Dog Food Fiber

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The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about dog food fiber.

How is dietary fiber beneficial to a dog’s health?

Dietary fiber found in dog food can improve colon health, aid in weight management and help stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs. It can even help control both diarrhea and constipation.

What causes my dog to generate such a large volume of stool?

To a notable degree, stool size and form can be directly related to the fiber content of a dog food.

What ingredients contain the most fiber?

Because fiber is only found in the wall of a cell (and since animal cells don’t have cell walls) fiber can only come from vegetables and grains. Never from meat.

That’s why one should expect plant-based dog foods to generate more stool volume than meat-based products.

How can dog food fiber help a diabetic dog?

Fiber can help a diabetic dog maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Although higher dietary fiber was initially believed to be beneficial, recent studies have suggested there may be no real advantage to high fiber diets compared to the more moderate type associated with many commercial foods.1

How does dietary fiber help control inflamed anal glands?

Fiber can absorb water directly into the colon. The enlarged stools fiber can produce is able to place added pressure on a dog’s anal sacs during defecation.

And that pressure can help induce the drainage of swollen anal glands.

  1. Rand JS et al, Centre for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, “Diet in the prevention of diabetes and obesity in companion animals”, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003;12 Suppl:S6
  • stephelinda

    Yuzuru — I’m glad your corgi is doing well.

  • stephelinda

    EPI dog owner here. Low-fiber advice is standard on EPI forums, along with lots of questionable advice about giving B12 with intrinsic factor, “incubating” enzymes in the food bowl, and needlessly administering antibiotics for imaginary dysbiosis. The evidence doesn’t support that advice. My EPI dog eats Acana, takes ordinary high-dose B12 tabs, and has a healthy microbiome that was never compromised with tylosin or other antibiotics.

  • Bobbie H.

    Thanks for the link. It helped confirm much that I knew but it is always important to keep updated, seeing any changes in research and what experiences others have bee through. Saw some interesting recipes I will keep on hand but I think my hopes of finding a “commercial” product is going to be a pipe dream. Since both my husband and myself are disabled (vets both) it can be difficult doing the home cooked meals BUT, we love our little Roxie so much. She is our heart multiplied by a thousand !! 😉 So we will continued to do whatever she needs us to do. Again, thank you or the information!! It was very helpful!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I don’t know if this will help you, but here’s a link to dogaware:

    http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjpancreatitis.html

    Thank you for your service.

  • Bobbie Chuck

    Yes nothing actually covers all the bases though. I just don’t think there is the type of food we need (other than homemade) which is difficult for me as a disabled vet.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you looked through the DFA list of low fat dog foods? The list has both the protein and fat content listed with each food. I hope it helps. Here’s the link:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/suggested-low-fat-dog-food/

  • Bobbie Chuck

    Hello Have a 13 year old doxie (1/2 mini 1/2 standard). She used to have severe anal gland problems until we took her off foods with grain. Then 4 years ago got pancreatitis and has had 2 times since then. She was doing fine on Sojos and venison but got pancreatitist a few weeks ago. Since she has apparent allergy to grained dog foods, needs low fat, moderate protein this limits us now. WE see Royal Canin Gastro low fat but it does have corn plus it is low fiber. They say lwo fiber is better for digestion and easier on the pancreas. So we are in a jam. WE need a a lower fat, moderate protein, no grain (then what do we do about fiber because without good fiber we will surely have anal gland problems again (they were needing expressing 2 x a day and got ok after staying off grains) So we are really stuck. Will fiber hurt the pancreas? will it make food less digestible? Right now since the last attack we have been making her food with rice, venison, vitamins, tums for calcium. But this is really difficult to make each day and though the vet ok’d this we aren’t sure she is getting everything she needs. Feeling hopeless for our little fur kid !

