For the majority of us, dog food nutritional labels are one of life’s great mysteries. We all know what protein, fat, and fiber are, and we know that fiber can be beneficial for our dogs, but why has the word “crude” been attached to the start of these words? In short, crude fiber refers to the amount of insoluble fiber in dog food as determined by laboratory tests.
If you’d like to learn more about what crude fiber is, how it is determined, and why dogs need fiber in their diets, read on to find out more. Let’s kick off with what fiber is and why it’s good for dogs, and then we’ll get into how scientists test for crude fiber and how it differs from dietary fiber.
What Is Fiber and Is It Good for Dogs?
Fiber is a carbohydrate derived from plant material that passes through the digestive system without being digested. There are two types of fiber—soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, whereas insoluble fiber does not. Soluble fiber ferments, whereas insoluble fiber absorbs water. Both are beneficial, but too much of either type can cause adverse effects.
For dogs, fiber can help keep the digestive system in good order because it helps to form healthy stools and eliminate excess water in the digestive tract. This is why it’s often called “roughage”.
Additionally, some dietary fibers (soluble) ferment in the digestive tract, where they turn into fatty acids and this helps balance gut bacteria.
Fiber also helps with weight control because it leaves dogs feeling full without eating a ton of calories. It can also benefit dogs with diabetes mellitus as it helps keep blood sugar stable. For this reason, vets sometimes prescribe high-fiber diets to dogs suffering from diabetes, but not in every case as not every diabetic dog is suited to this kind of diet.
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What Is Crude Fiber?
Crude fiber is the insoluble part found in plant cell walls and is mostly made up of cellulose. It is different from dietary fiber in that it cannot ferment in the small intestine, whereas some types of dietary fiber can. Dietary fiber is the total of insoluble and soluble fiber added together. Crude fiber is the residue left over from laboratory tests on dog food to determine how much fiber a product contains.
Crude Fiber: The Testing Process
If you’re interested in the science behind how dog food is tested for fiber, the below steps explain the process in brief. It’s called the Weende method, and the acid and alkaline act as digesters.
So, in brief, crude fiber is the material that degrades during the final part of the testing process due to burning. Testing for crude fiber is a standard process that gives us a measure of how much fiber the product contains.
Fiber can be beneficial for dogs as it helps control diabetes, keep weight down, and contributes to a healthy digestive tract. If you’re wondering whether your dog is getting enough fiber or think a high-fiber diet might be beneficial for them, please speak to your vet for an expert opinion.
Featured Image Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock
— Update: 14-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Dog food: What do crude protein, crude fat and crude fibre mean? from the website uk.bellfor.info for the keyword crude fiber in dog food.
If you take the trouble to take a closer look at the back of the packaging when buying food, you will find a whole range of information there. In addition to details on the composition of the dog food, this also includes information such as crude protein, crude fat and crude fibre.
What these terms mean exactly and whether they say anything about the quality of the food is explained below.
Mandatory information on the food’s packaging
It is a legal requirement to print certain information on dog food packaging in Germany. This includes the ingredients in the food, nutritional additives and the so-called analytical ingredients.
The analytical components of dog food include the already mentioned terms crude protein, crude fibre and crude fat. They are given as a percentage and determined in laboratory analysis.
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Crude protein in dog food
The term crude protein refers to the protein content of the dog food. The analysis does not differentiate between protein sources. Therefore, the crude protein includes proteins from the meat in the food and vegetable protein, which can come from cereals such as wheat.
Crude fibre in dog food
Crude fibre is non-soluble dietary fibre in dog food. This includes, for example, dried beet pulp and inulin. Although dogs are semi-carnivores and need sufficient animal fats and proteins, this fibre is essential to stimulate the stomach and intestines’ motor function and promote healthy digestion.
Raw fat in dog food
The so-called raw fat includes all fats in the dog food. This includes vegetable fats, such as oils, and animal fats, like chicken fat.
Crude ash in dog food
In addition to the values mentioned, the so-called crude ash is also determined in the laboratory. For this purpose, the dog food is heated so strongly that it burns. Doing this leaves behind the non-combustible components of the food. The main part of the crude ash consists of minerals.
Moisture content in dog food
The moisture content, or water, indicates how much moisture is in the dog food. With dry food, this value is, of course, significantly lower than with wet food, which you must also take into account concerning how much drinking water you give your dog.
What are nutritional additives?
A complete food like our dry or wet food must provide a dog with all the vital nutrients in the right amounts. Besides obvious things like proteins, carbohydrates and fats, this naturally includes certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, taurine, copper or iron.
A lack of these so-called micronutrients can sometimes have fatal consequences for health. To avoid this and ensure a nutrient supply that meets your dog’s needs, the required vitamins and minerals are added to the food.
These are listed on the packaging as nutritional additives. The quantities are usually given in IU (international units) or mg per kilo of feed, depending on the micronutrient.
What do the analytical components mean for quality?
The indication of the analytical components is mandatory and gives you as an owner a rough overview of the nutritional values. However, conclusions about the quality of the dog food cannot be drawn from the raw protein, raw fibre and raw fat.
For example, the raw protein can come from grain as well as meat or insects. As a rule, vegetable proteins are much less efficiently utilised by your dog than animal proteins. Therefore, the crude protein content and the type of protein source play an essential role in your dog’s protein supply.
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The situation is similar with the crude fat, which can be both low-quality vegetable oil and high-quality fats that are very important for a dog’s health.
What values should the analytical ingredients in dog food have?
The individual values for crude protein, crude fibre and crude fat in dog food vary significantly. This is because dogs have different needs depending on their age and life circumstances.
For example, a growing puppy or a pregnant bitch needs more energy and protein than an adult dog. Sporting and service dogs need different nutrients than purely house dogs.
Small dog breeds generally have a higher energy metabolism than large breeds. Therefore, their food should contain more protein and fat, which also supplies higher crude fat and crude protein values in the dog food.
Individual help with the choice of feed
It is crucial for the health and well-being of your dog that you choose the right food. Considering the many factors that play a role in your four-legged friend’s needs, selecting the right dog food can quickly become a challenge.
We have developed an exceptional online tool with our nutritionist to support you in this. All you have to do is enter a few details about your dog, and within a few minutes, you will receive individual feeding recommendations for your four-legged friend.
Try Bellfor nutritionist.
Conclusion: It pays to take a look at the packaging
As you can see, it can be worth taking a closer look at the back of the packaging when buying food. In addition to information on the analytical components such as crude protein, crude fibre and crude fat, you will also find details on the composition of the dog food.
This way, you can quickly determine whether the food of your choice delivers what it promises and whether high-quality ingredients ensure good quality and digestibility.
With Bellfor dog food, you can, of course, be sure that this is precisely the case and that the food not only tastes good to your dog but also provides them optimally with all the essential nutrients for a happy and hopefully long dog’s life.