Food With Fiber For Dogs

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If you’re looking for a way to increase your dog’s fiber intake, then you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s blog post, we’ll be taking a look at different ways that you can add fiber to your dog’s diet, and why it’s so important.

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet because it helps regulate digestion. It also helps with weight management, since it slows down the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract, allowing your pet to feel full longer.

Some dogs have trouble getting enough fiber in their diets on their own, but with just a few simple changes to what you feed them or how you prepare their food, this won’t be an issue anymore!

Food With Fiber For Dogs

If you’re like many people, you know fiber is important for a healthy digestive tract and overall wellness. It helps keep you regular, controls blood pressure, and can even regulate blood-sugar levels. 

But what about your dog? Does your dog need fiber? Are there natural sources of fiber for dogs? To find out, we asked three veterinarians about their thoughts on fiber for dogs and some of the top sources of this plant-based nutrients for pups. 

Do Dogs Need Fiber?

Dog looking smiley in the grass

Fiber is a carbohydrate that plays a beneficial role in gut health. It comes in both soluble (digestible) and insoluble (not digestible) forms, and both have their place in the body’s ecosystem. 

“Digestible fiber refers to the fiber that can be broken down into simple molecules that can be eaten by bacteria in the pet’s gut,” says Dr. Sam Kovac of Southern Cross Vet. “Indigestible fiber can be thought of as carbohydrates that offer little nutritional value but massage the gut to reduce inflammation and clean the mucous membranes.” 

Basically, fiber helps your dog maintain a healthy balance in the gut, which regulates the bowels and keeps the colon healthy, too. 

“The colon loves fiber,” adds Dr. Kathy Boehme of The Drake Center. “Fiber is kind of magical because it can aid in both diarrhea and constipation. There are a lot of puppies with chronic diarrhea, and they respond beautifully to fiber.”

How Much Fiber Do Dogs Need? 

Dog looking up curious

This is where it gets tricky because not every dog needs fiber added to their diets. “A dog doesn’t need a diet loaded with fiber unless they have a lot of gastrointestinal problems,” says Boehme. 

According to Dr. Jeff Feinman of Holistic Actions, most dogs get their necessary fiber from their diets. But dogs with digestive problems like diarrhea may benefit from fiber supplementation. “My rescue pup has colitis, which causes diarrhea and even tinges of blood in the [stool]. He does quite well with a little fiber,” Feinman says. “Some dogs need it and some don’t.”

Adding fiber to a dog’s diet isn’t difficult if they do need additional sources. However, it’s good to know that overeating fiber can also upset the gastrointestinal tract. Before adding additional fiber to a dog’s diet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian. 

Understanding Fiber in Dog Food 

Dog with dog food

Visit any pet retailer, and you’ll find shelves of high-fiber dog food. Many of the commercial dog foods designed for weight loss are high in fiber, says Boehm, because fiber helps keep pets fuller longer—so they eat less.   

She says there are also fiber-rich foods designed for dogs with colitis or chronic diarrhea, including specialty prescription foods. “These foods are specially formulated by veterinarian nutritionists.” 

If you read the label on a high-fiber dog food, you might find beet pulp listed along with things like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. You can also feed some of those things as high-fiber treats in addition to your dog’s regular diet. Just make sure to discuss these additions with your veterinarians before giving them to your pup. 

Fiber for Dogs: 10 Healthy Sources 

Dog with pumpkin

Whether your pet has some mild digestive issues, your vet suggests a fiber boost, or you just want to provide some occasional fiber-focused snacks to keep your dog full and focused, there are lots of sources to consider. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular sources of fiber for dogs that are easy to add to your dog’s diet.  

Beet Pulp

Beet pulp has been characterized as a filler product in some pet nutrition circles. But it’s a great source of fiber for dogs. Beet pulp is a colorless and stringy byproduct of sugar beet processing and easily digested. “Beet pulp is common in many pet foods,” says Boehme. You’ll find it in many high-fiber dog foods.  

Pumpkin

Turns out, this fall favorite is a tasty source of healthy fiber for dogs. You can find it year-round in grocery stores—just be sure you buy plain pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. You can feed fresh pumpkin, too. 

When feeding pumpkin to dogs, it’s better to start small and see how they react. Feinman recommends “a teaspoon or less.” 

