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Is High Fiber Dog Food Right For Your Dog?

Updated on August 9, 2010

Has your dog been gaining weight recently? They might be sneaking out into the garden to eat little tree frogs or maybe you've been giving them one too many treats lately. The doctor says they should shed a few pounds and in the case of smaller breeds, that extra pound can mean obesity or being vastly overweight. One way to help your dog lose weight besides cutting back on the treats is to switch to high fiber dog food.

The two major reasons why high fiber dog food helps dogs lose weight is because fiber allows them to feel full with fewer Calories and high fiber diets allow for better insulin regulation that helps prevent insulin resistance. Fiber is made up of insoluble carbohydrates that are not easily digestible by the intestines. This allows the fiber to add more bulk to the diet without added Calories. Furthermore, fiber helps promote insulin sensitivity. What this means is that your dog's digestion system becomes more efficient in taking glucose in from the bloodstream. If this system is inefficient and your dog requires more and more insulin to take glucose in from the bloodstream, your dog will start to gain weight. If this process were to continue for too long, your dog will no longer be able to produce insulin and become diabetic.

High fiber dog food is useful for more than just helping your dog lose a few extra pounds. High fiber diets in dogs have been shown to prevent colon health. If you've noticed your dog scooting its butt along the floor or grass, what may be a cause is an impacted or abscessed anal gland. Dogs have two glands alongside their anus that secrete fluid to help pass stool along. When these glands cannot secrete fluid, the dog will become constipated. A high fiber diet can help the stool to bulk up and put pressure on these glands. When enough pressure is applied by the stool, the glands can secrete once more. While this is not a cure for anal gland impaction, it can help alleviate it. Please visit a veterinarian and discuss the options for your dog.

If your dog does not require a high fiber diet or somehow disagrees with the source of fiber used in the dog food, it will manifest itself in two ways. The first is the dog will develop a diarrhea and will become excessively gassy. If this happens after high fiber food is given to your dog, it is important to first identify whether it's the dog food or not. If your dog should require a high fiber diet, but does not like a particular brand, try switching to another. Often times the best high fiber dog foods are those labeled as organic. Dog food that does not have the organic label can often uses sources such as newspaper or hair.

Your dog should only switch to high fiber dog food if they are over weight or developing some colon problems such as scooting. Otherwise a healthy diet for dogs is high in protein and mimics would dogs would have eaten thousands of years when they were wild.

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