Looking for nutritious, healthy dog food for your pooch? – Look no further than High fiber dog foods the UK and alternative and offer a better lifestyle for your pup.
We know that canines are the most energetic and healthy when they get the required quality and quantity of food. Whether your pet is a growing age or older, choosing high-fiber foods can be beneficial.
These foods are ideal for pets with sensitive stomachs and issues related to their anal glands. Sometimes, a vet may also recommend these foods for dogs with diabetes, as these are rich in fiber.
What is Food Fiber?
We first need to know what food fiber, also known as dietary fiber, is. Dietary fibers are a type of carbohydrate derived from plants that cannot be fully digested by the body. As a result, they come out of the digestive system unscathed. These are found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Unlike most foods that need to be digested before providing their benefits, these are useful because they cannot be digested. After passing through the stomach without being digested, these fibers are found by the gut bacteria in the intestines, and that is where they do their work.
This is where their various health benefits start. Usually, high-fiber foods help in regulating and maintaining colon health and also affect the absorption of various chemicals and nutrients.
Moreover, it can also slow glucose absorption leading to healthy weight loss. Fibers are usually required by the body in moderate amounts.
Depending on the solubility, these fibers are divided into two types and may be soluble or insoluble. Given their various health benefits, you can find many dog foods that are rich in fiber.
Read more: Best holistic dog food
Why Are high-fiber foods Essential for Dogs?
Now that you know what fibers are, next, let’s take a look at why your canine needs these. To start off with a simple explanation, you might have seen dogs sniff each other’s rear – while that may come off as strange to us, there’s a reason why they do that.
And the answer is their anal glands. Located just where their name suggests, these glands secrete a special scent, one that your canine uses to mark his territory.
If these glands are not emptied regularly, it can cause some complications. The most common signs are that your dog will feel uncomfortable and experience pain. This problem can be easily solved after getting the glands emptied.
If your canine is regularly troubled with this, he needs some help. High-fiber dog foods absorb water and allow the anal glands to express when your pet defecates. This, in turn, reduces the risk of their rupturing and also soothes the digestion.
Therefore, if you feel that your pet has regular issues with that, consider changing his diet to a mixture of both soluble and non-soluble fat.
Common Sources of High Fiber Dog Foods UK
Now that you know why canines need fibers in their food, the next step is to know what foods are rich in fiber. Some of the common sources of dietary fiber include:
- Fruits and Vegetables
As stated previously, fiber is present mostly in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fruits like apples are very rich in fibers, especially the green granny smiths. Others include pumpkins and raspberries.
Many crunchy vegetables have fibers. Some common vegetables include potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and kelp. These are packed with antioxidants and are ideal sources of fibers.
- Grains, Seeds, and Legumes
Dogs cannot digest grains as their ancestors were carnivorous. However, moderate amounts of grains are good for them, as they also contain fibers. These include oats, rice, and some flower seeds. Both refined and unrefined grains pack fiber. Other than grains, legumes and seeds also contain fibers.
Cereals are an important part of our human breakfasts and for a good reason, as they contain many fibers. However, these foods are not suitable for pets.
- Meat and Bones
All of the above are not included in a canine’s natural food list. However, there are other sources of fiber, as well. These include cartilage, ligaments, and fur.
However, these are related to wild animals. Our pet dogs are not ones that hunt out in the wild. This means that they need to fulfill their fiber requirements elsewhere.
In Which Health Conditions Can High Fiber Foods Help Your Dog?
While high-fiber dog foods are an overall good addition to your pet’s regular food, there are certain conditions in which these can be really useful. So if your pet is suffering from any of the following health conditions, consider changing his diet to a high fiber one.
- Anal Gland Problems: As stated previously, these glands only cause a problem when they have lack of expression. These scent secreting glands tend to become clogged over time. In the worst case, your canine will be uncomfortable and experience pain and rub his rear almost everywhere, that’s right, including the new fancy carpet in your living room. Using high fiber foods makes their stool more firm and allows these glands to express, solving the issue without medication.
- Issues With Digestion and Intestinal Dysfunction: Fibers are used up by bacteria in the intestines. These microbes improve digestion and absorb more water, preventing conditions like constipation. Therefore, a recommended amount of fiber will ensure smooth intestine function.
- Diabetes and Dealing with Disturbing Blood Sugar Levels: Older dogs are prone to getting diabetes or upset blood sugar levels. Fibers can help control these levels by keeping them more consistent, and they affect glucose absorption.
