Dogs love to eat, and as pet owners, we want to make sure that they get the best nutrition possible.
You may have wondered what inulin is and why you see it included in your dog food.
It has long been known that inulin is beneficial for human health, but it can also benefit your dog’s health. Inulin has been shown to improve digestion, help with weight loss, and support the immune system.
What is Inulin?
Inulin is a type of soluble fibre found in many plants. Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material and has many health benefits for humans and animals.
It is also a fructan, and a fructan is essentially a large molecule of smaller molecules that store carbohydrates.
Like other fructans, inulin is prebiotic which feeds the good bacteria in the gut.
What plants contain Inulin?
Why is Inulin included in Dog Food?
Inulin is added to dog food for two main reasons:
1. Firstly, it can be added to increase the dog food’s sweetness and improve the taste. It is a relatively low calorie and natural alternative to other fats, sugars, or corn syrup that are used.
2. Secondly, inulin can be used as a prebiotic to aid digestion. For humans, research has linked inulin to several health benefits, such as improving digestive health, helping control diabetes, and aiding weight loss. Similar benefits can also be related to your dog health.
To recap, manufactures tend to add inulin into their food in order too:
- Replace fat in the food
- A sugar substitute
- Alter the texture of the food
- Boost the prebiotic content of foods
What are the benefits of inulin in dog food?
There are many health benefits of having inulin contained in dog food.
For example, it is a low-calorie carbohydrate and fibre source with around 25% fewer calories than sugar and about 10-12% fewer calories than fat.
Also, inulin can increase calcium absorption within the dog’s body and is a good energy source.
Inulin is classed as prebiotic as it increases the healthy bacteria, can improve digestion, immunity, gut functionality and overall health of the dog and its skin and coat.
What are the risks of Inulin in Dog Food?
Too much inulin in a dog’s diet may cause bloating, excessive gas and in some cases, diarrhoea. These symptoms are similar to those if their diet consisted of too much fibre.
What are the dog foods that contain inulin?
Inulin is a prebiotic fibre that helps to support healthy digestion in dogs.
It’s also a good source of energy and nutrients, which is why many high-quality dog foods recognise its health benefits.
If a dog food contains inulin, it should be listed in the declaration or ingredients list of the food.
During our research, Dog Food Info found a first-rate dog food company that uses this product – Anifit.
As you can see from the example below (declaration taken from Gockel’s Duett – Anifit), inulin is clearly listed on the food composition list.