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Best High Fiber Dog Foods For Anal Gland Problems

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 23, 2020 | 15 min read

Best High Fiber Dog Food

You have probably seen plenty of health adverts for humans claiming that we don’t eat enough fiber, that fiber has plenty of health benefits, and that fiber can help us from becoming obese, so most of us make a little effort each day to include fiber into our diets. But a lot of people don’t know that fiber has health benefits for most animal systems, and our beloved dogs are one of them! Because of this, many pups will need to be on a diet to assist in their regularity, so finding the best high fiber dog food is a must for your pup.

The world of nutrition is a bit of a minefield, and many companies will mislabel their products simply so that you buy their product, even if it is not that great quality. So, it is really important to educate yourself on your pups nutritional needs before you head out to the unknown world of doggy diets! So, whether you’re here because your Veterinarian has told your pup to lose the love handles, or you want to part ways with his foul-smelling flatulence, a high fiber diet is the way to go!

Here we have done the research into what fiber is, how it is beneficial for your pup, and what ingredients to look out for, and then summarized it all into this simple fiber guide. We have also scoured the market for the best quality high fiber foods for your beloved pooch, so all you need to do is choose one of the products from our list of recommendations below!

At a Glance: Our Favorite High Fiber Dog Foods

Best Overall: NUTRO Wholesome Essentials
Budget Friendly: Blue Buffalo Weight Management

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Fiber Overview

It’s all well and good looking at the ingredient list and the percentage breakdown of your dog’s food, but if you don’t really understand it then it isn’t going to mean that much to you. So, to really understand fiber and its benefits first we need to know exactly what fiber is.

To keep it as simple as possible, fiber comes from plants, and it is a form of complex carbohydrates that can’t be digested by the body. Protein, such as meat and eggs, has no fiber content, fiber only comes from vegetables and fruit, like pineapple. Just like humans, dogs do not gain any nutrients or energy from fiber and it is more or less passed straight through the digestive system intact, and therefore it almost has zero calories.  

So why eat it if it holds no value, I hear you ask? Well, it might have no measurable value as such, like calories or sugar do, but it is extremely important to the digestive system and can help to remove waste from your dog’s body that might otherwise be harmful to him.  For breeds that are active and have slowed down, it’s especially important to manage fiber intake.  Picking the right food for breeds like boxers or the right food for a husky are examples of dog breeds that require careful food management due to being less active later in life.

Types of Fiber

Types of Fiber For Dogs
There are different types of fiber that your dog needs.

Soluble Fiber: This fiber absorbs water in the stomach which creates a sticky substance, and this substance traps certain foods like sugar and fat which slows the absorption process down, as well as lowering his cholesterol. This means that sugars are absorbed much slower which keeps your dog feeling fuller for longer and blood sugar levels are kept steady throughout the day. The absorption of water also means that it helps to create well-formed bulkier stools, which reduce the chance of diarrhea. Additionally, some sources of soluble fiber are also prebiotics, which means that it increases good bacteria in your dog’s gut, and this can be broken down into short chain fatty acids which is an important energy source for the cells that line his digestive tract. Examples of soluble fibers are oats, barley, peas, beans, apples and other fruits.

Insoluble Fiber: This fiber absorbs little water and it is the fiber that passes through unchanged and undigested. This is the fiber that not only adds bulk to his food that keeps him feeling fuller for longer whilst adding no calories or energy, but it also adds bulk to your dog’s feces too, which means that it stimulates regular movement in the gastrointestinal tract for a healthy poop routine. It also puts pressure on his anal glands, which means that they release their oil and fluid as they should, and in-turn this decreases the chances of anal gland impaction, which we will explain further down. Examples of insoluble fiber include whole wheat or bran products, beans, sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Some ingredients can actually be both soluble and insoluble, which is why some fibers appear in both lists, but all you need to know is that fibers are both valuable and essential for your dog’s diet. Overall, both fibers play a vital part in your dog’s diet which help to regulate a healthy digestive and cardiovascular system, as well as make him feel happier and healthier overall.