  • chkrbrd62

    I know…this is not my dog..only keeping her while a friend is between homes…there are MANY things I would be doing. Changing her food from Pedigree adult was my main mission! My dog is on Dasaquin MSM

  • Crazy4dogs

    Fish oil will help the arthritis. Cosequin or a joint supplement will too.

  • chkrbrd62

    thanks much…I meant she has arthritis and cataracts but is on no meds. I agree the FF is likely no good and I do add a little canned food as well,but she wasn’t getting that at home so I didn’t want to add more than a little.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m not sure what you mean by no issues except age related issues. What are her age related issues?
    I would personally add a bit of wet food as moisture will help her kidneys. Expired Forti Flora is useless, throw it out. The probiotics die off as they age and 1.5 year out of code probiotic probably has no live and viable cultures left. You could add some Kefir as a probiotic.

  • chkrbrd62

    I am currently taking care of a 15 yo English cocker spaniel with no health issues other than age related issues. She has little if any body fat like many seniors and am just interested in maintaining her . I have her on Taste oF the Wild Pacific Salmon (or trout) and she can poop 3 times a day,sometimes 4. The stool is normal. My dogs do get baby carrots and occasionally apple slices..maybe I have to watch that in her and I will check their treats, It seems perhaps I should be looking for less fiber? Ideas?
    I also have some old Forti FLora (ex[ 12/13) that I might add.

  • Yuzuru Kodachi

    Exocrine Pancreatic Sufficiency. (EPI) I have a corgi with EPI. He requires a high protein low fibre diet. Apparently, high fibre foods diminish the effects of his medication Viokase. (Digestive Enzyme tablet)

    I found he reacts bad with Acana or Orijen (5% fibre) but does very well on Taste Of The Wild ) 3%fibre.

    Let’s get a bit gross! For dogs with EPI, telltale signs his fibre is to high, is when his poop gets soft, extra smelly, and slimy. The outer core of his poop looks like it’s wrapped in something. If his stool somehow resembles this, his fibre is to high, and he is not producing enough digestive enzymes through his medication. Hope this helps someone out there!

  • Alexandria Andrews

    I am currently feeding my dogs Fromm Family Foods, which has 3.9%fiber content. For my two JRT’s the food has been perfect. For my lab and newly adopted Husky X, they have been pooping like crazy! My Husky X is still house-training too (which is part of why I notice so much!) I only recently thought about the volume my lab poops after noticing our new Husky seemed to be pooping an exorbitant amount. I have purchased Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula for its low fiber content (2%). I hope it helps.

  • Betsy Greer

    Try this list of foods that are low fiber & low fat intended for dogs with EPI: http://www.epi4dogs.com/dogfoodoptions.htm

    I’m not suggesting that each food will be appropriate for your dog’s needs. You’ll need to research each food to ensure that the fat & fiber levels are appropriate for your dog.

  • sue66b

    I need a dog kibble that is low in Fiber 2% & under.. My boy has IBS & skin problems..hes on Eukanuba intestinal Im not happy with this kibble..stinky farts & kibble is very crumby..

  • Tony Aiello

    Be careful with that Natural Balance Fat Dogs. Natural Balance is now owned by Del Monte who gets most of it’s ingredients for their dog products from China. Many people are quitting Natural Balance because of this.

  • Papeagle

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness “healthy weight” has 9% fiber, Wellness core reduced fat formula has 8,5%, the new Natural Balance “fat dogs” has 10,5%, i am trying this one out right now since my dog has anal gland issues for years.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Acana Light & Fit and Wellness Core Reduced Fat are both rated 5 stars and have a little more fiber than Nutrisca.

  • Sammy’s mom

    Nutrisca is the highest, just went through all the labels at the pets store (higher end foods only) & gets a 5 star rating here

  • sunflowercreek

    Lk . . . I’d like to know also, since w/d rates as only a 1-star!  Recently started one of my dogs on it before the anal sac problem . . . 

  • Lk

    What dog foods are high in fiber comparable to prescription w/d