Who by now hasn't heard about the million and one benefits of dietary fiber that are tossed around on a daily basis? Especially when it comes to the fitness and weight loss community, oh boy ... seems like fiber can do anything nowadays!
And, just like there's a million and one reasons you may want to incorporate more fiber in your diet, there's also a million and one reasons you may want to incorporate more fiber in your dog's diet and their dog food.
Our List Of The Best High Fiber Dog Food Brands (Updated List For 2018)
Top Pick: Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight Natural Dry Dog Food
Pick #2: ROYAL CANIN Canine Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry
Pick #3: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Pick #4: Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Dog Food
Pick #5: Purina DCO Dual Fiber Control
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
A Closer Look Into Our Top 4 Options
We've done all the research for you about the best high fiber dog food brands out there on the market today, and have come back with the following list of recommendations we believe are better than the rest.
Wellness is a renowned name in the pet food industry, and it's really good to see they've done their part in providing options for dog owners who want to increase their dog's fiber intake as well.
First off, this dog food gets a "green light" from us because it's free from any of the harmful culprits oh-so-commonly found in dog food nowadays, such as meat by-products, artificial additives, preservatives and useless filler such as wheat, corn, and soy.
Besides looking for a dog food that's going to supply your dog with adequate amounts of fiber, you're going to want to make sure the dog food you're looking at is free from all of those. If it's not, then it's not worth your time or money and you're best off looking for another option.
This product from Wellness is the best option for dog owners that are looking to include more dietary fiber in their dog's diet, hands down, as it's very rich in dietary fiber (containing a very impressive 6% in its formula).
And, given that the source of fiber is just as important as the fiber content itself in dog food, you can rest assured from that perspective as this dog food has its fiber coming from very high-quality ingredients such as brown rice, ground barley, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Royan Canin isn't exactly among the most frequently recommended dog foods we advise dog owners to buy all the time, mainly because there are much better options out there for specific goals, but since this time the goal here is fiber content, Royal Canin had to make this list.
This formula from Royal Canin will do wonders for your dog if they're suffering from digestive problems such as diarrhea, loose stool and/or colitis.
Not only is this dog food extremely rich in fiber content (12%), but it's PACKED with probiotics which also go a long way in helping with the aforementioned situations and any other possible digestive problems.
However, one word of caution must be issued when we're talking about a dog food with such high amounts of fiber, as 12% fiber in a dog food is certainly nothing to joke around about. When switching to a dog food with such high amounts of fiber, you should do this GRADUALLY and SLOWLY.
This means that you should not immediately and completely switch from whatever dog food you're feeding your dog now to this Royal Canin formula, as your dog's digestive system won't be able to grasp the change in dietary fiber content all of a sudden and will encounter many problems and excess, unneeded stress.
Instead, you should gradually and slowly move away from the current dog food you're feeding your furry friend to this formula from Royal Canin, gradually increasing portions from the latter every day while simultaneously and gradually decreasing portions from the former as well.
Even though this specific dog food formula from Blue Wilderness is much higher in protein than it is in carbohydrate content, it does the job and it's packed with sufficient amounts of fiber to make a positive change in your dog's digestive system.
Last but not least on our list of best high fiber dog food brands is a dry dog food formula produced by Natural Balance, one of the most prominent names in the dog food industry today.
Containing a relatively lower amount of fiber than our other top 3 picks noted above (around 3%), the unique thing about this specific formula is that it contains multiple types of fiber.
For example, if we take a look at the ingredients list on this dog food's bag, we'll notice that Pea Fiber and Oat Fiber are relatively high up on the list, meaning that they're quite prominent in this formula.
Not to mention the presence of other fiber sources as well such as sweet Potatoes, and a nutritional profile that supplies your dog with all the vitamins and minerals it needs, this specific formula from Natural Balance is a very good option for you to go with if you're considering buying a dog food with relatively higher amounts of fiber than what's usually available and marketed nowadays.
Introduction To Fiber In Dog Food
Dietary fiber is defined as the indigestible portion of food that comes from plants.
So, that means that you can never find fiber in things like meat, you can only find fiber in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables and grains.
And, dietary fiber comes in two forms, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Without getting too much into the nitty gritty of this, as there's no real reason to in this article, just know that soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water and passes through our digestive systems (and those of our dogs) in the same way they made their way in.
Those of you who haven't heard about the benefits of dietary fiber need to check whether they've been living under a rock for the past 5 years (we joke, we joke!).
Just like fiber is a miracle-maker when it comes to our health, fiber is also a miracle-maker (albeit to a lesser degree) when it comes to our dogs' health and our dogs' food.
