7 Best High Fiber Dog Foods for Anal Gland Problems: Our 2019 Guide

If you’ve ever wondered why dogs seem to love sniffing each other’s behinds, it is because of their anal glands. Every dog has two small scent glands located just inside the anus on either side. These glands produce your dog’s unique scent which he uses to mark his territory.

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Your dog’s anal glands secrete an odorous liquid when he defecates and when he marks his territory by rubbing his bum against various surfaces (such as your freshly cleaned carpet). If they aren’t regularly expressed, or emptied, they can become overfull with secretions and that can make your dog uncomfortable. When this happens, you may see him scooting his rear across the floor.

If left untreated, overfull or impacted anal glands can become infected or they could rupture. Having your dog’s anal glands expressed from time to time is important, but if he frequently has issues with them you might consider switching him to a high fiber diet. Keep reading to learn more about how a high fiber diet can help with anal gland problems.

Treating Anal Gland Problems with a High Fiber Diet

Dogs are not obligate carnivores in the way that cats are. This means that while the majority of their nutrition is best from animal sources, they have a limited ability to digest and derive nutrition from plant sources. Carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables provide your dog with a valuable source of dietary fiber as well as other essential nutrients.

Related: Our Picks for the Top Rated Dog Foods of 2019

But what role does dietary fiber play in treating your dog’s anal gland problems?

Dietary fiber helps keep your dog’s digestion smooth and regular. Insoluble fiber is the type that cannot be digested but it absorbs water to add bulk to your dog’s stool. Soluble fiber dissolves in water which enables your dog’s body to digest it. A mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber in your dog’s diet is the key to healthy and regular digestion.

When it comes to treating anal gland problems, fiber absorbs water to give your dog’s stool a firmer texture. When he defecates, the pressure of passing the stools helps to naturally express his anal glands. If his tool is too soft from lack of fiber, he may not receive that benefit. Most dogs do well with a fiber content around 4% to 5% in their food, though dogs with anal gland issues may require more – up to 7% or 8% crude fiber.

5 Tips for Owners with Dogs that Have Anal Gland Problems

If your dog starts scooting around on the carpet in a predictable pattern every couple of weeks, it may be time to start paying closer attention to his anal glands. Talk to your veterinarian about the options to treat this problem and consider learning how to express the anal glands yourself so they do not become overfull or impacted.

Here are five other helpful tips for owners of dogs with anal gland problems:

  1. In addition to increasing your dog’s fiber intake, choose a high-quality dog food made from wholesome natural ingredients to ensure optimal digestibility.
  2. Look for a dog food that contains both prebiotic fibers and probiotics to ensure healthy and regular digestion as well as natural anal gland expression.
  3. Talk to your veterinarian about food allergies if your dog has recurrent skin or digestive issues – food allergies are often linked to anal gland issues in dogs.
  4. If your dog’s staple diet isn’t enough to meet his needs for dietary fiber, consider adding a fiber supplement like canned pumpkin or psyllium husk powder.
  5. Make sure your dog gets regular exercise – in addition to helping him maintain a healthy body weight, it will also improve his digestion and overall health.

The best way to treat anal gland problems is to help your dog express them naturally through his diet. If this alone isn’t enough to address his problems, talk to your veterinarian or groomer about having his anal glands expressed on a regular basis to prevent issues.

The 7 Best Dog Foods for Anal Gland Problems

If your dog suffers from anal gland problems, choosing a high-fiber dog food might help. Remember, it should still be made with wholesome, high-quality ingredients and formulated to meet his basic nutritional needs. Here’s our top pick for the best high fiber dog food for anal gland problems:

Dr. Tim’s Grain-Free Kinesis Formula

Overall Best High Fiber Dog Food for Anal Gland Problems: If you’re in the market for a high-quality dog food that supports healthy and regular digestion, look no further than this Dr. Tim’s Grain-Free Kinesis Formula. This recipe features the ideal blend of carbohydrates, fats, and fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system moving – plus, it contains prebiotic fibers and probiotics supplements for support. Packed with 87% animal protein and plenty of omega fatty acids, this recipe provides plenty of support for lean muscle mass with healthy fats for skin and coat. Plus, it is metabolically balanced to meet the needs of moderately active dogs in all life stages.

