All About High Fiber Dog Food (9 Must-Know Facts In 2017)

Everyone knows that there are a few important nutrients that your dog needs in their dog food: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it is also very important that your dog gets enough fiber in their diet!

Fiber helps dogs to digest the food that you give them, and it can help their body work more efficiently. A high fiber diet can help to clear up other digestive issues as well.

Let’s take a look at 9 important things to know about high fiber dog food, what it can do for your dog, and if you should consider changing your dog’s food to one with more healthy fiber!


#1 When Dogs Don’t Have Enough Fiber

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Fiber is important for regulating your dog’s digestive system. Without enough fiber in their diet, they can actually suffer from some adverse effects.

Dogs that do not get enough fiber in their diet may have:

  • Unusual weight gain
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Bloating
  • Compromised immune systems
  • Anal gland problems
  • Smelly, yucky bowel movements
  • Hemorrhoids

Yuck, right?!

Exactly. When your dog gets more fiber, their bodies are able to process food more effectively. Their anal glands will pass food more naturally, and you can avoid many gross problems that occur whenever a dog does not get enough fiber.

#2 The Basic Benefits Of Feeding A High Fiber Diet

high fiber dog food

Your dog needs a basic amount of fiber in their diet, and feeding a high fiber diet can boost your dog’s system in many ways.

Here are just a few of the many benefits that feeding your dog enough fiber can have.

Reduce development (and negative effects) of diabetes

High fiber dog foods have been shown to reduce the potential risk of diabetes in at-risk dogs. If your dog is already affected by diabetes, high fiber dog food can also reduce the negative effects that this condition has on your dog.

Fiber helps by regulating the blood sugar swings that happen when a dog has diabetes. Thanks to fiber, these swings are less severe, so your dog will live a healthier life.

Prevents Overeating & Improves Weight Loss

Many dog foods are full of filler ingredients that do not satisfy your dog’s appetite.

Fiber can help your dog to feel more full. When your dog feels full, they will stop overeating and feel satisfied without begging for more food. When your dog eats less, their chance of becoming obese or getting diabetes is lowered as well.

It’s even been shown that dogs that eat more fiber can lose up to five times more fat mass compared to those on a low fiber diet!

Promotes Natural Emptying Of Anal Glands

Your dog’s anal glands can become blocked, and this will make it difficult for them to have a complete bowel movement. If you’ve ever seen a dog drag their butt on the ground, you’ve seen the symptoms of blocked anal glands!

Diets high in fiber create extra bulk in stool which helps to naturally drain swollen glands. Fiber thus helps your dog’s body to get back to normal, fast!

Reduces The Risk Of Colon Cancer

When your dog has enough fiber in their system, good bacteria help to ferment them into fatty acids that keep the colon healthy and free from cancer! Since colon cancer is common in dogs, this is a great benefit.

Fiber can also help lessen the transit time that your dog’s food spends in their body. This means that any cancer-causing substances will be in contact with their body for less time, too!

All-in-all, fiber helps to prevent colon cancer in dogs.

Reduces The Risk Of Colon Cancer

Because fiber can absorb excess water inside or outside of the colon, it can help save your dog from being affected by both constipation and diarrhea!

Both of these conditions are caused by a lack of moisture in a certain part of the body, and insoluble fiber acts like a sponge. This sponge can help to move water around in the body and save your dog from many uncomfortable bowel movements.

#3 Fibers That Dogs Can Digest

high fiber dog food

It’s important to understand that the fibers that you can eat and the fibers that dogs can eat are very different. Just because you can eat a certain kind of fiber doesn’t mean that it is appropriate to feed to your dog!

Dogs, in general, have shorter intestinal tracts than humans do. This means that some fibers can cause them to deal with excess bloating and gas.

Fibers to avoid feeding your dog include:

  • Corn
  • Grains
  • White rice
  • Brewer’s yeast

These fibers are fillers that are not very healthy for your dog, and they can cause your dog to be very uncomfortable after eating.

Look for these natural sources of fiber that are good for dogs instead:

  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Beet pulp
  • Steamed green beans
  • Bran flakes
  • Cooked oats
  • Brown rice
  • Apples
  • Carrots

It’s also important to consider what foods are soluble and insoluble:

#4 Choosing A High Fiber Food

high fiber dog food

It’s simple to find out how much fiber is in a dog food.

First, look at the Guaranteed Analysis panel on the dog food. The info panel should list crude fiber. This refers to the rough amount of fiber in the food!

Most dog foods have between 2.5% and 4.5% fiber. Reduced calorie dog foods might have up to 10% fiber.

Once you’ve checked the percent of fiber in the food, check the fiber sources by reading the ingredients list. Remember that you’ll want to look for the following good fiber sources:

  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Beet pulp
  • Steamed green beans
  • Bran flakes
  • Cooked oats
  • Brown rice
  • Apples
  • Carrots

And then you will want to avoid these low-quality sources of fiber:

  • Corn
  • Grains
  • White rice
  • Brewer’s yeast

Remember: check the fiber percent and then check the source of fiber!