Why Is Fiber For Dogs Good?
Fiber for dogs is an essential element they should be receiving in adequate amounts in their day to day diet, for many reasons.
Immunity System Boost
It has been proven time and time again that dogs that have a smoothly operating, well functioning digestive system have a much better immunity system than dogs that have problems with their digestive system.
Just like fiber helps you and I very much when it comes to going more regular trips to the bathroom, it does so with our dogs as well, much thanks to the insoluble fiber part that.
Dogs that are fed adequate amounts of fiber in their day to day diets enjoy much more regular bowel movements and are much less likely to deal with problems such as constipation and bloating.
Bloating doesn't seem like anything dangerous when you and I get it, as it's only discomfort for us which will go away after a while, but it's a very serious situation for our dogs because it can eventually lead to death if not treated.
Dietary fiber can also go a long way in preventing your dog having diarrhea, again much thanks to the insoluble fiber part.
So, as far as this section is concerned, think of fiber as your dog's anti constipation and anti diarrhea super weapon when you need it most.
Fiber is notorious for its anti-cancer properties when it comes to us humans, and the same holds true when it comes to our dogs as well.
Fiber helps the body fight against the formation of cancer cells, and is known to greatly reduce the chances of dogs developing colon cancer.
Blood Sugar Stability
Dietary fiber is notorious for its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent sudden spikes or crashes in blood sugar levels, which is very beneficial for dogs, especially diabetic dogs that can't afford to have these spikes/crashes.
Last but not least, fiber does a ton of good to your dog when it comes to preventing excess weight/obesity.
When your dog eats food that's rich in fiber, the fiber enters their digestive system, absorbs water, expands, takes up more and more space in your dog's stomach which causes your dog to feel full faster than they would have they been eating food that doesn't contain any fiber.
And, when your dog eats less food throughout the day, that translates to less calories taken in throughout the day, which helps your dog maintain their weight (if that's what your after) or lose a few pounds.
Where Will You Find Dog Food With Fiber?
We've talked about dog foods that contain significant amounts of fiber in many different articles on this website.
Generally (this isn't always the case, mind you), the cheaper the dog food you're looking at is, the lower-quality the ingredients they're using are going to be and the less the chances that their carbohydrate sources are from fibrous ingredients are going to be.
Meanwhile, and this isn't always the case as well, the more expensive the dog food you're looking at is, the higher-quality ingredients they're using are going to be and the more then chances that their carbohydrate sources are from fibrous ingredients (such as whole fruits and vegetables) are going to be.
Cheap dog food often has useless filler in it that offers no nutritional benefit at all to your dog, such as wheat, corn and soy, while more expensive, premium dog food often has a mix of fruits and vegetables in its carbohydrate mix, which offers your dog a whole world of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
How To Add Fiber To Your Dog's Diet Besides Commercial Dog Food
Supposing your dog is already being fed high-quality, premium and grain-free dog food that's rich in fiber, you can also add fiber to their diet in other ways throughout the day.
There are many foods you can offer your dog as a snack that are rich in fiber, many of which we've covered in separate articles on this website, such as canned pumpkin and sweet potato.
A Note About High Fiber Dog Food And Diarrhea
One thing we always see happening when dog owners switch their dogs from a dog food formula or brand that has little fiber in it to one that has high amounts of fiber in it, is that the dog gets a nasty case of diarrhea and loose stool.
Most of the times, this happens because the dog owner makes the switch from one formula to another way too fast, without a proper transition phase in between.
Instead of gradually replacing the dog food that doesn't contain much fiber with the dog food that contains significant amounts of fiber bit by bit everyday, gradually increasing the portions of the latter and decreasing the portions of the former, many dog owners just replace one dog food with another right away.
This doesn't give your dog's digestive system any time at all to make necessary adjustments, which causes issues like diarrhea.
A Note About High Fiber Dog Food And Nutrient Absorption
With all the positive things being said about fiber and fiber in dog food above, one thing must be noted as well.
When you and I eat a relatively high amount of dietary fiber during a day's time, this interferes with our body's ability to properly absorb the vitamins and minerals we get from the healthy food we eat.
And guess what? The same holds true for your dog.
Dogs that eat higher-than-recommended levels of fiber in their diet are at much greater risk of developing digestive problems and malnutrition due to improper mineral and nutrient absorption.
So, moral of the story is, even though fiber is a very good thing for both you and your dog to include in your diets, don't over do it.
Talk to your veterinarian about this first and they'll be able to best advise you about the optimal fiber count your dog should be getting from their diet. The last thing you want to do is turn something so beneficial into something harmful!