  • Pros: Made with 87% animal ingredients, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, prebiotics and probiotics, chicken meal for concentrated protein, rich in healthy fats
  • Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients

6 More Top-Rated Dog Foods for Anal Gland Issues

If our top pick doesn’t seem right for your dog, don’t worry – there are still many other options! Here are six more top-rated dog foods for anal gland issues that we recommend:

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Weight Management Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Featuring farm-raised chicken and digestible brown rice, this Nutro Wholesome Essentials Weight Management Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe also contains a whopping 8% fiber. This recipe is loaded with premium animal protein and digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, plus it has prebiotic fibers for healthy digestion. It contains 33% protein to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass with 9% fat for controlled calories. Plus, it is supplemented with a healthy blend of omega fatty acids to support your dog’s healthy skin and coat.

  • Pros: Contains 8% fiber, concentrated sources of animal protein, digestible whole-grain carbohydrates, moderate fat content for controlled calories, supports lean muscle mass
  • Cons: Contains plant protein (pea protein), not a grain-free recipe

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Dog Food

If regular dog food isn’t high enough in fiber for your dog, try this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Dog Food. This recipe features protein-rich chicken and chicken meal as the main ingredients to support lean muscle mass with 10% dietary fiber for digestion. It contains grain-free carbohydrates for easy digestibility and dried fermentation products for probiotic support. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and has an abundance of natural flavor as well.

  • Pros: Rich in lean protein, contains 10% dietary fiber, excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, controlled calorie content, dried fermentation products for probiotics
  • Cons: Contains plant protein (pea protein), may be too high in fiber for some dogs

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dog Food

If you’re looking for an affordable brand of dog food with moderate fiber content, try this Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dog Food. It features protein-rich chicken and turkey as the main ingredients with 26% protein to maintain your dog’s lean muscle mass. It is naturally grain-free which is great for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities but is still rich in fiber. This formula contains nutrient-rich chicken fat as well as salmon oil for the optimal blend of omega fatty acids and it is supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics.

  1. Pros: Protein-rich chicken and turkey, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, blend of omega fatty acids, supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics, contains 4.5% fiber
  2. Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken ingredients

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

When it comes to quality nutrition, it’s hard to beat raw food. Unfortunately, raw food is expensive which is what makes this Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe a great second option. It consists of high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces so you get the convenience of dry food with the nutritional benefits of raw food. Not only is this recipe rich in premium protein and other natural ingredients, but it is also high in fiber at 7.5%. Plus, it is a healthy weight recipe designed to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass.

  1. Pros: Rich in lean protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, contains 7.5% fiber, chelated minerals and probiotics
  2. Cons: Fairly expensive to feed as a staple diet

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Healthy Weight Formula

For dogs with food allergies and sensitivities who also need a high-fiber diet, this Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Healthy Weight Formula is a great option. It is made with a limited number of healthy, wholesome ingredients to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies, but it is still high in quality. This recipe features fresh salmon and salmon meal as the top two ingredients with grain-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility. It contains plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with chelated minerals and probiotic supplements.

  • Pros: Limited number of main ingredients, rich in protein, blend of omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, probiotic supplements, grain-free carbohydrates
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Food

If you want your dog to have the best of the best, organic may be the way to go. This Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Food is a great option because it features wholesome natural ingredients like organic chicken, organic oatmeal, and organic barley with plenty of healthy fats and supplements. This recipe contains 26% crude protein to help your dog maintain lean muscle mass with a blend of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It contains 5% crude fiber as well as dried fermentation products for healthy digestion, plus highly digestible whole-grain carbohydrates.

  • Pros: Made with organic natural ingredients, rich in lean protein, blend of omega fatty acids, contains 5% crude fiber, chelated minerals and probiotics, fresh fruits and veggies
  • Cons: Not a grain-free recipe, contains some plant protein (pea protein)

If your dog suffers from anal gland problems, it might be time to take a closer look at his diet. A diet rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber is the key to healthy and regular digestion as well as natural anal gland expression. Look for a dog food made with wholesome, natural ingredients including digestible sources of fiber for the maximum benefit. If you’re still not sure where to start, simply choose one of our top 7 picks reviewed above.

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