亞麻種子 - 提供豐富的奧米加、鋅、鐵和維生素 B，以及高含量的纖維，有助預防寵物便秘。
菊苣 - 來自於菊粉，有助於消化與吸收。
長豆角 - 含一系列豐富的營養包括多酚，鈣和硒。傳統用於治療由可導致腸粘膜結合作用的單寧所引致的腹瀉。
玉米或玉米麵筋 - 易於消化的氨基酸、礦物甜菜漿和纖維素，為慢性發酵提供纖維。
南瓜 - 包含 β-胡蘿蔔素、維生素 C、鉀、纖維、類胡蘿蔔素，藉以對抗游離基。
益生纖維例如麴菌餐 - 提供寡醣例如低聚果糖，支持寵物的腸道菌群。
仙人掌 - 早於幾個世紀前人們已經用作予醫學用途，當中包含皂苷和酚類可以用來清除游離基並提供抗炎作用。在炎症或皮膚問題以及關節炎上有很大的幫助，亦有助於減少糞便所發出的氣味。
Nutrition for Optimal Digestion
Digestive health is invariably related to the food that our pets are eating each day and it is important to ensure all nutritional requirements are met when choosing food for our pet. In our modern societies, dogs and cats live as part of our family and as such, relies fully on us for providing all their nutritional needs. It is a great responsibility for pet owners when deciding what diet our pets receive and the choices of pet food can appear overwhelming. Here are a few points to consider when choosing the most appropriate food for your pet:
Simple ingredients that you can stick to. A balance diet should contain all required minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats and fibres. However, this does not mean that choosing the diet with the longest list of ingredients would be the best. To reduce the chance of food sensitivity, it may be beneficial to use diets with a single source protein and main carbohydrate. Challenging the digestive tract with too many ingredients may lead to maldigestion which can present as intermittent vomiting or soft stools. Frequent changes in food can also expose the gut to extra allergens that can trigger an immune response and lead to the development of food allergies. 'Fussy' pets are simply those offered too many choices and encouraged by owners to demand treats and new food all the time as the owners believe that the pet will become 'bored' when sticking with one diet. So the next time you are tempted to switch your dog's food from beef to pork, or switch your cat's food from chicken to fish, remember that different protein sources can affect digestion and nutrition in different ways and that your pet was likely happy to stick with the original diet since it was not aware other options were available until you put it in front of them!
Ensure a controlled fat content. Episodes of digestive upsets often occur after eating particularly fatty treats, poor quality canned food or table scraps. High fat foods are also linked to pancreatitis, a severe condition that can become a lifelong problem for an affected pet. It is therefore important to control dietary fat intake in order to reduce risks of pancreatitis, digestive upsets and obesity.
Highly digestible ingredients to reduce digestive workload. If your pet is showing signs of a sensitive or weaker digestive system, it would be beneficial to choose diets containing easily digestible proteins (such as chicken) and easily digestible carbohydrates (such as white rice) so that less stress is placed on the gut and more calories and nutrients can easily be converted and absorbed from the food.
Fibre is your (GIT's) friend. A healthy gastrointestinal tract uses fibre in a great range of digestive processes to maintain bowel health. Insoluble fibre can be thought of a marvellous chimney sweep, moving everything along and getting rid of the residue and debris. It promotes the movement of digested food through the GIT as well as improving stool consistency by increasing faecal bulk. Soluble fibres must also exist at appropriate levels with insoluble fibres as they play a role in sugar and cholesterol absorption and control. Along with all these important digestive benefits, fibre is also an important ingredient for controlling calorie density and satiety.
Talented helpers in the world of digestion
A selection of ingredients which contribute to the different elements of digestive health described above are included in the following addendum as examples of what to look for in good quality pet food:
Flax seed - high in fibre and aids in preventing constipation. Flax seed also provides omega, zinc, iron and vitamin B.
Chicory - a source of inulin which is a soluble fibre beneficial to digestion and absorption.
Carob - contains polyphenols, calcium, selenium and a range of nutrients. Has traditional uses for treating diarrhoea due to tannins which can contribute to binding effects of intestinal mucosa.
Maize or corn gluten - easily digestible sources of amino acids and minerals
Beet pulp and cellulose - provides fibre for slow fermentation
Pumpkin - a nutrient-dense ingredient containing betacarotene, vitamin C, potassium, fibre and caroteinoids to neutralise free radicals.
Prebiotics such as aspergillus meal - provides oligosaccharides such as FOS to support gut microflora.
Yucca schidigera - a plant used for medicinal properties through the centuries. Contains saponins and phenolics to act as free radical scavengers and provide anti-inflammatory effects (useful in inflammatory digestive or skin problems as well as arthritis). Yucca is often used in pet food as an ingredient which helps reduce the odour of faeces.
Each pet will also benefit from adjustments in diet depending on their age, their body shape, exercise level and specific health requirements. For pets with sensitive digestive systems or for conscientious owners hoping to choose the best diet for preventing digestive issues, an awareness of the points and ingredients mentioned in this article will help guide you in finding the optimal nutrition to promote digestive health.
楊巧兒獸醫 Dr. Anita Young
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (University of Cambridge, UK)
Master of Arts (Cantab) (University of Cambridge, UK)
Member of Royal College ofVeterinary Surgeons (UK)
Certificate of Veterinary Acupuncture (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, USA)