Ground Flaxseed 

Flaxseeds in a bowl

Flaxseed is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, which means it’s good for your dog’s skin, coat, brain, and overall nervous system. Flaxseed is also a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants and can help intestinal health, according to the Flax Council of Canada.

There are many ways you can add flaxseed meal or ground flaxseeds to your dog’s diet. You can sprinkle it on your dog’s food, mix it with peanut butter and roll into balls for treats, or mix with a bit of plain, organic yogurt. It’s best if the flaxseeds are ground right before using. As with any new food, start with a small amount—a teaspoon is plenty as a starting point. 

Kelp

If you’re a sushi-fan, you might think of kelp as the seaweed wrapped around your sushi rolls. Of course, the Japanese have long known of its health benefits. Kelp is high in iron, and as it turns out, it’s also a high-fiber food that’s safe for pups. 

Lettuce 

Close up of lettuce leaves

If your dog likes green lettuce, then it can be a good source of fiber—even if its high water content doesn’t provide a lot of additional nutrients. You’ll want to chop it up so it’s easier to eat and make sure it doesn’t have any dressing or other elements that could be harmful to your pup. Iceberg lettuce might taste good, but it has very little fiber.

Apples

Many dogs love chomping on apple slices as a high-fiber treat. As a bonus, apples are low in calories and help clean canine teeth too. Try offering your pup a slice of apple and see how they like it. As always, keep the pieces proportionate with your dog’s size and never give your dog the seeds or core.  

Carrots 

Many pet parents buy bags of baby carrots to feed as treats. Like apples, they’re low in calories, which is perfect for pups who’d benefit from a bit of weight loss and are high in fiber to keep your pup fuller longer. A study also revealed that feeding dogs raw carrots can help improve a dog’s liver and kidney function. 

Green Beans 

Close up of green beans

Consider green beans as another addition to the veggie selection for your pet. They’re also low calorie and full of fiber for a healthy, high-fiber dog treat. 

Brown Rice 

Recent grain-free trends aside, brown rice turns up in many high-fiber dog foods because it’s a great fiber source, according to a 2016 research study. It also mixes well with veggies like carrots and green beans.

Strawberries and Blueberries

Got fresh berries? Your pup can enjoy fresh strawberries and blueberries along with you. Just rinse them and eat. These natural sources of fiber for dogs can also give your pet an antioxidant boost. A study of sled dogs who were fed blueberries after exercise had elevated antioxidant levels in their blood compared to a control group that was not fed berries.

Just don’t overdo the berries, since fruits like strawberries and blueberries have natural sugar content. Too much won’t be good for your dog. 

Fiber Supplements for Dogs 

Dalmatian dog licking his lips

Adding fruits, veggies, or brown rice to your dog’s diet may not provide them with all the fiber they need—especially if they have digestive problems. If your pup has irregular bowels, is obese, or has diabetes, they may need more fiber than can be found in fresh food. 

“I like the idea of feeding fiber in the form of fruits and veggies, but the amount should not comprise more than 10 percent of the diet so that you do not unbalance the diet,” says Boehme. “If it is not possible to do this, then they would need an additional supplement.”

Fiber Supplements for Dogs: Our Favorite Picks

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If your dog’s digestive system needs a fiber boost, these products can help balance gut health, firm up loose stool, and keep your canine regular.

Great Poop Digestive Enzymes Support for Dogs

Great Poop Digestive Supplement for Dogs

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Here’s the thing—you don’t want your dog’s poop to be good. You want it to be GREAT. And so do we. In fact, a dog’s poop says a lot about their overall health and wellness. That’s why our team of pet experts created an easy-to-use, high-fiber supplement that improves stool quality and increases overall gut health. These tasty, chicken-flavored soft chews can help firm up loose stools (making cleanup easier) and relieve symptoms of gas, constipation, and bloating. Key ingredients include digestive enzymes, probiotics, and oat flour and flaxseed for a fiber boost. 

Highlights

  • 120 soft chews per container.
  • A multifunctional product to help with a variety of digestive issues.
  • Formulated with high-quality ingredients including essential digestive enzymes, probiotics, and fiber. 
  • Flavored like chicken, so dogs will eat them easily.
  • Made in the USA.
  • No preservatives or fillers.

Things to Consider

  • Only one flavor currently available.
  • Dogs over 26 pounds will require more than one chew per serving.

