If I didn’t know better, I’d think that dietary fiber had the best lobbying apparatus in the civilized world!
Everywhere you look, you see studies explaining the health benefits of fiber for one bodily system or another. And as it turns out, our dogs enjoy many of these same benefits!
This leads many owners to seek out a high-fiber food for their pooch. Before you click-and-pay for the first high-fiber food you see, take a moment to educate yourself about high-fiber dog foods (don’t worry, we’ll explain everything you need to know).
We’ll even recommend eight great choices for you, and explain why they’re among the best options. Read on!
Quick Picks: Best High Fiber Dog Foods
- Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight [Best Overall High-Fiber Dog Food]: With 11 percent fiber per serving and a pupper-pleasing taste, this dry dog food is a solid choice for most dogs needing to up their fiber intake.
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight [Best High-Fiber, Weight-Management Dog Food]: Keep your canine’s waistline in check with this fiber-rich, low-calorie kibble featuring lots of extras like probiotics, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
- Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula [Best Grain-Free High-Fiber Dog Food]: A mixed blend of fruits and vegetables bolsters this grain-free kibble’s fiber content while prebiotics and probiotics offer additional digestive support.
- Diamond Naturals Light [Most Affordable High-Fiber Dog Food]: Providing a great way to increase your pup’s fiber intake, this grain-inclusive food has plenty of produce won’t eat into your budget much.
The Benefits of High-Fiber Dog Foods
Fiber provides many of the same benefits for dogs that it does for their owners. Some of the most noteworthy include:
Improved Digestive Function
Fiber demonstrates an amazing ability to regulate digestive function. It can help draw water into the intestine when necessary to combat constipation, and it can help absorb water from within the intestine, to help combat diarrhea. It also provides additional bulk to your dog’s stools, which can help further ensure smooth intestinal function.
Yup, fiber is pretty awesome for your dog! If your dog’s stool has any irregularities, chances are fiber can help.
Beware though: Too much fiber in your dog’s food will cause her to poop way too much, and it can also cause horrifyingly foul-smelling gas. It is always important to increase the fiber content of your dog’s food slowly.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Fiber helps to keep your dog’s blood sugar levels within a more consistent range, which can help prevent obesity and canine diabetes. In fact, is often packed with fiber. It has similar effects in humans, who are also advised to consume plenty of fiber to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Satiation from Fewer Calories
Fiber takes up a bunch of space in your dog’s stomach, and because it isn’t digested by the body, this is essentially a calorie-free way of helping your dog feel full and satisfied.
Obviously, your dog still needs plenty of protein, fat and digestible carbohydrates, but by mixing in a few high-fiber ingredients, your dog will feel full, while ingesting fewer calories.
This is why fiber is often a major ingredient for dog foods designed to help your dog lose weight. For dogs who are struggling with obesity, it may be smart to replace your dog’s standard treats with high-fiber dog treats for a while too!
The Eight Best High-Fiber Dog Foods: Reviews & Ratings
If you need a high-fiber food for your pooch, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better options than the eight listed below.
Note that most of these recipes are explicitly designed to help your dog lose a little weight. Be sure to work closely with your vet to keep your dog’s body weight in the correct range.
1. Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight
About: Offer your dog a whopping 11 percent fiber content in every meal with Nutro Natural Choice Healthy Weight. Made with quality ingredients like real meat, produce, and wholesome grains, this digestive-friendly food keeps your pup’s bathroom breaks regular.
- Included antioxidants help boost immunity and wellness
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or chicken by-product meal
- Designed for dogs aged 1 and older
- Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients
Options: Available in 30-pound bags of Chicken & Brown Rice, Lamb & Brown Rice, and Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice.
Fiber Content: 11% Max
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice Bran, Split Peas, Whole Grain Brown Rice...,
Whole Grain Barley, Powdered Cellulose, Lentils, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), DL-Methionine, Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract
- Packs an impressive 11% fiber from top-notch ingredients like pumpkin and brown rice
- Kibblet size is a hit for small and large breeds alike
- Taste gets high marks from most doggy diners
- Long ingredient list can be an issue for sensitive canine systems
- More protein options would be ideal (along with smaller bag sizes!)
2. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
A fiber-rich dry dog food tailored to canines watching their weight.
About: Beef up your canine’s fiber intake (and not his waistline) with Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight. High-quality ingredients like deboned chicken, grains, and produce provide nutrients for lean muscle development and nose-to-tail health, while a dose of probiotics helps his digestive system run at its best.
