Like all of us, dogs need fiber. In fact, canines will seek it out, and it’s no shock to see a dog gnawing on a carrot or crunching down apple-based treats. A high-fiber diet also helps dogs lose weight and maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
In a new Journal of Animal Science study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that avocado meal, a readily available by-product of avocado oil processing, can boost the fiber content of dog food without leading to health issues.
Beagles in the 14-day experiment were given diets with either avocado meal, beet pulp, or cellulose as a fiber source. Although the cellulose diet was higher in protein, the researchers found that the avocado meal made for a good fiber, fat, and energy source. They also confirmed that gut microbes are able to effectively break down the fiber in avocado meal.
Importantly, the researchers put to rest the fear that avocado meal may contain a harmful fatty acid derivative called persin. Their analysis shows while persin is present in all parts of the avocado, the act of processing breaks down persin—so no persin ends up in avocado meal.
Looking forward, the animal scientists think a diet containing up to 18% avocado meal may be a good option for dogs—and further studies will show if other pets could benefit too.
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Take a further look into this topic with related articles from the Journal of Animal Science:
- “Weight loss and high-protein, high-fiber diet consumption impact blood metabolite profiles, body composition, voluntary physical activity, fecal microbiota, and fecal metabolites of adult dogs“
Thunyaporn Phungviwatnikul, Anne H Lee, Sara E Belchik, Jan S Suchodolski, Kelly S Swanson, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 100, Issue 2, February 2022, skab379
- “Organic matter disappearance and production of short- and branched-chain fatty acids from selected fiber sources used in pet foods by a canine in vitro fermentation model“
Renan A Donadelli, Evan C Titgemeyer, Charles G Aldrich, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 97, Issue 11, November 2019, Pages 4532–4539
Featured image via Pixabay (public domain)