahrea, white rice&meat, and pumpkin, didn’t work; it made it worse. I consulted w/ another vet and she had the reverse issue: “binding” fiber had the opposite effect on her own dog.
    He needs the ‘bulk’ for his glands, but can’t have most fiber sources.(psyllium works through / ends up with soft-ish “bouncy” byproduct/ not firm enough to empty his glands (and yes, it actually bounces when it hits the ground).
    Any suggestions or others’ experiences?

  • Mybirds12

    Hi my pitbull has this same problem and always has it is getting worse as she gets older and I do not know what to do about it.

  • http://[email protected] Jeane Wright

    What is the kilo calorie content per cup of Healthy Weight my vet says it is too high but doesn’t say how many calories

  • http://brotherscomplete.com Richard Darlington

    Bonnie

    Didn’t you say your dog was doing OK on the Primal raw diet?

    Why not go back to feeding him raw?

    He may have developed an allergy to beef due to ‘leaky gut’ brought on buy feeding too much grain/white potato before because they feed Candida and when it becomes a fungus it can get into the blood stream and become ‘systemic’.

    I believe the major reason that more ‘allergies’ are attributed to something other than food is because by the time they look at the symptoms of the problem they can be far removed from the original cause. If you feed your dog grain/potato and Candida takes over – it can cause ‘leaky gut’ and the fungus can get into the blood stream where it can cause multiple problems that masquerade as other things. For instance, under normal circumstances, if your ‘healthy’ dog gets bitten by a mosquito he might be fine but if he’s got systemic Candida then not only is his entire immune system compromised but he will be HIGHLY sensitive to something (like a mosquito bite) that otherwise his system would not react to. The body is a ‘system’ that is composed of many interrelated subsystems.

    In our store over the years we have learned to treat almost every dog that is over 2 years old “as if” it had Candida overgrowth and the results have been nothing short of eye opening. The therapy is basically two pronged. FIRST you must remove any grain/potato/soy or sugar in any form from the diet (pay close attention to ingredients in treats if you use them). SECOND it is highly advisable to add digestive enzymes to the food each meal to help reduce the stress on the Pancreas and reduce the possibility of partially digested protein getting into the blood stream through the ‘leaky gut’ and causing a food allergy. Also add probiotics to aid in the repair of the mucosal lining of the gut. This will also help the immune system since the majority of T Lymphocytes and IgA Immunoglobulin sites are in the colon.

    Feeding raw will do the trick – just add the digestive enzymes and probiotics or if you don’t wan to feed raw for some reason then use a food like Brothers Complete Allergy formula that has all that in it. The main thing is get all grain/potato/ sugar out of the diet for at least 6 months – then, in my humble opinion, continue on that path for the rest of your dogs healthy, happy life.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Bonnie… A dog’s food is only the third leading cause of allergy (far behind environment and insects). You may be able to benefit from reading more about this topic on my FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Dog Food Allergies”.

    Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Bonnie

    I have a Puggle (3 yrs young) Tucker. He’s been itching, of course I have taken him to our Vet. Vet checked him and said he could be alergic to many, many things, gave him a shot of cortisone, told me to bath him twice a week, siad, you cannot over bath an allergic dog, but you could underbath! And keep him on an an organic dog food and no (people food). Also, sold me a $20.00 dollar bottle of shampoo!! I followed the Vets directions. To no avail. I stopped bathing my Tucker twice per week. This was probably 4 or 5 mos. ago. I’ve since got Tucker on some Primal frozen lamb cubes, that seemed to work out fine. I ran out, and the store was out of the Primal Lamb, so I purchased the “beef” cubes. After a few days, he itching like crazy! Now someone recommended ZiwiPeak lamb formula Grain free! He is still itching! not quite as badly, but still. He’s up all night last night scratching. No hot spots on his skin, no fleas, nothing!! How can I make him comfortable?? I also vacuum, wash his bed. I try what I know. then I found this site. Help please. Any suggestions.