- Contains Blue’s antioxidant-packed LifeSource Bits
- Doesn’t include common sensitivity triggers like corn, soy, wheat, or poultry by-product meals
- Loaded with extras like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in various bag sizes ranging from 6 to 30 pounds in Chicken & Brown Rice Adult, Chicken & Brown Rice Small Breed Adult, and Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Adult.
Fiber Content: 10% Max (8% for Small Breed recipe)
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Pea Fiber...,
Oatmeal, Pea Starch, Peas, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Choline Chloride, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Salt, DL-Methionine, Taurine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary
- Excellent choice for dogs watching their waistlines
- Probiotics provide an added boost of digestive support
- Great selection of bag sizes (Aside from Large Breed, which is only available in 30-pound bags)
- On the pricier side
- Chicken is the only protein option
3. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous
Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous
A fish-forward kibble featuring a generous helping of fiber thanks to fruits, vegetables, and grains.
About: Meet your canine’s fishy cravings with Solid Gold’s Fit & Fabulous, a fiber-friendly kibble made with real Alaskan pollock. Also containing a belly-boosting probiotic blend, this dry dog food nourishes your pup from the inside out while remaining conscientious of his weight with its low-calorie, low-fat recipe.
- Real fish is the first ingredient
- Omega fatty acids support skin and coat health
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or potato
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in grain-inclusive Alaskan Polluck and grain-free Chicken recipes packaged in 4 and 24-pound bags.
Fiber Content: 10% Max
Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice...,
Peas, Oatmeal, Ocean Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Eggs, Carrots, Salt, Pumpkin, Ground Flaxseed, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Blueberries, Cranberries, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Rosemary Extract, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product
- Strong fish taste and smell entice even the pickiest of puppers
- Excellent option for dogs with poultry allergies
- Kibble size perfect for big and small dogs
- Odor can be off-putting (a common concern with fishy kibbles)
- More fish options would be nice, such as salmon or trout
4. Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula
Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula
A poultry-based kibble containing digestion-friendly fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and no grains.
About: Meet your dog’s special dietary needs with Wellness Core Grain-Free Reduced Fat Formula, a protein-packed blend of poultry and produce that aids in lean muscle development and healthy digestion. The low-fat formula is packed with fiber and supports weight maintenance while satisfying your pup’s appetite.
- Real turkey is the top ingredient
- Glucosamine and chondroitin support joints
- Included prebiotics and probiotics aid in gut health
- Made in the USA with internationally-sourced ingredients
Options: Single poultry-based recipe available in 4, 12, and 26-pound bags.
Fiber Content: 12% Max
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine)...,
Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Lentils, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Ground Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract
- Meets specialized grain-free diet needs while still containing plenty of fiber
- Healthy blend of prebiotics and probiotics support doggy digestion
- Rich in glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- One of the more expensive kibbles on our list
- Mixed proteins aren’t a good option for every dog
5. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Fiber
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Fiber
A veterinary-prescribed kibble made specifically for pups needing a higher fiber content for digestive wellness.
About: Your veterinarian can prescribe Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Fiber to combat your canine’s digestive woes. This grain-inclusive kibble contains a mix of prebiotics that aid gut health while keeping your canine satiated, supporting weight maintenance.
- Soluble and insoluble fibers keep canine digestive tracts moving
- Omega fatty acids nourish your dog’s skin and coat
- Antioxidants aid in immune health
- Made in the USA
Options: High fiber formula offered in a single recipe packaged in 8.8 and 17.6-pound bags.
Fiber Content: 8.5% Min
Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Powdered Cellulose...,
Corn, Wheat, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors, Wheat Gluten, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Monocalcium Phosphate, Fish Oil, Psyllium Seed Husk, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Fructooligosaccharides, Vegetable Oil, Dl-Methionine, Hydrolyzed Yeast, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid], Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate], Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), Rosemary Extract, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid
- Veterinary formulas are specially designed and prescribed to meet your dog’s unique health needs
- Supports healthy weight maintenance
- Many owners report an improvement in their dog’s stool consistency
- Ingredient list isn’t the most impressive (By-product meal, corn, etc.)
- Pretty expensive
6. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly
Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly
A fiber-friendly meat mash made with hearty grains and vegetables.
About: Finding a high-fiber canned food is tricky, but Blue Buffalo True Solutions Blissful Belly makes it a little easier with its mix of wholesome grains and produce. Made to be gentle on stomachs, this food can help bulk your dog’s stool, leading to better bathroom breaks.
- Protein-packed recipe contains a mix of poultry and fish to promote lean muscle development
- Vitamin E and C support immune health
- Contains real fruits and vegetables
- Made in the USA
Options: Offered in a single mixed-protein recipe packed in 12.5-ounce cans.
