The Importance of Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Digestion in Dogs
Having healthy digestion is essential for a variety of reasons, in humans and canines alike. Eating foods that contribute to a healthy digestive tract is, therefore, of utmost importance.
Fruits and vegetables are packed full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals to optimize digestion. Here are some particular benefits and how you can incorporate more into your dog's diet.
Why Is Healthy Digestion Important for Dogs?
The digestive system has many vital functions. It works to break down food into nutrients, which the body can use for growth and cell repair. A healthy digestive system also means energy from food can be effectively utilized, resulting in stabilized moods, higher endurance levels during exercise, and a greater quality of life.
Because of its sensitive nature, many factors in both humans and dogs can affect the digestion process. These factors can result in symptoms such as bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and other stomach issues (1). While some causes of these symptoms can include mental ailments, such as anxiety or stress, the type of food eaten plays a massive part in the health of your dog's digestive system.
Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables are packed full of fiber and vitamin C, with high water content. This can help keep the digestive tract move along regularly while producing healthy stools, lessening the risk of constipation and other stomach ailments.
High in fiber
Fiber can help benefit the digestive health of your dog in several ways. First, both insoluble and soluble fiber can help stabilize bowel movements. Fiber can decrease diarrhea risk, as it may help to solidify loose, watery stool by absorbing water and adding bulk. On the other hand, fiber can also play a large role in decreasing constipation, as it works to soften stools to be quickly passed (2).
Secondly, fiber can boost good gut bacteria in your dog's colon. Soluble fiber, primarily found in apples, carrots, and peas, can leave the stomach undigested, where it feeds gut-friendly bacteria in the colon. This improves the overall gut microbiome, resulting in a decreased risk of various stomach issues.
High in Vitamin C
While the antioxidant properties of vitamin C often lead people to associate it with the prevention of colds, vitamin C has other stuff that can work to ease your dog's digestion. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, it can create an osmotic effect so that water can be pulled into the intestines (3). The result? Softer stools and decreased risk of constipation.
Vitamin C can help the absorption of iron into the body. While overconsumption of iron supplements can lead to a blocked digestive tract, sufficient absorption of iron from natural food sources is essential for your dog's wellbeing. Not only does iron support the production of good gut bacteria, but it plays a vital role in energy production and gastrointestinal processes (4).
High Water Content
Both fruits and vegetables are considered high-hydration foods, with most containing at least 80% water. Water is seen as one of the best ways to promote a healthy gut. Besides helping food break down more efficiently so that the nutrients can be adequately absorbed, consuming more high-water-content foods can speed up the digestion process, meaning faster and healthier stool production.
Water has also been shown to benefit the intestines’ mucosal lining in humans and canines alike (5). This can then improve the balance of good bacteria in the colon.
How to Incorporate Them into Your Dog's Diet
A simple way of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your dog's diet is by introducing various types of cooked and pureed samples. However, it can be tricky to determine the exact quantity or type of fruit and vegetable that should be eaten. Overconsumption can lead to diarrhea and bloating, while other fruits, such as grapes, should be avoided entirely due to their detrimental effects on dogs.
An easy option is introducing dog food supplements with high fruit and vegetable content into your dog's diet.
AppleLove Transition Blend and AppleLove Fruit & Vegetable Blend are packed with tons of fruits and vegetables, including apples, pumpkin, and banana, which all contain excellent amounts of fiber. The result? Food supplements with high water, vitamin C, and fiber content that still tastes delicious.
The Bottom Line
Fruits and vegetables are essential for your dog's health, as they contribute to a healthy digestive system. When the digestive system is impaired, many stomach issues can arise, severely affecting your dog's wellbeing.
Because fruits and vegetables contain lots of fiber, water, and vitamins, they can help feed good gut bacteria, ease digestive discomfort, and promote healthy bowel habits. All of this means your dog can carry on doing what it loves most, without any of the nasty side effects from impaired digestion.