Meaningful Tree Super Pet Total Health

Buy at Meaningful TreeSave 25% When You Shop Direct with code GPC25

The folks at Meaningful Tree developed a proprietary way to combine all of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil with acacia fiber, a natural and effective prebiotic. The result is an easy-to-use herbal supplement powder that supports your pet’s overall health while enhancing the fiber content of your pet’s food.

Highlights

  • Supports gut health and heart health while also promoting skin, coat and joint health
  • Made in the USA with sustainable ingredients
  • Fully traceable product

Things to Consider

  • Recommended serving is 1/2 scoop for dogs under 30 pounds and 1 full scoop for dogs 30 pounds and over
  • 30 servings per container
  • As with any new herbal supplement, speak to your vet first before adding to your pet’s diet

NaturVet No Scoot Plus Pumpkin

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Dogs with digestive troubles may also suffer from anal gland problems, which usually make themselves known when your dog starts scooting across the floor. But these powerful and palatable “no scoot” soft chews from NaturVet are designed to help support healthy anal gland and sac function while also getting your pup’s bowels back on track. These tasty morsels feature a proprietary blend of beet pulp and psyllium husk, dandelion root and pumpkin powder. 

Highlights

  • Made in the USA with non-GMO ingredients 
  • Displays the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) Quality Seal
  • Wheat-free
  • Available in a 30- or 60-day supply (60 or 120 chews)

Things to Consider

  • Recommends giving one soft chew per 20 pounds of body weight twice daily, so your supply will not last as long with a large breed dog
  • You’ll need to ensure your dog drinks plenty of water, given the increase in daily fiber
  • Some reviewers claim their dog didn’t enjoy the taste of the new formula as much as the original

Native Pet Organic Pumpkin Fiber for Dogs

Native Pet Pumpkin

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Another pumpkin powerhouse, this fiber powder is very easy to use. Just mix it with water and create a delicious (and healthy!) pumpkin puree. This is a nice alternative to buying canned pumpkin. It has a longer shelf life and can be used as needed, where canned pumpkin will need to be tossed soon after opening. This formula contains only three organic ingredients and will help to combat diarrhea and loose stools. 

Highlights

  • Only three simple, organic ingredients.
  • Most customers see results in 2-4 days.
  • Can be mixed with water or sprinkled over food.
  • Average shelf life is 22 months! 

Things to Consider

  • It’s slightly pricey for an 8oz can. But, like we said, it lasts a long time. 
  • Some pet owners said it was a bit clumpy when mixed with water. 

Virbac Vetasyl Fiber Capsules

Virbac Vetasyl Fiber Capsules

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For dog constipation relief and anal gland problems, these fiber capsules from Virbac are gentle and effective. They are formulated with natural sources of fiber including psyllium and barley. The jar contains 500 capsules and they are simple to use. Just break them open and sprinkle the powder over your pup’s food. 

Highlights

  • Works for both dogs and cats, so great for multi-pet households.
  • Contains no salts or sugars.
  • Formulated with natural fiber sources.
  • 500 capsules in a bottle is a nice amount for the price.

Things to Consider

  • The capsules have to be broken open and sprinkled over food, which may not be appealing for picky eaters.
  • Some reviewers didn’t like the odor of this product.

Before adding fiber supplements to your dog’s diet, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about the kind and type that will best benefit your pet. 

Can Dogs Have Metamucil? 

Dog squinting into the camera

When people think of fiber Metamucil—a popular fiber supplement that is mixed with water—comes to mind. And if you’re mixing up a glass for yourself, you might be wondering whether your dog can experience the same benefits from Metamucil. 

Turns out, a small amount should be okay—just make sure to read the label carefully.

“A pinch of Metamucil can be helpful for dogs,” Feinman says. “Just be sure it’s only Metamucil and not filled with artificial sweeteners like xylitol as those are dangerous for dogs.”

What to Do If You Think Your Dog Needs More Fiber

As you can see, there are many healthy sources of fiber for dogs. From feeding apples and carrots as fiber-rich dog treats to drizzling flaxseed or wheat germ oil over your pet’s food, your dog may love these additions.  

However, like every health question, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. “It depends on the individual,” Feinman says. 

