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Good owners want their furry loved ones to be healthy inside and out. One of the best ways to determine the condition of your pal's digestive system is to keep an eye on the color and consistency of their stool. Trust me, you're not the only human watching their dog do their business - it's a part of our pup parent duties. So is picking up the waste, which is difficult when your dog's bowel movement comes out watery. If your fur friend's stool is looking a bit loose, or a lot loose, adding fiber to your dog's diet is an easy way to change the consistency of their poop.
Fiber can promote healthy bowel movements, colon health, relieve your dog of constipation, and aid in weight management. Fiber can especially help by creating a solid foundation in diets for dogs who suffer from weak health, disease, or are more senior in age. Consulting your vet is always a great first step, but all pups can benefit from adding a supplement to their daily meals.
High fiber dog food, veggies, and grains are a few different ways to easily integrate fiber into your pup's regularly scheduled meals. All pups are unique with their own needs. Determining which ingredients and the amount to use may seem a bit tricky. Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are some easy and tasty tips for adding fiber to your pup's diet.
Absorb the liquid in your dog's digestive system with whole grains. This is a super simple and cheap option for a supplement - not replacement - to your normal pet food. Sprinkling a spoonful of cooked oats, cooked brown rice, or bran flakes over their meal will provide your pup with extra nutritional value and the necessary fiber to improve their bowel movements.
Start slowly by adding small amounts to your pal's diet and work your way up over several days. Observe how your pup's system acts in response to the change. Just like everything in life, moderation is key. Be sure you're giving your pup the right amount of fiber (whether it's high fiber dog food or supplemental ingredients). Signs of too much fiber are easy to spot. It can cause bloating, weight loss, farting, and loose stool - which would defeat the purpose of this dietary change. Consult the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.
High Fiber Dog Food
The fiber content in average dog food is %5 or less. High fiber dog food generally provides about 6 to 10% per serving, anything above 10% may be overdoing it and could create a negative experience for your pal. Sticking to the suggested serving size based on the life stage and size of your pup is best. You can locate the fiber content on the ‘Guaranteed Analysis’ section of the food bag.
A few popular high fiber dog foods are Nurtro Lite and Weight Management
, Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Adult Dog Food
. Not only do these dry dog foods have high fiber, but also high protein.
Serving your furry friend dog food with a high fiber content will improve their digestive functions, regulate blood sugar. Your pup will feel more full with this diet change since the fiber absorbs water and the switch will help manage your dog's weight.
Pump up your pup's fiber with pumpkin. (Actual pumpkin, not a pumpkin dog toy as pictured above!) If you've found dog food that fulfills most of your pup's dietary needs, switching to high fiber food may not be an option. That's totally fine! Supplementing your current food with a bit of pureed pumpkin could work wonders for your little one.
Other than fiber, pumpkin is also full of minerals, iron, potassium, and vitamins.
Serving sizes vary with the size of the consumer. For smaller pups, add a 1/2 or full teaspoon of pumpkin pulp to their food. The medium dogs would get a table spoon amount. Larger pups would need about 1/4 of a cup added to each of their meals. You can also freeze the servings in an ice cube tray and let your pup enjoy it during a hot day!
Canned pumpkin is preferred over fresh pumpkins. It's available all year long and has a higher level of fiber since fresh pumpkins contain more water. The downside to canned pumpkin is easily mixed up with pumpkin pie filling. It's an easy mistake to make! Learn the distinction between the two products. They're not the same and you'll be adding more sugar and other additives than you expected if you end up with the pie filling. Canned pumpkin pie filling may also contain xylitol
, which is toxic for our fur babies! Be sure to read the labels carefully and get your pal the right stuff.
Veggies & Fruits
Fruit and vegetables are good for everyone, even the pups! Serve your pooch beet pulp, mashed sweet potatoes, peas, and steamed green beans to add fiber. Raw or steam carrots and apple slices are beneficial for your fur friend. They're high in fiber and low in calories - and raw carrots are also good for your pup's teeth!
Mashed sweet potatoes take a good amount of time when made from scratch, but you'll be able to control what exactly goes in (or can be kept out) of the mashed sweet potatoes for your pup. Make sure to peel away the skin before chopping, steaming, and mashing. Serve 1 to 3 tablespoons with your pup's meal once a day.
Steamed green beans are a simply way to add color, texture, and fiber to any dog's meal. Steamed green beans is the best way to provide your pal with fiber. Raw green beans are nice every now and then, but they aren't as easy on the internal system. Steamed green beans ensure that more of the nutritional value is absorbed! Give your pup a handful of these green veggies with their meals for an easy way to boost their fiber intake!
Other Simple Additions
There are temporary solutions to use if you're looking to help your pup with constipation issues. Fiber capsules like Virbac Vetasyl Fiber Capsules
are simple for those fur friends who do well with tablets. Even if your pal can't do capsules, you can open the plastic capsule and spread the fiber over their food!
Metamucil and similar fiber products can get your pooch through the constipation episode. Sprinkle small amounts on your pal's food. Serve up to 1/2 tsp. for small dogs, no more than 2 tbsp. per meal for very large dogs. To blend the fiber additive to the food, add a small amount of water and let them enjoy.
Fiber capsules and Metamucil aren't for every day use. Serving your pup Metamucil more than two days in a row could create a new bowel problem for your little one. It's always best to follow directions and use sparingly.
There are quite a few options for adding fiber to your pup's diet. Finding the right one for your fur family can be as easy as adding carrots or changing the food. No matter what method you find works best for your dog, always make sure they access to plenty of fresh water. It's important to keep them hydrated and water will help get the digestive system moving smoothly.
Checking in with your vet never hurts. From puppyhood to adulthood, your dog's needs will change throughout the years. Your veterinarian will provide even more handy tips on how to maintain your pup's health inside and out!
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