Fiber is an essential part of a pet’s diet, there are two types: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is indigestible roughage that does not dissolve in water. This fiber type increases movement of food through the digestive track and improves stool bulk. It can help dogs lose and/or gain weight without increasing the daily volume of food consumed. The added bulk from insoluble fiber also increases pressure on the anal glands when stools are passing, which encourages the natural release of their contents. Insoluble fiber types include cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignins.
Soluble fiber transforms into a gel-like substance when mixed with water. Often soft and sticky, this fiber type helps to soften stool so it can slide through the GI tract more easily. It also promotes good gut bacteria which prevents diarrhea, straining and related defecation problems. Soluble fiber can be found in food like chicory, inulin, fructooligosaccharides, pectins, psyllium, plant gums, oats, barley, beet pulp, and some types of fruits and legumes.