What’s the deal about fiber? Is fiber good for my dog? Does my dog need fiber? Is there such a thing as too much fiber for my dog? How should I increase fiber in dogs’ diets? So many questions about dogs and fiber, but we’ve got the (poop) scoop for you!
You probably know that fiber is invaluable to our diets, and that goes for dogs too. Not only does fiber help keep food moving through your dog’s digestive system at just the right speed, it helps keep their poop pretty perfect too. Fiber also helps keep your dog’s microbiome, or his ‘second brain’ thriving, by promoting the flourishing of healthy gut bacteria (more commonly known as probiotics). Fiber can help keep your dog’s weight and blood sugars at healthy levels, and even helps your dog express anal glands naturally (peeewww!) by bulking up stools to the consistency they need to be to do so.
Fiber is really a pivotal macronutrient for dogs. Soluble fiber is digestible, and is able to be broken into those smaller molecules that feed the probiotics in their gut. Insoluble fiber is not digestible, but massages and cleans the gut lining, and keeps your dog’s colon happy and healthy. In effect, fiber is life for a dog’s (and human’s!) digestive system, so here are some great ways to increase fiber in dogs’ diets.
First things first: Can dogs have too much fiber?
It’s important to know that not all fiber is created equally. And, if your dog takes in too much fiber, particularly lower quality as is often found in foods for filler, you may see increased diarrhea, gas, constipation and high-stool volume. The key is not only the correct amount of fiber, but quality fiber as well. Often, dog foods will include fiber as an afterthought–something to be added in (especially in weight loss foods) as filler and to meet daily requirements.
But quality fiber, and in effective dosages, makes all the difference in your dog’s gut health. And that means his overall immune health will likely be better too!
How can I increase fiber in my dog’s diet?
The easiest way to increase fiber in a dog’s diet is to first look at the food you’re giving him. A ‘typical’ dry kibble will likely have fiber in it, but a high fiber dog food will obviously have a higher fiber content. The thing is, more is not always better when it comes to fiber, because quality definitely makes a difference. And, as dog parents ourselves, we know that the marketing that goes into ‘high fiber’ foods can be tricky.
Fiber in dog foods is measured in levels referred to as ‘crude’ and high fiber dog foods typically contain anywhere from 5%-16% of crude fiber. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything to most dog parents, and when looking at ‘Guaranteed Analysis’ of foods, the percentage listed is the ‘maximum percentage’ and NOT the actual absolute amount.
What you read on the bag doesn’t even take into account soluble fiber, as most dog foods don’t factor soluble fiber in on their packaging. You really have to research and trust the companies making your dog’s food when you’re deciding to increase fiber in a dog’s diet with a high-fiber food.
Add fiber rich foods
Because dog food ingredient labels aren’t always the most obvious when it comes to the best information for fiber content, many dog parents like to increase fiber in dogs’ diets by adding fiber-rich foods to their dog’s daily meals. The key is being sure that the fiber-rich food doesn’t have too much sugar and caloric content. Some great high-fiber fruits and veggies you can add to your dog’s daily diet include blueberries, carrots and apples. These also make great treats and can replace those other filler treats that may just offer empty calories.
Add Bernie’s Perfect Poop!
The easiest way to increase fiber in a dog’s diet is to add Bernie’s Perfect Poop with every meal! And we’re not just saying that to sell you the product. The truth is, that’s why we created Perfect Poop! From experience with our own dogs (Bernie and his sister Lady), we’d researched and consulted with experts on how to give them the best gut health we could.
The thing is, adding all those separate supplements each meal got expensive and time-consuming, and we thought there had to be a better way.There was–actually, we created the Perfect way!The main ingredient in Bernie’s Perfect Poop is Miscanthus grass. Miscanthus is an all-natural perennial grass that’s grown in the Midwest. Miscanthus is grain-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. There are no chemicals used in processing the Miscanthus we use–something that many other fiber products in dog foods and supplements can’t claim. Miscanthus is purposely grown for its fiber content and digestive health benefit. It’s environmentally friendly and best of all? It’s a premium source of fiber — 84% dietary fiber!
In addition to Miscanthus, we combined flaxseed and pumpkin. It’s well-known that pumpkin is sort of a superfood for humans and dogs, as it creates beneficial fatty acids that help energize your dog at a cellular level. Pumpkin also stimulates intestinal sodium and water absorption, which means he’ll be able to absorb all the nutrition from the food you give him optimally and also feed the beneficial bacteria in his gut.
Flaxseed increases omega-3 fatty acids in your dogs–which help your dog’s coat, hair and skin be happy and healthy. Flaxseeds also contain lignans. Lignans boost your dog’s immune system too, again, helping your dog be his healthiest from the inside out.All of those ingredients are combined in delicious bits that you can easily add to each meal. Voila, and you’re welcome!
Fiber may not necessarily be considered an essential nutrient, but it is essential to your dog having the healthiest gut he can. And since good health begins in the gut, we can easily say that good health and fiber are strongly connected, whether your dog is having poop issues or not! So go ahead. Increase fiber in your dog’s diet the easy and healthy way!