Recommended Fiber Content

Recommended Fiber For Dogs
It’s recommended that your dog get a certain amount of fiber every day.

Generally, most standard dog kibble offers a fiber content of 2% to 5%. Whilst there is not a specific guideline about what a high fiber diet is, it is generally accepted by canine nutritionists that a high fiber diet is anywhere between 6% and 12%, so all of our recommendations will have this amount of fiber content.

Before you rush to the cupboard and stuff your pup with extra potatoes and beans, you need to know that giving him too much fiber can also cause problems. A diet consisting of a fiber content above 12% generally is too much for a dog, so unless directed by your Veterinarian stick to a fiber content of 6% and 12% which is considered a high fiber dog food.

Of course, as with everything in this world there is not a set rule for everyone, or every dog. However, high-quality kibble that offers a high fiber content as set out above will generally suit most pooches in need of a high fiber diet. For this reason, unless specified by your Veterinarian, you can generally accept that this will keep your pup healthy and provide him with the fiber content he needs.

Sometimes your Veterinarian will prescribe a higher fiber content than this, so don’t be alarmed if they do, it just means that your dog’s body needs just a bit more than the average dog. So, rather than adding a bunch of vegetables and pulses to his bowl and creating a homemade fibrous concoction, we suggest sticking to a higher quality kibble that has the right content of fiber as calculated by the professionals, otherwise you risk giving him too much, which will equally upset his tummy. 

Most high fiber dog foods will contain parts of green veggies, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beet pulp, apples, peaches, whole grains, oats, psyllium husk, legumes and flaxseed.  Some foods also contain brown rice which will help aid in digestion.

Health Benefits of Fiber

Health Benefits of Fiber For Dogs
There are many health benefits for your pup by eating a high fiber dog food.

So now we know what fiber is and briefly what it does for your dog’s digestive system, we can look at exactly how it benefits your pup.  There are multiple reasons to look at a higher fiber diet, and you should always discuss with your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. Fiber itself has many benefits, but the five main health benefits you’ll see in your pup are the following.

Healthy Weight

If your pup is overweight this is not an issue you should take lightly! Jokes aside, this can be a serious health condition that adds pressures to his bones and joints as well as raising his cholesterol that can affect his cardiovascular health, both of which could also decrease his lifespan significantly. So whilst his rolls might be cute, change his diet and get him moving!

We already know that fiber helps to fill your dog up and satisfy his appetite without any extra calories, so including high fiber foods into his diet will stop him from always feeling hungry and scavenging for snacks. Whilst you can add vegetables like sweet potatoes and green beans to his food under the direction of your Veterinarian, good quality kibble will already have the right amount of fiber included.

Additionally, fiber also helps to avoid obesity, because it supports a healthy intestinal flora which accelerates weight loss, and again helps him to maintain a healthy weight. So, if he is chunky, or not particularly energetic, and he doesn’t need extra calories, then a high fiber diet will be good for him. 

Diabetes Management

High fiber diets can help to decrease the risk of diabetes (especially in older dogs) or help manage it if your pooch already has it. Fiber slows down digestion and the absorption process of sugar and carbohydrates. Not only does this stabilize his sugar levels throughout the day, rather than just a sugar rush from processed fatty foods, it also means he is less likely to eat the rubbish food that increases his chance of getting diabetes.

Whilst studies into diabetes and canines are very much ongoing, with little factual evidence around, it is currently thought by nutritionists and Veterinarians that the nutrient L-Carnitine shows blood sugar benefits, and therefore potentially beneficial for those dogs suffering with Diabetes. L-Carnitine is a nutrient that occurs naturally in the body, and it is essential for turning fat into energy. So, if this ingredient is on the list then it is thought it may help your Diabetic pup, in addition to his medication of course.