Fiber Content: 3% Max
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Whitefish, Chicken Liver, Potatoes...,
Pea Flour, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley, Flaxseed, Carrageenan, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Potassium Chloride, Guar Gum, Fructooligocaccharide, Salt, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Carbonate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
- Offers more fiber than most canned foods
- Designed to be delicate on sensitive systems
- Many owners report improved stools
- Some owners (and dogs!) find the smell unappealing
- Mixed protein recipe isn’t a good fit for every pup
7. Blue Natural Veterinary Diet W+U
Blue Natural Veterinary Diet W+U
A fiber-forward, mixed-protein canned food requiring a vet’s prescription before purchase.
About: Meet your dog’s prescribed dietary needs with Blue Natural Veterinary Diet W+U, a calorie-conscious canned food containing more fiber to keep your canine fuller for longer. While it’s a weight-maintenance recipe, that doesn’t mean it’s bland, with its tasty blend of chicken, grains, produce, and fish.
- Real chicken is the first ingredient
- Carefully balanced minerals aid in urinary health
- Pate-style recipe can be served on its own or mixed with matching kibble
- Made in the USA
Fiber Content: 5% Max
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water, Whitefish, Chicken Liver...,
Carrots, Powdered Cellulose, Potatoes, Barley, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Brown Rice, Oats, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Potassium Chloride, Betaine Anhydrous, Carrageenan, Blueberries, Cranberries, Taurine, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2- Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Salt, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
- Excellent canned food choice for dogs requiring specialized diets
- Most pups love the taste
- Carefully calculated calories and fat made for weight maintenance
- Veterinary diets are on the expensive side (and require a prescription)
- Mixed protein recipe can be a concern for some dogs
8. Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Dog Food
A quality kibble made with fiber-boosting grains and produce that’s still kind to your budget (and your dog’s weight!)
About: Up the fiber in your doggo’s diet without sending your budget out of whack with Diamond Naturals Light Formula Dry Dog Food. This grain-inclusive kibble contains real fruits and vegetables that provide roughage to bulk your dog’s meals with nutrient-rich goodness instead of calorie-dense fillers.
- Protein-rich lamb meal is the top ingredient
- Contains a mixture of prebiotics and probiotics with a whopping 80,000,000 CFU per pound
- Glucosamine and chondroitin support canine joints
- Made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients
Options: Available in a single lamb-based recipe in 15 and 30-pound bags.
Fiber Content: 8% Max
Lamb Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Cracked Pearled Barley...,
Ground White Rice, Grain Sorghum, Ground Miscanthus Grass, Millet, Dried Yeast, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Chondroitin Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
- Considerably more affordable than most high-fiber dog foods
- Lamb is usually a gentle protein on dog tummies
- Solid mix of extras, like joint-boosting glucosamine and chondroitin and probiotics for gut health
- Pickier dogs may not be a fan of the taste
- More protein options are needed
What Is Fiber, Anyway?
Without delving into a biochemistry discussion, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body (note that some animals digest carbohydrates more effectively than others – dogs aren’t especially good at it, but they get by). Fibers are more-or-less passed through the digestive system intact.
So if fiber can’t be digested by the body, why is it good for us?
Well, moderate amounts of fiber influence your dog’s biology in a number of beneficial ways while making its way from the entrance to the exit. For example, fiber helps to regulate intestinal function, promote colon health, slows the absorption of glucose into the blood and support healthy gut flora.
But not all fibers are created equal, and they differ in several important ways.
The most important distinction that the average dog owner should know concerns the fiber’s ability to absorb water.
You may have heard this distinction characterized as soluble or insoluble fiber.
- Soluble fibers absorb lots of water.
- Insoluble fibers absorb relatively little water.
This small distinction alters the way fiber interacts with your dog’s body. While both are clearly beneficial, soluble fiber is usually preferable because it absorbs water in your dog’s digestive tract and passes relatively easily through her digestive system.
How Much Fiber Is in Dog Food?
Most regular dog foods have fiber contents in the 2% to 5% range. So, while there is no governing body that establishes rules for the term “high fiber,” we’ll consider any food with more than 5% fiber content to be a “high fiber food.”
Because fiber contents in excess of 10% or 12% are potentially problematic, “high fiber” dog foods typically have between 6% and 10% fiber content.
While fiber values can vary quite a bit in dog food, fiber is relatively inexpensive, so manufacturers are generally eager to provide as much as owners are interested in (this isn’t just for your dog’s benefit, as some manufacturers may try to reduce the amount of expensive protein or fat in your dog’s formula in favor of fiber).
