Dog Fiber Diet Recommendations

As your dog gets older, you may need to add more dog fiber to his diet. Your dog may also need more fiber if he is constipated or has regular problems with his anal glands. Fortunately, it's easy to add more fiber to your dog's diet. Just be careful not to add too much.

Fiber in Dog Food

Most commercial dog foods contain fiber, some more than others. Check the label of the kibble you feed your dog and look at the fiber sources. High-quality fiber includes vegetables, oats and brown rice. Foods with corn, wheat and white rice contain a lot of unnecessary filler and are not healthy for your dog.

Your veterinarian may recommend you a high-fiber food, but in general, most senior formulas and low-calorie food contain fiber. In addition to improving the digestive system, fiber often helps stabilize your pet's weight.

Additional Fiber Additions

If you feed a homecooked, raw diet or high-quality kibble and don't want to switch, there are some easy ways to add fiber to your dog's diet.

Adding a small spoonful of bran can be a quick fix. Try wetting it with water if your dog isn't interested. Oat bran, rice bran and wheat bran will all work. Add a spoonful of cooked oats if your dog doesn't like bran. A little brown rice used as a topper for your dog's dinner is also a great fiber-filled addition.

However, oats aren't the only high-fiber additions that your dogs can tolerate. Just as with humans, dogs can get fiber from fruits and vegetables. Give your dog an apple as a treat. This will clean his teeth while adding fiber to his diet.

Many dogs like carrots, peas or green beans for snacks. Fresh vegetables are preferable, but if you feed canned vegetables to your dog, make sure they are low sodium. Grind up vegetables when adding them to food because dogs often can't digest whole vegetables.

A small spoonful of canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix, added to your dog's food offers additional health benefits. It's a good fiber source that also soothes a dog's stomach. Always add a small spoonful to your dog's food when he is suffering from diarrhea or when changing from a different brand of kibble.

Cautions of Adding Fiber

It doesn't take a lot of fiber to make a big difference in your dog's digestive system. Start by adding only a little of only one or two of the suggestions listed above. If your dog is still having problems with constipation or anal glands, which will be apparent by frequent licking or scooting on the rear end, gradually add more.

If your dog starts to have diarrhea or excessive gas, you have added too much fiber and need to cut back.

Fiber is a valuable addition to the diet of any dog needing to improve digestive problems or lose a little weight. However, too much can be a bad thing so monitor your dog's bowel movements to ensure you're feeding the proper amount.