Getting extra fiber into a dog's diet can be like getting spinach into a kid's -- you gotta be devious and underhanded. Start your Cairn terrier off with a small amount --- half a teaspoon once a day to begin with -- and then advance gradually to larger amounts.
See if he'll eat high-fiber tidbits raw from your hand. Some dogs will crunch baby carrots, apple chunks (no seeds) and banana bites as a treat, while others won't touch them.
Top off your Cairn's kibble with a rich source of fiber. If he likes crunchy food, sprinkle on some bran from a health food store, not the grocery store -- some cereals with bran in the name have almost none in the box. If he prefers soft and moist, give him unsweetened applesauce or canned pumpkin (careful, don't grab pumpkin pie filling by mistake -- way too much sugar).
Pop the top on a jar of baby or junior food, almost any vegetable, and spoon it on as a sauce. Just read the label all the way to the end to be sure it isn't flavored with onion powder -- onions are dog-toxic in any form.
Sneak some fiber into his dinner by adding some veggies such as canned green beans (chopped to Cairn bite size), fresh or thawed frozen squash (ditto), green peas or baked sweet potato (unbuttered, of course). If you chop them small enough or mash them, he'll have a hard time eating around them.
Give him brown rice cooked in low-sodium chicken broth as part of one of his regular meals.
Substitute beans occasionally for the meat in your Cairn's food. If you make your own dog food, it's easy. If you serve canned dog food with kibble, replace half the canned food with canned or home-cooked beans, slightly smushed. If you serve just canned food, cut the proportion to one-fourth -- for a small Cairn that might be just a few beans.
Disguise fiber in treats by making your own and using something high in fiber as part of the moisture in the recipe. Make some with applesauce, some with pumpkin and some with strained or grated carrots for variety. Bag them and freeze for up to six months, but thaw well before he gets them.
Items you will need
- Raw and cooked fruits and vegetables
- Canned pumpkin
- Baby food (strained vegetables)
- Brown rice
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Homemade dog treats
- Ask your veterinarian exactly how much fiber your Cairn should be getting, according to his age, general health and individual needs.
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