What Is Powdered Cellulose?
Cellulose is not an ingredient that many pet owners are familiar with, but it is, in fact, the technical term for dietary fiber.
Cellulose is found within all plants, and it is relatively indigestible for dogs. However, just because cellulose is indigestible does not mean that it is a negative addition.
Powdered Cellulose is simply a processed version of Cellulose that can be easily bought and utilizes in the mass production of dog food recipes.
However, the source of Cellulose is often controversial as it can be produced from leftover plant matter from agriculture and industry. Examples of sources of Cellulose could include the non-digestible parts of Corn plants, Sugarcane plants, or even trees that are processed in mills.
Is Powdered Cellulose Safe?
Powdered Cellulose is safe for dogs to consume in small quantities, especially if it is a minor ingredient within a dog food recipe. It should not cause them any direct harm and or cause any serious side effects.
However, eating large quantities of Powdered Cellulose could negatively impact a dog’s digestive system and cause symptoms like Diarrhea or vomiting.
It is not recommended to feed your dogs Powdered Cellulose by itself as this likely far too much fiber than most dogs need in their diet.
Powdered Cellulose Nutrition
As we mentioned earlier, Powdered Cellulose is the technical term for dietary fiber. As such, it is a dense source of dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber can be a critical component of a dog’s diet to ensure they maintain regular digestion and stools. Fiber is also important to ensure that other nutrients within food are effectively digested and absorbed.
However, outside of this fiber content, Powdered Cellulose provides little to no nutrition. It does not provide noticeable levels of protein, fat, or carbohydrates which are the core nutrients for dogs.
Is Powdered Cellulose A Positive Addition To Dog Food?
Powdered Cellulose is a controversial ingredient in dog food, and many in the industry are against its use. As we mentioned earlier, this controversy comes from its source and its lack of meaningful nutrition.
Labeling the ingredient Powdered Cellulose allows many pet food manufacturers to avoid disclosing the true source of the ingredient, which in many cases would concern or put off dog owners.
Some low-cost dog food brands use larger portions of powdered cellulose to ‘pad out’ dog food recipes and avoid having to add other, more expensive ingredients.
However, while some brands choose to utilize Powdered Cellulose, there are other sources of dietary fiber that are regularly used in dog food. These alternatives to Powdered Cellulose include Tomato Pomace and Dried Beet Pulp.
Some prefer these ingredients as they are more accountable as they are sourced from a single known ingredient. However, there are also concerns with these ingredients, such as the level of pesticides they contain.
You can read more about these alternatives sources of fiber in the below articles.