As dog owners, we try to give the best possible care to our pets, especially so with their nutrition. While most of the commercial dog food available in the market provide a lot, if not all, of what a domesticated canine needs for their daily nutrition, one particular ingredient that has been overlooked for years has recently enjoyed renewed interest. That ingredient is dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber for dogs has been a divisive topic for a while now amongst many dog owners. A huge chunk of pet owners and breeders say that dogs need it to live longer, healthier lives. While another group is saying that it’s unnecessary altogether, and can even be detrimental for your pet’s overall health.
In most cases, your dog should have a moderate level of fiber. From 2 to 4 percent of their total food consumption should be fiber. But, if your dog is suffering from constipation or other digestive issues, he should consume up to 10 percent fiber.
We will be taking an in-depth look at dietary fiber. We will look at what its effects are on dogs, and how much should you give them.
Do Dogs Need Fiber?
Let’s look into whether dogs would need dietary fiber in the first place. Wild canines don’t actually consume a lot of fiber. They have a primarily carnivorous diet. However, domesticated dogs do benefit from fiber that they get from commercially processed high fibre food. Unlike their wild relatives, dogs aren’t pure carnivores. They have adapted to live an omnivorous lifestyle, allowing them to consume some plant matter, and consequently, fiber.
Dietary fiber itself has no nutritional value, and dogs don’t really have a physiological need for it. Fiber is mostly there to help with the dog’s digestive process. It helps clear up any obstructions by helping the intestines absorb nutrients better.
Fiber itself has two seemingly contradicting attributes. It has both moisture-absorbing properties and lubricating properties. This gives fiber a normalizing effect in the intestinal tract. It slows down the digestive process if the dog is suffering from diarrhea, or speed it up a bit if they’re having constipation. Fiber also has the ability to absorb certain forms of toxin that can be harmful to your pet.
How Much Fiber Should a Dog Have in Their Diet?
Now that we know that fiber itself has something good to offer our pets, how much of it can we give our furry companions?