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Just as humans, dogs may benefit from a diet supplemented with extra fibre. Fibre helps bulk the stool and make it softer. Therefore, fibre is often recommended for dogs that suffer from bouts of constipation, colitis, or anal gland problems. There are several sources of fibre that are safe for dogs.
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To work well, canned pumpkin must be plain, not with added spices made for pies. One to two teaspoons added to the dog's food will provide a good source of fibre.
Brown rice is an excellent source of fibre that is easy on the stomach. Top the dog's food with a small amount of brown rice to add fibre.
A high quality bran product such as rice bran, wheat bran, or oat bran can be sprinkled on top of the dog's food. If you feed your dog dry food, the bran can be moistened slightly with water to increase digestibility.
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Vegetables rich in fibre can be added to the dog's food gradually in small amounts. Fresh carrots and green beans are safe for dogs.
Apples, pears, and bananas are good sources of fibre. Apples and pears must be fed to dogs without the seeds and core, because the seeds contain cyanide, a toxic compound.
There are also several dog foods that are rich in fibre, such as "special diets" or food for older dogs. Pet stores also carry a variety of snacks and treats rich in fibre.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jose Roberto V. Moraes