  • Christina Dizon

    I have been feeding my 10 month old pit bull terrier “Wellness” puppy kibble and she has a terrible flatulence problem with a stinky rotten egg-like odor. She will pass gas all evening and night after she eats. What could be causing this problem? Any suggestions?

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  • Cheryl

    A note about beet pulp. I’m a horse person as well as a dog person. I took an equine nutrition course with Dr Eleanor Kellon DVM in 2009 and learned some facts about beet pulp as it relates to horses and thought I’d share as it may be helpful for those who are afraid of it for their dogs. It’s a byproduct of the sugar beet industry after all the sugar is squeezed and washed out. Don’t be afraid of all “byproducts” as they often do have nutritive and other value, often a filler or fiber value. Nutritionally BP is high in plant protein and calcium and for horses it’s easily digestible soluble fiber. Now horses digest large amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber in their cecum or hind gut by way of the rich bacteria present there so I wouldn’t know how digestible this fiber is for dogs who’s digestion is like ours. But I can only assume it’s a good source of soluble fiber, a good filler. Beet Pulp is a large part of an emergency diet for horses diagnosed with Insulin Resistance, like Type II Diabetes in humans, because it is, for the horse, easily digested, does not have carbohydrates, and is nearly absent in sugar. FYI, high sugar/carb content of some hays and green pasture are a huge no no for IR horses. Bottom line is I think I’d much rather have my dogs have BP in their dry kibble as a fiber source than most high carb grains.
    Thanks so much for this great resource website. Dr Eleanor Kellon is now offering a nutrition course for feeding dogs and cats. I have not taken this course yet but can’t say enough about her equine nutrition courses. Just google her name for more.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Devon… I’m personally not aware of any ingredients scientifically linked to seizures in dogs. In any case, since I’m not a veterinarian, I cannot provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Devon Kytola

    My dog has Epilepsy and I’m concerned about his dog food I give him since there are some additives that can cause sezures. What wood be a good food to give him?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Donna… I hope you’re not getting the impression that dangerous substances are products of the digestive system itself. For cancer causing substances (called carcinogens) can be found everywhere in today’s environment. Drinking water, the air we breathe and (of course) our food. So, the undigested food you speak of is commonly contaminated with these substances, too.

  • Donna

    The article states that a benefit of fiber is that food travels through the digestive system faster and “this faster “transit” time allows less contact btween the colon wall and dangerous cancer-causng substances”. What are the dangerous cancer-causing substances? This is something about which I would like to learn more. Can you point me to some some sources where I can research the chemistry of the digestive system and how it forms dangeous substances through the process of digestion? I was under the impression that what was in the colon was the indigestible part of food.

  • Dan

    Thank you, Jonathan and Mike, for your comments and suggestions. Bear is temporarily on a chicken and rice diet per the vet and he has improved to the point where I will need to add/change over to dry food so he can get better nutrition. I’ll look at the Wellness Core Ocean. Thanks again.

  • Jonathan

    Dan, take a look at Wellness Core Ocean formula. 7% fiber… and grain free! BTW, you can add a binder to a dog’s food like canned pumpkin.

  • Dan

    Thanks, Mike. Should I look for a 4 or 5 Star dry food with a high fiber content? Most of the dry foods seem to have the same percentages and do not seem to distinguish between soluble and insoluble fiber. Also, what do you think about moistening it (not soupy)? We have always been very concerned about bloat since poodles and mastiffs have some history there and we have had several very bad experiences with our previous St. Bernards. By the way, Einstein was absolutely correct and it is clear that my variations on the diet while retaining the base ingredient (FRR) is not working well so his definition could well fit.

    Dan

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Dan… Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” It looks like it might be time to try something else. So, find another good food and follow the instructions for transitioning in our FAQ page and look for the topic, “How to Feed a Dog”. Hope this helps.

