Why Does My Dog Need Fiber?
Most dog foods contain 2%-5% Fiber. That is more than enough for your pet to stay healthy and happy.
In most cases.
However, there are times when you need to increase the fiber in your pet’s diet. Sometimes your vet will recommend it. Or, you may be here because you pet is suffering from irregular bowels or straining and you want to go ahead and try food with more fiber.
Probably the most important reason is that a dog with a healthy digestive system is going to have a stronger immune system.
Dogs that do not have regular bowel movements are going to deal with constipation, bloating and fat gain — all three being very real problems that can be costly to treat.
Finally, dogs with a poor diet may have impacted and smelly anal glands.
Plenty of fiber can help with that.
A High-Quality Food May Bypass These Problems
Many dog foods use wheat and corn as filling agents. While dogs are meant to be omnivores, they are not expected to digest as much grain as we give them.
In some cases, feeding your dog cheap food has the same effect as feeding your child white flour all the time.
You may not need a “high-fiber” food, just a higher-quality brand that uses fewer of these “fillers”.
How To Add Fiber Into Your Dog’s Diet
If you’re already feeding your dog a High-quality grain-free food you can sometimes introduce fiber in their diet without changing their dog food.
Here are some easy ways to add more fiber into your dog’s diet.
Canned Pumpkin or Sweet Potato
Especially around the holidays, this is an easy solution. Just keep a can of pumpkin (not pie filling!) around in the fridge. You add a little bit to their food. It makes the food more moist, and is an easy way for them to get a little more fiber in their diet.
- Fiber Tablets
For this I would recommend Glandex. It is a fiber tablet supplement for both dogs and cats that is created specifically to help reduce inflammation of anal glands. Formulated by veterinarians, and made from natural ingredients such as pumpkin seeds and probiotics, it is one of the most effective, well-balanced supplements for adding five are to your dog’s diet.
- Bran Flakes Or Shredded Wheat
If you’re conscious about getting enough five are in your diet, you probably already use bran flakes or shredded wheat on a regular basis. To sprinkle a little bit on top of their food, too.
Finally, Metamucil is another option. But it must be used with copious amounts of water, so make sure your dog is plenty of water after you sprinkle some on their food. It is easy to overdo Metamucil, so only use of very, very sparing amount on their food. In addition, some of the new Metamucils will mix in well with their water. The key thing is to be VERY sparing with the amount used. Just a sprinkle.
My Top 3 Choices for High-Fiber Dog Food
#1 – Wellness Dog Food.
Frankly, I typically rank this food lower because it contains so much fiber. For many dogs this is simply unnecessary filler.
However, for dogs that need extra fiber, this is a great food to go with.
The ground barley and brown rice provide a wholesome amount of fiber and the vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes also add a lot of fiber to this formula.
Wellness is also a great health promoter. The chondroitin helps cushion achy joints in medium and large dogs. It also has a lot of Lactobacillus in the formula to help promote digestive health and healing.
Finally, any dog food can look good on paper, but this one gets good reviews among dog owners who deal with digestive problems.
#2 – Blue Wilderness Grain Free
The Blue Wilderness dog food offers a high protein, low-carbohydrate diet. And it is geared towards offering an incredible alternative to Raw meat diets.
The goal of raw meat diets is to help mimic what the dogs would receive in the wild.
The problem with a raw meat diet is that it is messy and hard to work around.
By offering a simple, well-balanced meal that uses the freshest meats available without fillers, Blue Wilderness is able to deliver the perfect meal to your pet.
A lot of dog owners who have received a recommendation from their vet to switch their dogs to Science Diet or another, similar high fiber food, have actually found that their dogs enjoy Blue Wilderness better, and often their symptoms heal faster on this one than on other foods.
#3 – Taste of The Wild
Taste of the Wild is probably the absolute best, economical dog food on the market. They really try to keep their ingredient list quite basic, and focus on delivering a dog food that is very similar to what wild dogs would eat.
