Fiber is an important nutrient for humans and dogs, but what foods are rich in fiber and safe for your pup? Read on to learn what to give your dog for fiber.
As a dog parent, you have a lot of responsibility. You make most of the decisions for your pup that determine their health, like what kind of food they eat and what ingredients are included. Managing your dog’s diet isn’t always easy. From trying to navigate the dog food label to learning what foods your dog likes and which may irritate their tummies, there’s a lot to learn.
Luckily, Sundays can help you be the best dog parent you can be. If you’re wondering, what can I give my dog for fiber, this guide has answers. Let’s break down the benefits of fiber in your dog’s diet, how much fiber to feed your dog, and what fiber-rich foods are best.
Benefits of Fiber for Dogs
Fiber is an essential ingredient for dogs as it contains a range of nutrients that help in three key areas: digestion, weight management, and blood sugar levels. Here's what you need to know.
One of the most well-known benefits of fiber is for the digestive tract. For humans and dogs, fiber helps move things along in the digestive system, helping to prevent and relieve constipation and promote regularity.
When fiber enters the intestines, it can ferment due to the good bacteria found in the gut. Fermented fiber turns into fatty acids, which can help combat bad bacteria that may be found in the gut and promote colon health and recovery from injury.
Fiber helps move the digestive process along in the colon, getting rid of waste faster than without fiber. This also helps reduce the exposure of carcinogens and other harmful toxins your dog has consumed by filtering them through waste faster.
Another benefit of fiber for dogs is weight management. Over half of the canine population living in the United States are overweight. This can lead to arthritis, kidney failure, increased risk for infection, liver disease, changes in hormone synthesis, diabetes, heart failure, blood pressure problems, and a variety of other negative health consequences.
Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is vital to keeping them healthy. However, without the right tools this may be a challenge. Fiber is an excellent tool to use to help promote weight loss and management. Here’s how it works!
Fiber helps promote satiety when your dog eats their food. In other words, it helps them feel fuller, faster, without having to eat as many calories. Plus, fiber contains nutritional value so your dog isn’t missing out on any necessary ingredients.
It can help to look for natural sources of fiber in dog food as well as supplement fiber in your dog’s diet with whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Fiber is also a great tool to help regulate your dog’s blood glucose levels. If your dog is diabetic or has problems with regulating blood sugar, it's important to closely monitor their diet. Some types of fiber can actually help slow digestion down, preventing glucose levels from skyrocketing all at once in the blood.
Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about increasing your dog’s fiber intake if they’re diabetic.
How Much Fiber Does Your Dog Need?
Your dog’s nutritional needs are complex. They need carbohydrates to fuel their bodies and give them energy, fats to stay healthy and protect their bodies, proteins and amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients to keep them healthy.
So, how much fiber can you give your dog to make sure they get everything they need? Aim to include around 2.5% to 4.5% fiber in your dog’s total dietary intake. If your dog is diabetic or is on a weight management diet, the fiber intake may be higher. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about how much dietary fiber content your dog needs.
It’s also important not to give your dog too much fiber. Overconsumption of fiber can make stools excessively loose, leading to diarrhea, stomach upset, and gastrointestinal issues. Too much fiber intake can also make other nutrients and vitamins less digestible for your dog.
What Type of Fiber is Better for Dogs?
There are two main types of fiber found in foods. Each plays a different role, so it’s important to know the difference and which is best for your pup.
Insoluble fiber helps digestion move more quickly. It’s found in ingredients like vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran. If you’re looking for a way to relieve constipation, promote regularity, and provide nutrients, insoluble fiber is excellent.
Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that slows digestion down. If your dog is diabetic, be sure to look for soluble types of fiber. These are found in some fruits and vegetables, as well as some nuts and oats. Soluble fiber is also known to help promote heart health.
The best type of fiber to include in your dog’s diet depends on your dog’s health, dietary needs, and specific scenario. Not all dog’s needs are the same, so it’s important to understand the difference between fibers to know what your dog will need.
Luckily, in some dog foods, you’ll find both types of fiber included to promote your dog’s health while trying to balance effects on digestion.
Below are some of the best ingredients that are rich in fiber for your pup.