Common Sources of Fiber for Dog Foods
A few of the most common sources of fiber in commercial dog foods include (in no particular order):
You’ll generally want your dog’s food to be based off high-fiber carbohydrates, as opposed to carbs that provide a ton of calories and relatively little fiber, such as refined grains.
Brown rice is better than white, whole grains are better than their processed counterparts.
Quality Dog Food Checklist: The Must-Haves
Whether you are searching for a food that addresses a specific nutritional need or you are just looking for a good all-around option, you should always be sure to provide your dog with a high-quality food.
Generally speaking, this means you want to look keep the following things in mind:
Opt for foods that list a whole protein as the first ingredient. Dogs are omnivores, who remain healthiest on a diet containing a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but the bulk of their calories should come from protein sources. Dogs are not obligate carnivores in the sense that cats or rattlesnakes are, but they should still be provided with a meat-based diet.
Avoid foods with unidentified (or poorly identified) meat meals or byproducts. There is nothing inherently wrong with meat meals or byproducts; in fact, many contain a wealth of nutritional value. Your dog will actually enjoy health benefits from eating the cartilage, connective tissues, livers, gizzards and other organs that makeup meat meals and byproducts (although it may make your own stomach a bit squeamish). While beneficial, these food items must always be identified by a single species. In other words, you must avoid things like “meat meal” and “poultry byproducts,” but foods with “duck meal” or “pork byproducts” are perfectly acceptable.
Avoid foods with artificial colors or flavors. Artificial colors and flavors are completely unnecessary for foods comprised of nutritious ingredients. Your dog doesn’t care what color her food is, and good ingredients taste good without artificial enhancers. And while these ingredients aren’t exactly dangerous, they can trigger dog food allergies.
Look for foods that provide health-enhancing nutrients, such as omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Omega fatty acids (particularly omega-3 fatty acids) provide a number of health benefits, ranging from reduced inflammation to good coat condition, while antioxidants help support immune function, among other things.
Try to select foods manufactured in a country with high food-safety standards. This will help limit the potential hazards that may be lurking in your dog’s food. In practice, this means choosing foods manufactured in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Western Europe.
Look for foods that contain probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to promote proper intestinal function. When combined with a high-fiber diet, they pack quite the one-two punch. Opt for a dog food with probiotics included in the formula for a super stomach-friendly meal.
Health Conditions High-Fiber Dog Food Can Help Treat
Given the diverse array of benefits foods with high fiber content can provide your dog, it shouldn’t be surprising that these diets can become a key tool in the treatment of a number of health problems.
Some of the most noteworthy health conditions fiber can help treat include:
In addition to the role high-fiber diets can play in reducing the number of calories your dog consumes, fiber can help promote a healthy intestinal flora, which is thought to help combat weight gain and accelerate weight loss.
As explained earlier, fiber helps to curb most types of intestinal dysfunction.
You should always consult your vet if your pooch exhibits long-term intestinal problems of any type, but you can rest assured that your vet will probably discuss your dog’s fiber intake, and recommend increasing it, if you are not already providing a high-fiber diet.
Anal Gland Problems
Fair warning: This is going to get graphic.
Dogs have a pair of anal glands located at roughly the 4- and 8-o-clock positions around their anus. These glands produce a waxy, foul-smelling secretion (I warned you), that is normally released during the course of a normal bowel movement.
However, these glands occasionally become clogged, leading to impacted anal glands which can cause a dog pain, along with a host of other problems. This is one of the most common reasons dogs “scoot” across the floor, dragging their butts.
Obviously, this is a problem to be avoided. Fortunately, fiber is once again here to save the day. Fiber helps bulk up your dog’s stools, and this can help put more pressure on the anal glands.
This, in turn, can help ensure that the anal glands are expressed and emptied regularly.
Alternative Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet
Of course, you don’t have to switch to a high-fiber food in order to get your dog more indigestible plant material in his diet.
You can also add a few household food products to help jack up the fiber content of your dog’s regular food. Some of the best ingredients for doing so include:
Always incorporate these ingredients carefully and in moderation. Start by introducing very small quantities of these ingredients (for example, I only need to add about a teaspoon of pumpkin puree to my 90-pound pup’s dinner to firm up her poops).
Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, cool water available for your pup when increasing the fiber content of his food. And, as always, keep your vet in the loop about any dietary changes you make.
Has your pooch needed a high-fiber diet? What necessitated the dietary modification? Did the food provide the results you sought? Let us know all about your experiences in the comments below.