If you’re worried about your dog’s digestive health and you think more fiber may help, talk with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s fiber needs.

dog fibre requirements

Although fiber is not considered an essential nutrient because it can not be digested, it is an essential component of a dog’s diet that plays a very important role in the digestive system’s health. Although most dog food has some form of fiber, some dogs don’t have enough in their diets and need a little boost. Thankfully, there are many great sources of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. If you’re looking for ways to sneak some extra fiber into your dog’s daily meals, here are six great sources to try:

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The 6 Great Sources of Fiber for Dogs

1.Pumpkin Pulp

pumpkin flesh and seeds_M W_Pixabay
Image Credit: M W, Pixabay
Source:Natural
Fiber Type:Soluble, Insoluble

Pumpkin Pulp Nutritional Info (¼ cup / 4 tablespoons):

  • 24 calories
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.5g
  • Toy/Small dogs:  ¼ –1 tablespoon
  • Medium dogs: ½–2 tbsp
  • Large/Giant: 1–4 tbsp.

Pumpkin Pulp is one of the best sources of dietary fiber for dogs, cats, and also humans. It’s rich in flavor that most dogs enjoy, making it easy to incorporate into your dog’s diet. Pumpkin is a superfood that is nutrient-dense and low in calories, which is why it’s arguably the most popular natural source of fiber. Make sure that you are buying organic canned pumpkin pulp and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has little to no nutritional value and is loaded with sugar.

2.Green Beans

green beans
Image Credit: pixel1, Pixabay
Source:Natural
Fiber Type:Soluble, Insoluble

Green Beans Nutritional Info (½ cup):

  • 16 calories
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Protein: 0.9g
  • Fat: 0.0g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5g
  • Serving Size for Dogs: Feed once or twice a day. Start with around 10% of your dog’s meal and watch for any changes. Increase to no more than 20% of your dog’s meal. Consult with your veterinarian if you’re not sure how much your dog needs.

*NOTE: This is to supplement your dog’s food for fiber, not the Green Bean Diet for overweight dogs.*

One of the healthiest ways to add fiber to your dog’s diet, green beans are affordable, natural, and low in calories. They also contain other essential nutrients your dog needs, like Vitamin C, Iron, and Vitamins B1, B3, and B6. Green beans are also a great alternative to treats if you’re looking to swap out the biscuits instead. Dogs can eat cooked, raw, and canned green beans, so you can choose the option that your dog likes the most. Avoid green beans cooked in oils, butter, spices, and salt to avoid potential health problems.

3.Ground Flaxseed

flax seed
Image Credit: Maryna Osadcha, Shutterstock
Source:Natural, Processed
Fiber Type:Soluble, Insoluble

Ground Flaxseed Nutritional Info (1 tbsp):

  • 37 calories
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Protein: 1.2g
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.8g
  • Toy-Miniature Dogs: 1/8–¼ tsp
  • Small Dogs: ¼ tsp–1 tsp
  • Medium Dogs: 1 tsp–1½ tbsp
  • Large-Giant Dogs: 1-2 tbsp

*NOTE: Consult with your veterinarian first before adding flaxseed to your dog’s diet, especially dogs with thyroid, heart, and diabetic conditions.

A powerful superfood, ground flaxseed can be a total game-changer for your dog’s diet. Rich in dietary fiber, ground flaxseed also contains other vitamins and minerals to help keep your dog healthy and active. It can also help your dog’s skin and coat due to the naturally-occurring Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Although coming from the same plant, flaxseed oil is not as fiber-dense as ground flaxseed. Never feed your dog raw or unprocessed flaxseed- always buy organic, processed flaxseed meal to prevent potential health issues.


4.Apples

apple slices
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay
Source:Natural
Fiber Type:Soluble(fruit), Insoluble(skin)

1 Medium Apple (182g) Nutritional Info:

  • 95 calories
  • Fiber: 4.4g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Sugar: 19g
  • Start with small portions as some fruits may cause indigestion. 1 or 2 small cubes of apples to start, especially with toy and small breeds. For larger dogs, start with 1 full slice and feed no more than ½ apple a day. Consult with a veterinarian first since apples are high in sugar.

Crisp in taste and refreshingly juicy, apples are another great source of fiber for dogs. They’re low in fat and high in fiber, containing over 4g of dietary fiber in one medium-sized apple. Apples are nutrient-dense fruits that can add additional benefits for your dog as well, but they’re also a high-sugar food that may not be the best option for dogs with thyroid, obesity, and diabetic issues. Look for organic apples to lessen the number of pesticides your dog ingests.

