Using fiber for dogs is one way to ensure they’ll have the longest and healthiest life possible. But you need to know more about that to pick the best option for your pup.
So, what can you add to your pup’s daily nutrition to keep it healthy?
Let’s have a look at the different fiber sources and find out how you can improve your pup’s diet.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- The Power of Fiber
- Benefits of Fiber for Dogs
- Fiber and Health Conditions
- High Fiber Foods
- Fiber Alternatives
- Fiber Foods for Dogs
- How to Increase Your Pup’s Fiber
- Fiber is a necessary part of a healthy diet for dogs.
- Most dogs need about 2-4% of their diet to contain fiber.
- Adding fiber to your dog’s diet can help prevent some digestive issues and anal gland problems.
- Added fiber can help constipation, which is more common in older dogs.
- Many causes of colitis can be improved with a high fiber diet or probiotics.
- Feeding dogs a high-fiber diet allows them to feel full while eating very few calories.
- Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble.
- Carbohydrates like brown rice are an excellent source of fiber, along with carrots and apples.
- Pumpkin is also a great source of fiber and may be helpful for dog gastrointestinal issues.
- Limiting your dog’s fiber intake to less than 10% of its entire diet is vital for healthy growth.
The Power of Fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that comes in a soluble and insoluble form. The soluble form gets broken down by the gut bacteria and it’s used by the body. The insoluble form doesn’t get broken down, but bulks up the stool and cleans up the bowels.
So is fiber good for dogs? Absolutely. Aside from the aforementioned benefits, it also helps your dog’s gut maintain a healthy amount of bacteria which aids digestion.
But how much fiber does a dog need? Experts recommend a moderate level — usually about 2-4% of their total diet.
If your dog struggles with constipation or other digestive issues, it might be better to increase fiber to around 10% of their diet.
Discuss your pup’s food with your vet to ensure you’re giving the best possible care.
Benefits of Fiber for Dogs
There are many advantages to a dog diet that includes fiber. Here’s what you should know.
Keeping a Healthy Weight
One of the biggest benefits of fiber is maintaining your furry friend’s healthy weight.
Fiber increases the satiety of the food your pup eats and makes your pup feel fuller longer, meaning they eat less. Specialists recommend a low fat high-fiber diet for dogs to reduce the extra pounds. Still, you should be careful with how much food you give to your dog to avoid obesity altogether.
As a whole, you can improve your dog’s digestive system with fiber.
Its fermentation promotes fatty acids that prevent bad bacteria and help the colon recover from injuries such as colitis or stomach bugs.
By balancing the cells and bacteria within the stomach, fiber is also affecting your pup’s sugar levels and weight.
Also, fiber could protect your dog from colon cancer.
|Fiber maintains normal blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss, lowers cholesterol, and improves digestion. It’s best to consult with your veterinary to tell you the exact dosage for how much fiber does a dog need, but the recommended dosage is 2-4% of their total diet.|
Fiber for Health Issues
As a responsible owner, you always want the best for your furry friend. Now that we know some of the benefits of fiber, let’s look at how fiber is used for some common diseases in dogs. Fiber for Dogs with Diarrhea and Constipation
Diarrhea and constipation can both be horrible for you and your pet. Finding foods that prevent it can save you lots of hassle and worry.
Insoluble fiber acts as a sponge and increases the water content of your dog’s stool making it easier to pass when dealing with constipation. It also decreases the water content of the stool making it bulkier and slows the peristalsis when dealing with diarrhea.
Soluble fiber also aids in the making of prebiotics that contributes to maintaining a healthy microbiome that guards against harmful microbes causing diarrhea.
Fiber for Dogs with Colitis
Colitis is an inflammation of the colon that can be a one-time event or a chronic condition that needs ongoing treatment.
Fiber can treat and prevent it by protecting the stomach against toxins that build up and inflame the large intestine. The symptoms usually include diarrhea, bloody specs on the poop, straining and pain when pooping, and sometimes weight loss. We recommend checking with your vet if your pup has this condition. The treatments and amount of fiber will vary for each pooch.
Improve Diabetes With Fiber
Canine diabetes can be challenging to manage and you need to consult with your vet about any changes you make to your dogs’ diet.
According to this study, fiber has proven very beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, you could try veggies like asparagus for dogs.
Insoluble fibers bulk up the stool and slow down digestion thus allowing the gut to absorb more carbs which can benefit the sugar regulation systems in your pup.
A great source is pumpkin fiber for dogs. There are some non-prescription diabetic dog foods on the market too.
Consistency is key, so feed your dog at the same time to balance its glucose.
Anal Gland Issues and Fiber
Not the most pleasant part to read but it’s all in the name of your pup’s health!