Digestion & Regulation

Fiber can absorb excess liquid which surprisingly helps with both constipation and diarrhea. Firstly, absorption of liquid creates larger and firmer stools, and it is this that stimulates the muscles in the colon which prevents constipation. Secondly, absorbing excess liquid in his colon means that his stools become larger and firmer, which decreases the chance of diarrhea. Of course, long periods of chronic constipation or diarrhea might signal that there is something else going on, so if the extra fiber does not toughen his poop up after a while then get him to the Veterinarian.

Ultimately, fiber helps the overall intestinal function, so not only will he poop normally, but it will also decrease his flatulence. So giving him a high fiber diet will not only benefit him and his digestive system, but it will also benefit the whole family and their nostrils!

Anal Gland Health

No one likes to talk about anal glands, but here goes … Dogs have anal glands that sit at the 4oclock and 8oclock position around their anus, and they produce a smelly oily fluid, which not only helps him to poop easier, but it also helps dogs identify each other which is why dogs sniff each other’s butts.

When they poop this fluid is squeezed out from the glands, but when the fluid is not pushed out it dries up and overtime the glands become blocked and impacted. Often dogs will scoot their butts across the floor because their anal glands are irritated.

Fiber in his stools helps to put pressure on his glands which squeezes out the fluid, which support normal poop function. So, to save his glands becoming infected and having to express his glands yourself, feed him a bit more fiber.  This will help promote healthy anal glands, and also reduce the chances of them being impacted which can create a very smelly mess.

Lower Risk of Colon Cancer

When your dog eats food his intestinal system separates the good nutrients from the waste, and fiber helps to accelerate the elimination of the toxic waste. It is believed that by decreasing the amount of time the waste hangs about in his system you are decreasing the chances of him developing colon cancer. Of course, if your dog is suffering from any of the above symptoms or issues described, especially after feeding him a bit of extra fiber, then it is best to seek advice from your Veterinarian.


Best High Fiber Dog Foods

Labrador Eating High Fiber Dog Food
Below is a list of the best high fiber dog foods for your pup.

Now you know a bit more about fiber and how it can help your dog’s health, the final task now is to find the perfect kibble for your pup. But luckily for you we have done all the hard work, so all you have to do is pick one of our suggestions from the list below so that you know your beloved dog will be getting one of the best high fiber foods available on the market!  High fiber foods can also be popular for dogs with bad breath.

We have selected this kibble by ensuring that the fiber content falls within the 6% to 12% recommendation, as well as ensuring that at least the first ingredient is a rich protein of some sort. Not only are all of the recommendations natural foods, which are best for your dog, but they are also tried and tested by many dog owners across America and the rest of the world. So in no particular order, here are our top recommended high fiber kibbles:


Blue Buffalo Healthy Weight

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy...
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as...
  • WEIGHT MANAGEMENT DOG FOOD: Formulated with reduced calories from...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE’s exclusive...
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: BLUE dry dog foods are made with the finest...

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Blue Buffalo’s healthy weight recipe is full of natural goodness that provides with a fiber content of 10%, so it keeps him feeling fuller for much longer compared to most other dog kibbles. The first 2 ingredients are still rich chicken protein, so your pup will still get the protein goodness that he needs to maintain his muscle mass and energy levels, without the need to rely on carbohydrates. It is packed full of their exclusive ‘Lifesource Bits’ which are full of other antioxidants and nutrients such as cranberries and blueberries that he needs to keep healthy. It is also 100% grain free for those dogs with a sensitive stomach or grain intolerance.

We love that the fiber content in this food is 10% and that three of the first five ingredients include deboned chicken, pea protein, and peas.


Earthborn Holistic Weight Control

Earthborn Holistic Weight Control Grain-Free...
  • Grain, gluten, potato-free, this unique low-fat, low calorie...
  • Premium chicken meal provides a high-quality protein source to...
  • Fibers from vegetables and fruits, like peas, apples,...
  • L-Carnitine helps burn fat and maintain lean muscle mass to...

