Legume seed oligosaccharides: How much is just right in dog and cat diets?

Legume seed oligosaccharides need to be limited in pet diets to avoid issues with digestion and elimination.

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(S.Piyaset, istockphoto.com)
(S.Piyaset, istockphoto.com)

With the popularity of grain-free diets, large concentrations of oligosaccharides are being introduced into dog and cat foods. The legume seeds such as peas, lentils, chickpeas and various beans are the leading sources. These legume seeds bring great variety to the pet aisle, have more protein than the cereal grains and possess other phytonutrients considered valuable to overall health. However, they carry with them significant quantities of fermentable oligosaccharides. In small amounts these may be beneficial to the animal, but at large concentrations they can become an issue. Finding when we cross the line from benefit to issue is important.

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