What is critical of Taste Of The Wild is that it offers a nearly 5% fiber base. That’s almost double most of the other brands.
The also tend to use venison and bison as their base, which can help those dogs who are allergic to common meats such as chicken or beef.
Taste of the Wild also has fermented products in it. This is a safe way for you to provide a strong, healthy bacteria base for your dog’s digestive system. This can help rebalance your dog’s ability to digest food and sometimes will help correct problems.
The Best High Fiber Dog Food For Diabetic Dogs
The original thinking was that it was better for diabetic dogs to have high fiber diets. However, recent research seems to show that diabetic dogs do not need any more fiber and other dogs. But a diabetic dog really needs is a High-Quality Food with a low glycemic index.
Not surprisingly, Orijen consistently earns the Glycemic Research Institute’s “Pet Food Of The Year Award” for diabetic dogs.
Orijen is made from all natural ingredients, and as a high quantity of real meat in the formula. Instead of grain, it uses vegetables to provide the adequate amount of fiber — just like a dog would experience in the wild.
High Fiber Dog Food Causing Diarrhea
Many dogs do not need as much fiber as we are apt to force upon them.
In fact, many dog owners find that their dogs tend to have more problems after they have switched them to a doctor-prescribed formula such as Science Diet. (Just do a Google search for science diet — the forums are full of frustrating stories on this formula)
In fact that many dogs do well on the “raw diet” which only uses meat, eggs and very little vegetables.
Another common problem is that dog owners are apt to switch dog feed brands too quickly. A new dog food must be introduced slowly into their diet. Ideally, you will replace their food 1/4 at a time with the new food, by mixing the new food into their old food. Increase that amount by 1/4 into the mix every two days, until you have fully replaced their old food.
This helps the dog adjust to their new food, without digestive problems and diarrhea.
High Fiber Dog Food For Colitis
Some dogs of Colitis may respond well to High-Quality fiber in their food. Because Colitis may be associated a grain allergy, it would be wise to switch your dog to a grain-free food.
In addition many dogs with food allergies may have difficulty digesting carbohydrates and gluten. So if you’re dealing with Colitis, you may want to switch them to a food that is not only grain-free, but also has a low carbohydrate-to-protein ratio.
When a dog is initially diagnosed with colitis, many people will feed their dog cooked Turkey and brown rice. This is work well for many dogs, and as the transition and back to drive food, you might try a food that includes brown rice as its source of fiber.
High Fiber Dog Food For Small Breeds
It can be very challenging to find a high fiber dog food for a small breed dog. Very often-fiber dog food are often the high in protein and other calories. While this is good, it can lead to unnecessary weight gain in a small dog.
There are a few brands that make a special high fiber dog food for a small breed dog. (This would be breeds such as Yorkshire terriers, dachshunds, miniature and toy poodles, shih tzus, miniature schnauzers, Chihuahuas, Boston terriers, Maltese, Pomeranians, pugs, miniature pinschers, Papillons, small and toy breed terriers, French bulldogs, corgis, cocker spaniels, cavalier King Charles spaniels, English toy spaniels and Brussels griffons, to name a few)
My top pick would be Nutro’s small breed adult weight management formula. This formula has targeted levels of protein, fat and fiber to make sure that your dog will stay healthy, without gaining an excessive weight.
Nutro consistently receives the top reviews by all of the independent food analysis data, and they don’t include unnecessary fillers.
How About Some Suggestions For Moist, High-Fiber Dog Foods?
The real downside with semi-moist dog food is that it contains so many chemicals and additives that it is often the cause of your dog’s digestive problem.
One of the most notable is the Carrageenan that is found in almost all canned dog food. This filler (derived from seaweed) can be difficult for many dogs to digest and may often lead to diarrhea and other disorders.
If your dog needs moist food, you can always add a small amount of water, chicken broth or pumpkin to your dog’s food to help moisten the bites.