Why Does My Dog Food Need Fibre? - GA Pet Food Partners

All good pet owners want to ensure that their dogs are healthy on the inside and outside. A contributing factor in helping a dog to achieve this is by ensuring that they acquire enough fibre in their diets.

This article will explore what fibre is and its role in dog food – examining the different types of fibre a dog requires and the benefits of this fantastic ingredient to a dog’s health and well-being.

What is Fibre?

Fibre is one of three types of carbohydrates (the other two being sugars and starches). This essential ingredient helps a dog to absorb other nutrients and keeps them feeling fuller for longer. It also helps a dog to form healthy faeces.

The role of fibre in a dog’s diet is essential and critical for looking after the overall health of the digestive system; however, it is often overlooked. Fibre primarily comes from plant cell walls, fruit and vegetable sources. Some of the common sources in dog feed include beet pulp, chicory and legumes.

Types of Fibres

There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, which are beneficial in maintaining a dog’s health.

Insoluble Fibre

This type of fibre is not digested and passes through the gut unchanged. A few examples of insoluble fibre are cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignins. Insoluble fibres stimulate movement within the large intestines, aiding the formation and passing of faeces – preventing constipation. A dog’s digestive system can usually tolerate high levels of insoluble fibre. However, if too much insoluble fibre is present in a diet, this can potentially result in constipation or have a laxative effect.

Soluble Fibre

Soluble fibres dissolve in water, forming into a gel-like substance and acting as a food source for the gut bacteria that aids digestion. Examples of soluble fibre include inulin, fructooligosaccharides, and pectins. Soluble fibre has also been linked to glycaemic control.

The Benefits of Fibre in Dog Food

Including fibre in a dog’s food is a great way to improve metabolism and aid faecal movement through the digestive system.

Aiding Digestion

Fibre is a fantastic resource for the digestive tract of a dog. It is usually fermented into fatty acid by the bacteria that is naturally found in a dog’s intestine. These fatty acids can then be used for energy production.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Fibre is a great nutrient to help maintain a dog’s weight. Obesity is a growing concern amongst vets and pet experts. A recent survey by the PDSA revealed that 52% of veterinary professionals identify obesity as one of the top five welfare issues that need to be addressed in the UK Dog Population.

The inclusion of fibre in a dog’s diet is a great way to allow dogs to feel full whilst consuming fewer calories, and often higher levels can be found in ‘light’ diets.

Healthy dogs should eat high-quality foods containing both insoluble and soluble fibres to ensure they receive all of the correct nutritional benefits. To find out information about what food you should feed your dog, click here.

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Kate Steele

GA Pet Food Partners Pet Nutritionist

Kate Steele is a Pet Nutritionist at GA Pet Food Partners, working with partners to develop their ideal recipe to meet a pet's nutritional needs and writing content for the Knowledge Centre to keep partners up to date with trending topics in pet nutrition. Kate graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Animal Science, where she studied topics including companion animal nutrition and physiology. She has also previously worked at a canine hydrotherapy centre and volunteered at a cat rescue shelter. Kate loves travelling, having visited many countries in South East Asia, and hopes to visit Africa in the future to observe the Big Five in the wild!

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Article written by Kate Steele