Diet is the bricks and mortar of health. This applies to dogs as well as humans. Putting a little thought into what you feed your dog can pay big dividends with their improved health over their lifetime.
Fibre – there is now a growing consensus that dietary fibre can be very beneficial.
Fibre provides zero calories and it passes through the digestive system virtually unchanged, but it serves an important purpose.
Fibre absorbs water like a sponge. This means that if there is excess water in the colon, for example during diarrhoea, any dietary fibre will soak it up and help to produce a firm stool, if there is too little water in the colon, which often leads to constipation, the fibre will draw water in from surrounding tissue and help resolve the problem. Fibre is important in maintaining intestinal health. A dog with a healthy digestive system is going to have a stronger immune system.
Some of the most common and cheaper sources of fibre in dog foods include rice hulls, soybean hulls, beet pulp, bran, peanut hulls, and pectin.
At FourFriends, all our natural Super Premium foods have dried apple as a fibre source. This is gentler on the intestines than the more commonly used fibre sources. Apples are also a good source of anti-oxidants. The addition of Aloe Vera as standard in all our foods, can ease a lot of problems with domestic animals as it supplies reasonable amounts of micronutrients.
Another important function of fibre is that it acts as a pre-biotic. This means it provides a channel and a food source for ‘friendly’ intestinal bacteria. This bacterium aids the digestion of food and helps prevent harmful bugs getting established.
Dietary fibre also slows down digestion. This can be particularly useful in diabetic dogs because the fibre helps to provide a slow, steady release of dietary sugar into the bloodstream. It can also help with weight loss as fibre is digested more slowly allowing the dog to feel fuller for longer while providing less calories.
We are always happy to answer your questions. Please give the FourFriends team a call on 01302 637377.