What Can I Give My Dog For Fiber?
Fiber is a completely plant-based nutrient. You will find fiber in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So, what are the best foods to give your dog for fiber? Below are some of the ingredients to look for, as well as a few types of fiber that may actually irritate your dog’s digestion.
Green beans are an excellent ingredient to look for on the dog food label, especially if you’ve got fiber in mind. They’re low in calories, packed with nutrients and vitamins, and rich in fiber, for a delicious ingredient to add a fiber punch.
If you’re looking forward to sipping pumpkin lattes and smelling pumpkin candles, you should know that pumpkin is also rich in fiber and a great ingredient to add to both your own and your dog’s diet. It’s rich in fiber, as well as Vitamins A, E, C, and potassium.
If you consider adding pumpkin to your dog’s diet, start small to make sure they aren’t sensitive or irritated by it.
Beets can be found in human foods like salads, juices, and sandwiches, but did you know it can benefit your dog’s health, too? That’s right! Foods like beets contain high fiber content and are great ingredients to include in dog food.
Beets are rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C in addition to fiber.
Recently, there has been an increase in options for premium, quality dog food options. Many of these dog foods contain flaxseed as a popular dog food ingredient, and for good reason. Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, promoting your dog’s coat, skin, and digestion as well as a range of other benefits.
From flaxseed oil to ground flaxseed, you can’t go wrong when adding this ingredient to dog food or looking for it on the ingredient list.
Kelp? In dog food? That’s right. Kelp is actually a popular dog food ingredient as it’s rich in iron and fiber that’s easily digestible and safe for your dog.
Leafy greens like lettuce, kale, spinach, and more are also rich sources of fiber. These ingredients are also rich in other types of vitamins and minerals your dog needs to grow and thrive. Look for kale or lettuce on your dog food label for extra fiber and nutrition.
Apples are an excellent snack for your dogs to enjoy. They’re rich in fiber which can help keep your pup regular, and they’re also great for oral and dental hygiene.
Learn more about the benefits of apples for dogs here!
If your furry friend needs to lose some weight, but you don’t want to stop giving them treats, consider carrots as an alternative. They’re rich in fiber, nutrients, and come with a variety of healthy benefits. Plus, they’re the perfect tasty, crunchy treat for your pup to enjoy.
Lastly, whole fruits like strawberries and blueberries are another great source of fiber. Many assume dogs only need protein and a few vegetables to thrive, but they actually need a balance of whole fruits and whole grains as well. Fruits like strawberries and blueberries are especially high in fiber and other nutrients and vitamins.
“Fiber” Foods To Avoid
When looking for foods rich in fiber, there are a few misleading ingredients to avoid.
Corn is often listed under the “grains” section on the dog food label. You may see soybean with this ingredient, or another type of wheat. While corn isn’t necessarily harmful to your dog or “toxic,” it has little to no nutritional value and acts as a filler rather than a necessary nutrient. Avoid fillers like corn on the dog food label.
Soy does contain some benefits, but it most often leads to irritation and stomach upset in the gastrointestinal system. Feeding your dog soy can cause discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Wheat and Gluten
Lastly, wheat and gluten are fiber sources to avoid in dog food. These are common dog food allergies, which may lead to irritation and upset. Instead, look for whole grains like quinoa and oats for fiber content that won’t upset your dog’s digestive system.
Tips for Giving Your Dog Fiber
Introducing fiber into your dog’s diet can be a challenge. If you’re switching your dog’s food to high-fiber food, it’s important to make this swap gradually. The process may even take a few weeks to accomplish.
If you’re giving your dog small amounts of pumpkin, flaxseed, or green beans on top of their dinner bowl, start in small quantities and make sure your dog digests them well and doesn’t have a reaction.
Lastly, always check the ingredient quality for best results. You care about your dog and want to treat them like family.
Looking to feed them fiber-rich dog food that’s made with no harsh processing, no chemicals or additives, real, all-natural ingredients, and a specific formula designed to meet all your dog’s needs? Look no further than Sundays.
Here’s our full ingredient list — we’ve got nothing to hide and all the good fiber to show off!