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Earthborn Holistic’s recipe have created this low calorie and low fat formula by removing all the fat and calorie rich ingredients, and replacing them with fibrous ingredients instead. They have also maintained their protein content by listing chicken meal as their number one ingredient. This recipe is grain and gluten free too, so again, it is suited to those dogs with grain allergies. This recipe includes blueberries, spinach and apples that provide him with the other nutrients he needs for a healthy oxidative balance.

We love that the fiber content in this food is 9% and that three of the first five ingredients are high in fiber, like peas, tapioca, and pea fiber.


Science Diet Perfect Weight

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult,...
  • Breakthrough adult dry dog food clinically proven for weight...
  • Over 70 % of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this...
  • Help your grown dog maintain a healthy weight with this dog food
  • This adult dog food supports muscle maintenance

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Hill’s Science Diet claim that their recipe, with their fiber content of 10.4%, is clinically proven to help dogs lose weight in just 10 weeks. It still provides a high level of protein, with chicken being the first ingredient, but with lower calories. This recipe is not grain free, as it includes ingredients such as barley and corn, but this makes it a great option for those owners who do not wish to feed their dog a grain free diet.

We love that the fiber content of this food is 10.4% and that the first few ingredients are all high fiber ingredients.  They include Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, and Cracked Barley.


Ketona Chicken Formula

Ketona Chicken Recipe Dry Food for Adult Dogs...
  • A grain-free dry dog food with 85% less carbohydrate than other...
  • Less than 5% starch and 0.5% sugars.
  • More than 46% protein. All of our chicken is non-GMO,...
  • Made 100% in the USA using natural ingredients (with added...

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For those owners or families who like Keto Diets, you can now include your dog in this too! This Ketogenic kibble is a great option for those dogs who need a high fiber diet, but who are not trying to lose weight. It has a fat content of 16% and 452 calories per cup of kibble, so it is a great option for working or super energetic dogs who still need their energy. It also has a high protein content of 46%, so this premium recipe will have your dog eating enough protein like he was naturally supposed to.

We love that the fiber content of this food is 11% and the first few ingredients include plenty of fiber.  These ingredients are pea protein, ground green peas and oat hulls.


Royal Canin Weight Care

Royal Canin Medium Weight Care Dry Dog Food,...
  • Medium Weight Care dry dog food is formulated for medium dogs 12...
  • Helps dogs feel full with an optimal combination of soluble and...
  • Helps maintain muscle mass in medium breed dogs with its high...
  • Promotes bone and joint health in medium dogs with omega-3 fatty...

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Often compared with Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin have created a recipe with a fiber content of 12%, so if your Veterinarian has suggested opting for a kibble with a higher fiber content than most other kibbles, then this may be your best bet. It is packed full of both soluble and insoluble fibers which provides your dog with the fiber balance he needs, whilst still including a high protein content of 25%. The ingredients include beet pulp and pea fiber, and it provides him with 15% less energy whilst still giving him the same volume of food, so he will feel just as satisfied, which is great for those scavenger pooches.

We love that the fiber content of this food is 12% and that the first few ingredients include barley, brewer’s rice and wheat.  All of these grains are essential for digestion and make this a great pick.


Nutro Wholesome Essentials

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Healthy...
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Healthy...
  • Farm-raised chicken is the first ingredient in this great-tasting...
  • Helps support healthy weight loss and weight management with a...
  • Contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, and is...

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Farm-raised chicken is the first two ingredients on the list so the protein content is still Nutro’s first priority for your dog, which is what it should be. It is packed full of wholesome essentials with extra vitamins and minerals for your dog’s nutrients and healthy oxidative state. Pea’s, sweet potato, dried beet pulp, apples and carrots are a few of the fiber ingredients in this recipe that help support his healthy digestion.  NUTRO is one of our favorite brands for many breeds, including this food pick for english mastiff seniors.