- Weight Control: If you feel your pet is overweight for his age, then consider switching to a high-fiber diet. While yielding very few calories, fibers can make your pet feel full for longer, automatically reducing the total calorie intake.
Types of Fibers in Dog’s Food
Based on their solubility, food fibers are of two types, namely soluble and insoluble fibers. Both of these differ in their recommended intake quantity and ease of digestion. Ideally, you want a mixture of both these in your pet’s diet.
These fibers dissolve easily in water and are easy to digest. For older pets who have a hard time digesting, these soluble ones are easy on the gastrointestinal tract. Many common foods containing these include flaxseed, oats, barley, etc.
Fibers, you need to be careful with the quantity. Too much fiber consumption can cause gas issues, and in this case, really foul-smelling gas.
Like the name, these fibers do not dissolve water and instead absorb water as they go through the digestive tract. These fibers work mainly in speeding up the entire digestion process.
Vegetables like peas, corn, and potatoes and some fruits, etc. are rich in these insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber, too much consumption of these can also lead to complications. These fibers bind some of the important minerals that lead to less absorption and weight loss.
Fermentable and Non-Fermentable
Other than these, fibers are also classified as fermentable and non-fermentable. The ones that can be broken by the intestinal bacteria and are called fermentable. Usually, soluble fibers are also more fermentable.
How to Add Fiber in Dog’s Food?
As pet parents, we want the best for our canines, and that also goes for food. Besides high-fiber dog foods, there are tons of other ways to introduce fiber in your pooch’s life.
Whole Grains, Oats and Porridge: Looking for a healthy fiber diet? A dog porridge can provide both delicious taste and a good quantity of fibers. Similarly, including whole grains in your pet’s regular food can be a great source of nutrition. Canines are not good at digesting grains; therefore, keep these low in quantity.
Vegetables: Crunchy vegetables are the most ideal source of fibers. Carrots, green vegetables, potatoes, and sweet potatoes can be steamed, and voila, a healthy serving of fibers, is ready for your canine.
Fruits: Fruits, especially apples, the green granny smiths are rich in fibers. Other sources include citrus fruits, melons, raspberries. Before serving the fruits to your pet, make sure to cut them in the appropriate slices and remove seeds, if any.
Fiber Capsules: Besides the above-mentioned natural sources, you can also make any pet diet into a fiber-rich one using these fiber capsules. Before using these, consult a vet to know the exact amount your canine needs.
Things to Look for When Choosing High Fiber Dog Foods UK
Choosing the ideal food for your canine is not the easiest task. You need to be careful about the ingredients, composition, recommended breed, and recalls. To help you in your search, the following is a list of important characteristics to look for when choosing a high-fiber dog food.
A healthy amount of fiber content is a must-have in any high fiber dog food. However, fiber is present in a lot of carbohydrate sources. Grains like corn, soy, and wheat, etc. are known to be harmful to dog stomachs.
Any fiber that humans can digest may not be the best for canines. On the other hand, flaxseed, fruits, and vegetables are healthier sources.
Make sure that the blend of both soluble and insoluble fibers is in the right percentage recommended for dogs. Ideally, the pet food should contain around 5 – 10% of fiber, both soluble and insoluble.
High-fiber foods come in tons of different flavors, each having a certain flavor as the main pick. Depending on your canine’s taste, choose the one he is most likely to love.
Some dogs love salmon flavored foods, while others prefer chicken-flavored meals. It all depends on your pooch’s preference.
Suitable for Small or Large Dogs
Taking your pet’s size into account before purchasing food is important. Larger dogs have a slower metabolism as compared to smaller breeds. They need larger portions of high fiber foods over larger intervals of time.
In the case of smaller breeds, they need small-sized kibble in lesser amounts over lesser intervals of time. That said, the total fiber requirements of different breeds vary, and that should also be considered.
Ingredients and Allergens
Dogs are omnivores and can eat fruits, vegetables, and some grains; however, they still lean over to the carnivorous side. It is recommended to go with high-protein dog food containing other fiber sources as well. When it comes to grains, dogs are not the best at digesting them, and it is better to avoid such allergens.
Many times, the protein content in dog foods also consists of many by-products like skin, cartilage, or other unrefined organs from multiple sources. While these do count as proteins, these are not the best sources and can prove to be harmful to your pet’s health.
Make sure to avoid such by-products and stick to healthier protein sources. However, foods containing few by-products from a single source are alright for consumption.
Many dog food brands add some extra minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids to make the foods more nutritious. Such antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for your canine and are a recommended addition to dog foods. These also provide health benefits like shinier coats and an improved immune system.