5.Wheat Germ

Wheat Germ
Image Credit: joanna wnuk, Shutterstock
Source:Natural, Processed
Fiber Type:Insoluble

Wheat Germ Nutritional Info (1 tbsp):

  • 31 calories
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2.6g
  • Fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g

Serving Size:

  • Toy/Miniature Dogs: ⅛–¼ tsp
  • Small Dogs: ¼ tsp–1 tsp
  • Medium Dogs:  1½ tsp–1 tbsp
  • Large/Giant Dogs: 1-2 tbsp

A great source of insoluble fiber, wheat germ is another nutrient-heavy grain product with great health benefits. The name refers to the reproductive part of the seed of the wheat plant that helps create new wheat plants, a natural by-product of grain mills after processing wheat. It also contains magnesium and phosphorous, which are also important for a balanced diet. Wheat germ is also a great alternative to ground flaxseed meal if it’s too strong for your dog’s digestive system.


6.Zesty Paws Core Elements Probiotic Soft Chews Digestive Supplement for Dogs

Zesty Paws Core Elements Probiotic Soft Chews Digestive Supplement for Dogs
Source:Supplement
Fiber Type:Soluble/Insoluble
  • Active Ingredients: Pumpkin, Papaya, Total Microbial Count (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Brevis, Lactobacillus Fermentum, Lactococcus Lactis), GanedenBC30 (Bacillus Coagulans GB!-30, 6086).
  • Inactive Ingredients: Pea Flour, Palm Fruit Oil, Garbanzo Flour, Tapioca Flour, Flaxseed Meal, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Vegetable Flavoring, Coconut Glycerin, Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Sorbic Acid (Natural Preservative).

Serving Size:

  • 0–25 lbs: 1 supplement chew
  • 26–75 lbs: 2 supplement chews
  • 76+lbs: 3 chews. Do not exceed 3 chews per day.

Zesty Paws Core Digestive Supplement chews are soft-chew supplements that contain pumpkin and flaxseed, two great natural sources of fiber in one small chewable pill. These chews also have probiotics and other nutrients to support overall gut health, which can help regulate your dog’s digestive system. If pumpkin alone isn’t working, the Zesty Paws Digestive chews may be a better alternative for your dog. Consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplements first.

divider-paw

Fiber: Why is it Important for Dogs?

Fiber is a very important component of a dog’s diet. It is crucial for healthy digestion. It helps bulking and to pass the stool in dogs and humans alike. Moreover, some kinds of fiber are prebiotics, which means that they help feed and maintain the “good bacteria” of the digestive system.

Although most dog foods contain fiber, some recipes simply don’t offer enough to benefit your dog. Dogs that have a fiber deficiency usually have either very loose, liquid-like stool or multiple bouts of constipation, but your veterinarian is the best bet for a true deficiency diagnosis.

Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water or liquid, turning into a gel-like substance in the colon that slows down and helps regulate digestion. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve at all, but it actually helps bulk and aids in passing the stool. Both forms of fiber are important for normal digestion and gut health, so it’s important that your dog consumes them regularly.

How Much Fiber Does my Dog Need?

Dogs of all shapes and sizes need fiber, but the amount will depend on your dog’s size and how much fiber is in the diet already. A healthy diet should consist of around 2-4% dietary fiber, though 5% may be necessary for dogs who struggle with digestive issues. Again, it’s crucial to talk to your vet about diet and nutrition, especially if you plan on adding fiber to your dog’s diet.

Natural Sources vs. Supplements

Fiber is easy to obtain through natural sources like grains and fruits, but it may not be enough for your dog’s specific needs. The topic of natural versus supplement is a hot debate in the pet industry. While natural sources of fiber are great on their own, supplements can benefit your dog’s health. When it comes to supplements for your dog, we highly recommend talking to a veterinarian with a focus on nutrition. Every dog has its own dietary needs, so it’s best to ask your vet and do what’s best for your dog.

Conclusion

Dietary fiber plays an important role in gut health and dog nutrition, but not all dog food contains enough to provide those benefits. There are plenty of ways to add extra fiber while also providing your dog with other potential health benefits. As long as you watch for signs of indigestion and don’t overload your dog’s system with too much fiber, your dog may benefit from a boost of fiber.

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