  • Dan

    I have an 8 year old standard poodle (44 lbs) and an 11 month old mastiff mix (120 lbs). The poodle has been on FRR since day one, and the puppy has been on it since August when my daughter brought him home. The puppy has loose/soft stool with occasional frank diarrhea, and has had a number of overnight accidents in the house despite walks at 11p.m. I also am sprinkling dry probiotics powder before mixing evening feeding with some water, to no apparent effect. I started yesterday to add just a little Harmony Farms to their food. Help! The vet says the puppy is healthy and growing well (at 120 lbs I wish he would now stop) but the stool problem worries me since it can’t be good for him and I certainly am not fond of cleanup in the house. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Dan

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Pam… Sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis. Since I’m not a veterinarian, it would be misleading for me to assure you a particular dog food would be best for treating your pet’s diabetes. However, I believe it would be most helpful for you to find a dog food with a low glycemic index. This would be a product that doesn’t raise your dog’s blood sugar levels too quickly.

    At the top of each page on my website’s navigation bar, you’ll see a tab labeled “Tags”. Click on it and select the “low glycemic” link. This will generate a list of dog foods I’ve tagged as containing low glycemic recipes. Some of them (Merrick, Orijen, Dogswell Nutrisca) are certified by the Glycemic Research Institute in Washington, DC.

    By the way, our veterinary consultant, Dr. Donna Spector is planning to publish an article on this website about feeding the diabetic dog. I think you’ll find that article most helpful. But unfortunately, it could be a while longer before that information is posted. Hope this helps.

  • Pam

    My toy poodle was just diagnosed with diabetes. I have been mixing dry and wet dog food together but I do not have a clue what dog food would be best. I started with mixing Blue Wilderness dry with his regular Alpo canned food. He seems to love it but I still question if this is good for him.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Teresa… There are many low fiber dog foods out there. We’re planning to add an article about this subject and intend to list some of our favorites. Unfortunately, due to our current backlog of dog foods to review, it might be a while before we tackle this topic. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Teresa

    Where can I go to find low fiber dog foods, I was in pet smart and looking at several bags of dog food, trying to figure out what was the lowest fiber food I could find, This is all new to me, not sure where to start or even what kind of foods to purchase, got any ideas?

  • Jeffrey A

    Thank you Mike! It does help me know what to look for.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jeffrey… There are a number of potential dog food fiber ingredients. The most common (but not the only ones) include rice hulls, soybean hulls, beet pulp, bran, peanut hulls and to a lesser degree natural “whole” grains, fruits and veggies. Hope this helps.

  • Jeffrey A.

    Mike,
    So far from reading your column and the comments, I have seen only beet pulp and powdered cellulose as materials that are used for fiber. What are the other materials that are commonly used? (Both in high and low quality dog foods)

  • Sapphire

    Thanks for the info.

    Hmm I wonder if there’s something else that my puppy is sensible or allergic in the other food? he is doing better in the other food.

    But I see the formulas of the royal canin mini puppy in the us is different from the one I got, I’m in latin america.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sapphire… Actually, it’s a rumor. That’s because there’s no red pigment in the type of beet pulp used to make pet food. The ingredient itself is a whitish color. So, contrary to what many of us have heard, beet pulp is not the cause of tear stains.

  • Sapphire

    About beet pulp I want to know if is true the rumor that it can increase tear stains?

    My toy poodle pup was on Royal Canin junior when we got him, he had a lot more tear stains when he was on this food and this has beet pulp.

    Now his current food is pro plan puppy for small breed mixed with pro pac puppy lamb and they doesn’t have beet pulp and his tear staining has reduced a lot, he still have them but not like before.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Margery… Try using a limited ingredient diet. These are special hypoallergenic dog foods with very short ingredient lists. This way you’ll have a better chance at isolating the offending allergens.

    Look at our navigation tab near the top of our website labeled Tag Cloud and click on the link that says “Hypoallergenic”. This will give you a list of brands that contain at least one limited ingredients dog food. Hope this helps in your detective work.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Matt… We consider beet pulp a controversial ingredient because many denounce the raw material as an inexpensive filler… plus some believe it can “stain” a dog’s coat.

    However, others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

    We only call our readers’ attention to beet pulp due to the controversy surrounding it and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

  • matt

    Why is dried beets a controversial ingredient.