Anal glands secrete a waxy substance with each bathroom break. Sometimes they get clogged, which is painful for your pup. You might notice your pup scooting on the floor often trying to relieve the pain.
To ease the symptoms and prevent them from happening again, fiber for dogs can save you and your puppy from hassle. It can bulk up stools to make your pet poop frequently.
|Fiber can help treat many health issues, including diarrhea, constipation, colitis, diabetes, and anal gland issues. Just remember to be consistent and always include the right dosage of fiber in your pup’s meals.|
Meet the Fiber Superfoods
Finding the right food can be a challenge. It’s always good to have a list of foods dogs can’t eat before you start introducing new foods. To make things easier, here are a few foods filled with fiber that you can start from.
It’s one of the greatest sources of fiber for dogs and it’s also filled with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamins A and C.
This veggie is helpful for constipation and diarrhea. It’s also recommended as a way to relieve your pet’s upset stomach. Vets recommend adding one tablespoon to your dogs’ daily food to start and observe your pup’s reaction.
Steamed pumpkin is the healthiest but you can also roast or puree it.
If you’re looking for other dog fiber treats, consider baking your own pumpkin dog biscuits.
If you don’t have time for cooking, you can try Native Pet Organic Pumpkin for Dogs on Amazon. Simply add water for a delicious pumpkin puree.
Lettuce contains almost no calories and a good amount of fiber — perfect for pups that need to shed a few pounds. Lettuce is high in vitamins C, K, and A, which support the overall health of your doggo.
As we often like to remind, moderation is key. Don’t overfeed your pet with lettuce. Instead, start off with a small amount to see how they respond. Take some time to wash it well and chop it up so it’s easier for your dog to eat it up.
They’re one of the best fiber treats for dogs.
Carrots are a healthy and nutritious snack that you can use as a low-calorie alternative to a doggy biscuit.
Freezing this veggie gives it that extra crunch that many pups love. Besides, your four-legged friend’s dental health may also improve, how great is that?
Remember to always wash carrots before feeding your pup and cut them into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking.
Another low-calorie, high fiber veggies your dog might love are green beans. You can serve them raw or straight out of the can. Alternatively, you can prepare some scrambled eggs for your dog with this veggie.
Green beans are full of vitamins K, C, B6, and A and are one of the best foods to help dogs poop.
Like with all pupper treats, remember — no added spice or flavoring.
Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber for dogs that can aid digestion. They also contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants making them a very healthy treat. The easiest way to prepare this snack is to grind it up and put it directly into your dog’s food.
Keep in mind that flaxseed needs refrigeration as it can go rancid.
This marvelous plant can also give your pup a shiny coat and boost their immune system.
Full of calcium, vitamin C, and phosphorus, apples are one of the best high-fiber foods for dogs.
Any doggo with a sweet tooth will love this juicy and healthy snack.
The best way to serve apples is to cut them up, removing the whole stem and seeds, since that can be toxic to your pupper.
You’ll find amazing dog apple treat recipes online, so research away and see what works best for your furry bestie.
This type of seaweed contains a large amount of amino acids for your pup. It’s also super high in fiber and contains a lot of iron.
Some dog food and treats already contain kelp, so keep an eye out. But if you’re looking for a great pet fiber addition, check out the NaturVet Kelp Help Supplement Powder on Amazon which contains the right amount for your furry pal.
Always consult your vet before changing your puppy’s diet.
Bran for dogs
Bran is the nutritious skin around the grain. It’s filled with protein, iron, fatty acids, and B – vitamins. Bran is also rich in fiber and helps your dog’s colon health and weight management.
If you need to increase the amount of bran for your doggo, we recommend trying Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran on Amazon. You can sprinkle some bran on your dogs’ meal or use it to make homemade cookies.
Some dog food contains bran already, so be careful not to overfeed your pupper with it.
|Luckily, there are many fiber-rich fruits and veggies waiting for your pooch to try out. Pumpkin, carrots, green beans, and kelp are one of the many — and some of them can be found as supplements as well.|
Fiber Alternatives for Picky Eaters
If your pup doesn’t like any of the foods above, don’t panic. There are other alternatives.
Fiber Pills for Dogs
You can get these pills if your dog needs extra digestive help. They’re a brilliant choice for fussy pups.
We recommend Virbac Vetasyl Fiber Capsules on Amazon, which are easy to administer and contain 100% natural ingredients. This way you’ll have peace of mind that your pup receives everything it needs for a long and healthy life.
This is another great source of fiber for dogs.
Beet pulp is the byproduct of processes that remove most sugar and carbs from the plant. It’s full of fiber and great for your doggo, especially if they have an upset tummy.
