Beet pulp is an important source of fiber that is good for helping your dog maintain intestinal health and can enhance his ability to absorb ingredients. Beet pulp is the material that remains after sugar is extracted from sugar beets.
How Fiber and Beet Pulp Affect Your Dog’s Digestion
There are two types of fiber: Nonfermentable and fermentable. Nonfermentable fiber remains undigested as it passes through a dog's intestines, providing bulk to move wastes out. Cellulose is an example of a nonfermentable fiber.
In contrast, fermentable fiber is broken down in the intestines into short-chain fatty acids that provide energy for cells that line the intestine.
Moderately fermentable fiber does both: It provides bulk to move waste and supplies energy to cells lining the intestine. Beet pulp is a moderately fermentable fiber. IAMS™ products contain a patented, moderately fermentable fiber, beet pulp, to keep your dog's digestive system healthy.
The Truth About Beet Pulp in Dog Food
Beet pulp contains no toxins and is not harmful. It is a very safe fiber source. Beet pulp does not affect coat color. There is nothing in beet pulp that can affect coat pigment—the inside is light in color, and the dark outside peel is not used in our foods.
By definition, beet pulp is the material left over after the sugar is removed from sugar beets. Therefore, beet pulp contains no sugar.
There is no evidence that beet pulp causes bloat. Bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV) is related to a stomach defect that delays the stomach’s emptying. It is believed that bloat is not related to diet or ingredients, such as beet pulp. However, the cause of bloat remains unknown.
Beet Pulp and Dog Health Research
IAMS has conducted extensive research on many types of fiber. The results of this research point to the fact that beet pulp maintains intestinal health and works with other nutrients to provide optimal nutrition in all of our products, including IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks. No other food manufacturer can match our formulas. Only IAMS holds a patent for moderately fermentable beet pulp.
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Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active
It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.
Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health
At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.
Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite
Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.
Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines
Continue to use preventive medicines.
Senior Dog Health: Dental Health
Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.
Senior Dog Health: Exercise
Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.
Senior Dog Health: Diet
Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.
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