  • MARGERY R

    MY DOG ITCHES ALL OVER AND HER SKIN IS REAL SENATIVE,WHEN I GIVE HER DOG FOOD.I HAD THE BLOOD PANEL TEST TO SEE WHAT SHE IS ALLERGIC TO, THEY TOLD ME WHAT MEAT AND SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS,SHE IS ALLERGIC TO,BUT I THINK THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS BOTHERING HER IN THE FOOD,HER ANAL GLANDS BOTHER HER. I TRIED GIVING HER FRESH GREEN BEANS FOR A DAY OR TWO, AND THE ITCHING,STOPPED ALOT. HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHAT IS BOTHERING HER?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Chris… even primitive canines ate some carbs via wild plant material (although minimal). Much of the carb content of a carnivore’s diet probably came from the stomach contents of its prey. The most “unnatural” source of carbs are obtained from grains (the major component of today’s kibbles). Even primitive humans ate littler (if any) carbs. It was not until the invention of refining (milling) that significant cereal grains were added to the human diet.

  • Chris S

    First off, thank you for all of the information you’ve provide through this website, it is very helpful.
    You frequently refer to dog’s ancestors and their biological adaptation to a primarily carnivorous diet; thus making carbs unnecessary. However, you’ve shown the benefits of fiber in a dog’s diet and simultaneously informed us that it is only attainable through eating plants. How then do wolves, dog’s ancestors, obtain fiber?

  • Bob

    Thanks Mike, for the answer to my question. This is a great website……

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Bob… the Food and Drug Adminstration classifies powdered cellulose as “GRAS”… which means “generally recognized as safe” for use in human foods (as a thickening agent, etc.) and in pharmaceuticals (to make tablets). Raw cellulose comes from the cell walls of all plants… and, yes… even trees.

    Cellulose is used in the human food industry to make breads and other edibles. And it has the ability to “dilute” the calorie content of certain foods… including dog foods.

    Even though it does sound rather unappetizing (to say the least)… it has no real nutrient value (other than the normal benefits of dietary fiber).

    I am not personally aware of any significant health issues caused by its use in dog food. Our software has been programmed to highlight powdered cellulose in red only to call your attention to its controversial nature.

  • Bob

    Just a question on fiber. I had asked a question on a food that contains powered cellulose on the Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul Weight management formula, and you pointed out that the fiber was there to reduce the calories.

    I have read so many warnings on different websites to avoid at all costs, any dog food that contains powdered cellulose which they always refer to as ” sawdust”. This leaves me with the impression that if I feed my dog food containing powdered cellulose, it is like giving her a ground up 2 x 4 as part of her meal. My question is, does this ingredient have the potential for causing any negative problems with the dog’s health? I would like to use this food, since my dog does lose weight when eating this food and it seems to work better than some of the other weight lose foods that I have tried. The Chicken Soup brand also does have the lowest calories per cup of almost all the foods I have looked at.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Michael… I’m planning to add a list of high fiber foods (as well as other specific lists) in the future. Until then, why not choose from our 3, 4 and 5-star foods and look at the bottom of the yellow “dashboard” on each review.

    In our current database, dry matter fiber content averages about 4 to 5 percent. So, products with fiber content over 4% or so should help you achieve the results you’re looking for. Hope this helps.

  • Michael Dix

    So, which are the high fiber foods? I tried searching on “high fiber” on your site, to no avail.

    Our dog’s stools were loose — formed but soft and squishy –on a high quality diet*, so our vet recommended substituting some Science Diet w/d, which is some 15% fiber. This worked great: his stools now are firm and easy to pick up. But I’d rather not have to buy dog food from the vet during his office hours, so I’m looking for alternatives. Rather than go to every feed store in town, reading labels, I’d like to just be able to find the information here.

    *Another issue: He did great, other than the stool, on Eagle Pack Holistic. Is it the same food now that a new company owns it? I see “Now with Canola Oil!” on some of the new packages.