Avoid Artificial Colors and Flavors
Sometimes, food companies add artificial food colors and flavors to make the taste more enticing and appealing. These do not have a good effect on your canine’s health, and some can even cause allergies. Instead, opt for all-natural ingredients that pack all the nutrition and natural flavors.
Go with High-Safety Standard Foods
With pet foods, you often see labels stating “all-natural” or “healthy protein” and many others. These can be misleading as that does not mean there will be no artificial components. To avoid that, go with high-standard food. Ideally, one is manufactured and checked for standard in the USA or Europe.
The Usefulness of High Fiber Dog Foods UK
Based on calories and nutrition, fibers are not very high in the food chain. However, they do offer many benefits that help them stay in the healthy food circle.
Switching to a high-fiber diet can be a healthy option for your canine. And that is because other than complete nutrition, your pooch will have the following benefits.
- Improved Digestion: Fibers are known to aid amazingly in the digestion process. They can keep your pet full for a longer time and offer more effective and controlled absorption of many important minerals. When passing through the intestine, fibers draw in more water, which is useful for the prevention of conditions like constipation. The same way, these also absorb enough water from the intestine to keep it within the required levels and avoid diarrhea.
- Helping in Anal Gland Problems: Swollen anal glands can be quite a pain to both your dog and yourself, although in different ways. This issue occurs more often with smaller breeds. Including fibers in their diet makes your dog’s stool firm allowing the glands to express and soothing the issue. Thus, fibers help in combating intestinal dysfunction and also regulate metabolism.
- Controlled Blood Sugar Levels: Older dogs sometimes suffer from diabetes due to a misbalance in the blood sugar levels. Fibers can help control it by restricting these levels as they affect how glucose is absorbed.
- Weight Control: As stated before, fibers have little nutrition value as they yield very few calories. However, they also make your pet feel full faster automatically and keep the entire calorie consumption in check.
Some Important Tips
- Look for dog food high in fiber content, such as 3-5%.
- Choose foods with natural sources of fiber, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid foods with artificial fillers and additives.
- Feed your dog a balanced diet that includes protein, fats, and vitamins.
- Avoid sudden changes in diet to prevent digestive upset.
- Introduce high-fiber foods gradually to avoid gas and bloating.
- Monitor your dog’s stool for consistency and frequency.
- If your dog is experiencing digestive issues, consult a veterinarian.
- High-fiber foods can help your dog feel full and satisfied.
- A high-fiber diet can help maintain a healthy weight.
When it comes to digestion problems, intestinal dysfunction, and anal gland issues, high-fiber dog food UK are the best remedy. These foods regulate glucose absorption and aid in weight loss.
When purchasing such foods, study in detail the ingredients and other labels. Ideally, it should have a mixture of both soluble and insoluble fibers mixed in the right percentage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are high-fiber dog foods UK?
Like their names suggest, these foods are made especially for dogs and feature high fiber content of both insoluble and soluble types. These pet foods are ideal for canines with anal gland problems, intestinal dysfunction, and diabetes. It is recommended to consult a vet before introducing these in your pet’s diet.
How much fiber should dog food have in a regular diet?
When it comes to a regular diet, pet foods usually contain 2-4% of fiber; however, depending on the requirements, it can change. Mostly, this percentage remains between 1-10%.
What foods are good sources of fiber for dogs?
Apples, pumpkins, flaxseeds, potatoes, broccoli, and some others are great sources of fiber. You can include these in your pooch’s regular diet in the recommended amounts.
Can I feed my small breed dog regular high fiber foods?
Yes. However, in the case of puppies and other smaller breeds, make sure the kibble is the right size and is recommended for puppies. Smaller breeds have sensitive stomachs, and over-dosage of fibers can lead to weight problems.
How can dog food fiber help a diabetic dog?
Fibers are capable of keeping the glucose levels within a certain range. They make your pet feel fuller while yielding fewer calories. Insoluble fibers also slow down glucose absorption to keep the glucose levels consistent.
Are sweet potatoes high in fiber?
Yes. Sweet potatoes feature a good percentage of fiber. On average, sweet potato contains around 3.5 grams of fiber. These also tend to fill the stomach easily and have a pleasant sweet flavor.
Is high-fiber food good for dogs?
Yes, however, in the recommended amounts. Over-dosage of fibers can also cause various health problems like weight issues and foul-smelling gas. It is recommended to follow the dosage instruction on the food packaging. If you are still unsure, consider consulting a vet.