We love that the fiber content of this food is 11.5% and that the first few ingredients include Whole Grain Sorghum, Split Peas and Rice Bran.  Each of these ingredients is high in fiber and will help your pup stay regular.


Nulo Adult Trim

Nulo Adult Trim Grain Free Healthy Weight Dry...
  • GRAIN-FREE recipe contains no corn; wheat; soy; white potatoes;...
  • HIGH MEAT/LOW CARB proprietary formula 74% animal-based protein,...
  • PATENTED BC30 PROBIOTIC supports healthy gut flora to aid...
  • L-CARNITINE transports fatty acids into cellular mitochondria...

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This option is great for those dogs who need slightly more fiber than the average high-quality dog kibble, but on the lower end of the high fiber diet scale, and with a fiber content of 6% this recipe offers just that. It is also grain free for those dogs with a sensitive stomach or grain allergies. With the first three ingredients being rich protein, it has a high meat and low carbohydrate ratio which will help to keep your dog trim. It also has a unique blend of probiotics which helps to support a healthy gut flora to aid his digestion.

We like that the fiber count for this food is 6%, and that the first few ingredients are Lentils and Yellow peas.  Both of these ingredients contain fiber, which makes this food a safe pick.


Transitioning to a High Fiber Diet

 So now you are convinced that you want to put your pup on a high fiber diet, but you can’t just jump straight in. You will need to transition him over to his new diet slowly, after all, you are trying to improve his digestive system, and a quick switch will only upset his stomach even more! Below is our transitional chart that you should follow for any food changes, whatever the reason for the change. Be patient and don’t be tempted to rush the transitional process, otherwise you will have a poorly dog tummy on your hands.

Days 1-4
Days 5-8
Days 9-11
Days 12+
75% Old Food
25% New Food
50% Old Food
50% New Food
25% Old Food
75% New Food
100% New Food

Picky Eaters

We know that feeding your dog a healthy and more fibrous diet might be like trying to get your kid to eat more greens, but it is something that he might have to do. If you find that your pooch is turning his nose up at his healthier food, adding a splash of water might be enough to release the smells of the kibble which might encourage him to eat it. Although it might take a while, it won’t take him long to learn to love his new food, so don’t give up on the fibrous food!

Check in With Your Vet

Just remember that good quality nutrition is not the only answer here, and it is important to keep up with your pup’s regular Veterinarian checkups. If your dog is experiencing chronic constipation, diarrhea, or you suspect that there is something that is not quite right in regards to his food intolerance or digestion, then it is important to see your Veterinarian straight away. Whilst a high fiber diet is very beneficial to your dog’s health, he may have a deeper-rooted issue that requires medication or tailored diet advice which only your Veterinarian can provide. But despite this, when it comes to nutrition, every little helps!  It’s also possible your vet may prescribe a food with higher glucosamine content as your pet ages.

Final Thoughts

Well, for a bit of food that can’t be digested by his body at all it does a lot of good things to help his digestive system stay healthy! Despite less than 10% of dog owners not knowing about their dog’s nutritional needs, nutrition is one of the simplest ways to keep him healthy, so you owe it to him, and yourself, to get his diet right.

You might not think he needs it, but if you start him, or switch him to, a high fibrous diet you are giving his digestive system what it needs to keep him healthy, and if he is healthy on the inside he is more likely to be happy on the outside.  Picking the best high fiber dog food for your pup will not only aid in digestion, but will help your dog avoid more costly health problems down the line.

There are plenty of options for a high fiber diet, but if you stick to our recommendations then you will not go wrong! Our beloved best friends deserve the very best nutrition, and our recommendations are exactly that when it comes to providing him with a high fiber diet. So trust your gut, and his gut more importantly, and start his high fibrous diet today.

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