I know humans need fiber, but does my dog?
With all the talk about fiber these days, you might be wondering, “Is my dog getting enough fiber?”
Fiber has many of the same benefits for dogs as it does for humans. It helps move food through the gastrointestinal tract, helps keep stools firm and promotes good digestive health.
The Two Basic Types of Fiber
Insoluble fibers aid in normal digestive motility and function, which ultimately promotes a healthy digestive system. In addition, insoluble fibers have the sponge-like effect of absorbing water, which can help soften and add bulk to stools, aiding their passage through the digestive tract. In general, simply making sure your dog is getting enough insoluble fiber is a good way to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Soluble fibers on the other hand have greater water-holding capacity and can form gels and viscous solutions within the digestive tract.
Some soluble fibers are known as “prebiotic fibers.” These help keep the cells of the digestive system healthy. They are selectively fermented by beneficial bacteria in the large intestine and produce a substance called Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). SCFAs serve as an energy source for the cells of the large intestine, help lower the pH of the intestinal contents (to inhibit growth of potentially harmful bacteria) and increase the number of beneficial bacteria for good digestive health. Purina sources its prebiotic fiber from chicory, wheat aleurone and beet pulp.
Purina dog foods provide the optimal amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber for a dog’s life stage. If you’re at all concerned about your dog’s condition, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for additional support and guidance.