#5 How Much Fiber Do Dogs Need?

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Most dog foods have between 2.5% and 4.5% crude fiber.

To feed a dog a high fiber dog food, I recommend looking for a dog food that has between 4% and 8% crude fiber content. Some great foods that have this much fiber include the Wellness Complete line and the Blue Wilderness line.

Do not choose foods that have more than 10% crude fiber content. Anything over this amount will be difficult for your dog to process, so you should not feed them this much fiber unless recommended to do so by your veterinarian because of gastrointestinal issues.

The best way to find the optimal amount of fiber for your dog is to gradually increase how much fiber they are getting. Just like any other change in their diet, their body will need time to adjust to the new amount of fiber.

Once you see their stool improve and their gas decrease, you’ll know that you have found the right amount of fiber for your dog!

#6 You Can Give Your Dog Too Much Fiber!

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When deciding to add more fiber to your dog’s diet, you need to be careful not to give them too much fiber that they cannot digest.

If you give your dog too much fiber or the additional fiber cannot be digested by their system, you may cause them to have excess gas and to bloat. Additionally, they might deal with inflammation of the colon, or colitis.

In general, however, feeding your dog more fiber will not lead to colitis if you choose quality sources of high fiber that your dog can properly digest. High fiber content that can be processed by their systems properly will help to absorb excess water that is produced by an irritated colon instead!

If your dog has colitis…

If your dog is already diagnosed with colitis, you will want to feed them a high fiber dog food that is grain-free. Most cases of colitis in dogs are caused by an allergy to grains, so it is essential to avoid grains in the food you give your dog!

#7 More Fiber Means Bigger Stool

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One thing that many people forget to mention when they talk about feeding your dog more fiber is the simple fact that your dog will leave behind bigger stools when they eat more fiber!

I was so surprised when I started feeding my dog fiber supplements to help with his digestion issues. He was leaving behind mounds bigger than I had ever seen before!

This is normal. Because fiber absorbs water, your dog will pass bigger stools, and they will pass food more completely. Don’t panic if you see them leaving behind big piles.

In fact, this can be taken as a sign of good health, even if it gets frustrating to have to clean up after your dog once their digestive system is working so much better.

#8 Fiber Supplements

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If you’re not ready to make the switch to a high fiber dog food but want to see how an increase in fiber helps your dog, you have options! You can choose to supplement your dog’s diet with extra fiber!

Here are a few great options that you can use to increase the amount of fiber your dog gets without changing their food.

Pumpkin & Sweet Potato

Both pumpkins and sweet potatoes are natural sources of fiber that your dog can easily digest. These fiber-rich foods can help soothe digestive problems, reduce constipation, and end diarrhea.

Here is how to add this food to your dog:

  • Sweet potato: mix in ⅓ of a cooked sweet potato into your dog’s food
  • Pumpkin: buy a can of pumpkin pulp, and mix a few tablespoons into your dog’s food
Fiber Tablets

Most dogs will not need a fiber tablet every day, but these can be great to have on hand if your dog is ever dealing with constipation. Give your dog a tablet every day for a few days according to the package instructions to help unblock their digestive system.

Dog Treats With Fiber

A simple way to add fiber to your dog’s diet is to give them a treat daily that has some extra fiber in it! There are lots of dog treats on the market that provide a fiber boost to your dog’s diet. Or, you can even make some high fiber dog treats at home.

Here’s one basic recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix 2 ½ cups of wheat flour, 2 eggs, ¾ pumpkin puree, 3 tbsp all natural butter together
  • Roll out the dough, and cut into shapes
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Makes 75 one-inch size treats

#9 Fiber Won’t Fix Everything

high fiber dog food

Fiber can help your dog deal with a number of digestive issues, including gas, constipation, and diarrhea. In many ways, it’s a miracle worker on their digestive system!

But that doesn’t mean that feeding your dog extra fiber can solve everything!

If your dog is having digestive problems that are making them very uncomfortable, causing uncontrollable bowel movements for more than 2 days, or they have other alarming symptoms, take them to a vet immediately.

Even though their condition might not end up being very serious, it’s important to have your pet checked when they are exhibiting numerous signs of illness.

Fiber is a great tool for improving basic digestion, but it should never be used as a cure-all for digestive problems. Like our own bodies, your dog’s body is biologically complex, and your vet will be able to help you find out what is wrong most efficiently.

Feed Your Dog Enough Fiber!

high fiber dog food

As you can see, fiber is an important part of every dog’s diet. I know that my dog really benefitted from eating a high fiber dog food that helped to keep him regular and happy!

If your dog has bowel movement issues, is gassy, or never seems to be full enough, try increasing the amount of fiber in their diet. You’ll be surprised at how big of a difference this simple change can make!

Share your favorite fiber-heavy foods with me in the comments. Then, share this with any friends who might want to consider a new diet for their dogs!


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