It also helps dogs with skin allergies and can be found as a part of other commercial dog food for allergies.
Consider trying a non-GMO product like the Olewo Dehydrated Red Beets Itch and Allergy Relief Dog Food Supplement on Amazon. It’s entirely natural and highly recommended by pup owners.
Psyllium Fiber for Dogs
You can use psyllium fiber for yourself and your pet. This amazing plant is great for diarrhea, constipation, and anal gland issues seen in pups.
Check out Fiber for Dogs psyllium seed husk powder & dehydrated beet root powder on Amazon. The formula is based on vets’ recommendations and has all the nutrients to keep your dog’s gut healthy with no artificial flavors or ingredients.
Products with natural ingredients are the best for your pup’s health.
|Let’s face it, fruits and veggies aren’t dogs’ favorite meals. In case you are faced with a picky eater, there are three alternatives you can try out — fiber pills, beet pulp, and psyllium fiber.|
Commercial Foods With High Fiber Content
Finding ways to increase your pup’s fiber can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Many dog foods contain high-fiber ingredients to make things easier for you.
High Fiber Canned Dog Food
It’s vital to find a high-fiber dog food that provides all the necessary ingredients to keep your pet lean and healthy. It’s best if 95% of its diet is based on a vet’s recommendation.
One such example is Taste of the Wild Canned Dog Food on Amazon. Premium ingredients including real meat protein, fruit, veggies, and fatty acids are perfectly blended for a high-fiber dog diet. Plus, it contains no fillers, grains, or wheat, and it’s sustainably sourced.
High Fiber Grain Free Dog Food
If you’re looking for natural ingredients, you can try Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food on Amazon. The formula is for doggos of all ages and it’s easy to digest. Besides, there are no added preservatives or artificial flavors. It’s great for sensitive tummies.
That said, with thousands of options on the market, speaking to your vet is the best way to ensure your pupper’s needs are taken care of.
Fiber Treats for Dogs
A treat every once in a while is a great way to keep your pet interested and show them that you care. Also, it’s brilliant for training.
Dog treats should also be high in fiber to improve gut health and not cause any digestive issues.
Tasty low calorie and all-natural options are Fruitables Crunchy Baked Dog Treats on Amazon. With ingredients like fresh pumpkin, they’re a strong fiber source.
|For maximum results, we recommend trying fiber-rich commercial foods. Canned or kibble, it’s up to you. Plus, there are fiber-rich treats for all the good boys and girls out there.|
How to Add Fiber to Your Dogs’ Diet
So, now that you have an idea of which foods have more fiber, how do you go about it?
All pups are different, so what works for one may not work for another. As an owner, you should identify the best fiber source for your dog. Since this takes time, you need to be patient.
As we mentioned, start out with small amounts to see how your pupper will react. Most high-fiber foods will work on a healthy pup quite quickly. The general advice is to try adding one teaspoon and see how it goes.
If your dog has any health or digestive issues, speaking to your vet is the number one priority. They have the necessary skills to advise you on the best way forward.
Food labels don’t contain the necessary information on fiber for dogs, so you can’t make informed decisions alone. You’ll need advice as we all do from time to time.
Watching your pup do their business is part of being a responsible owner. No need to feel self-conscious. Monitoring what’s going in is just as important as what’s coming out and it will help you catch any health issues early.
Pups can’t talk to us but their stool can tell us a great deal.
|Observe, consult, and be patient. Every pooch is different — some of them need more time to reach its optimal results. Once you identify the best fiber source for your dog, be gentle with the dosage and talk to your vet.|
Consistency Is the Key to Improvement
You’ve learned a great deal about fiber for dogs. Let’s recap.
Dogs need fiber to maintain a healthy gut. It also helps with issues like constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, and colon cancer.
Some human foods such as pumpkin, lettuce, and bran are brilliant for upping the fiber in your pet’s diet. But be sure to start slowly and monitor closely.
Some commercial supplements and dog food are also a good source of fiber for dogs and might make feeding your pup easier as they come with instructions. We hope this information will help you and your four-legged pal on the road to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
- Graham, P A, et al. “Influence of a high fibre diet on glycaemic control and quality of life in dogs with diabetes mellitus.” The Journal of small animal practice vol. 43,2 (2002): 67-73. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.2002.tb00031.x
- Beitz, Donald C. et al. “Your dogs nutritional needs: A Science-Based Guide For Pet Owners”. National Academy of Sciences, 2006.
- Bosch, Guido et al. “The effects of dietary fibre type on satiety-related hormones and voluntary food intake in dogs.” The British journal of nutrition vol. 102,2 (2009): 318-25. doi:10.1017/S0007114508149194