How to Choose the Best High-Fiber Dog Food for Anal Gland Problems
Dogs that suffer from blocked anal glands can experience many different symptoms from mild discomfort to pain and even abscesses, infections, and ruptures. When a dog has loose stool on a frequent basis, their anal glands can easily become plugged.
Feeding dogs that struggle with anal gland problems a food that is rich in dietary fiber is the easiest means to eradicate the issue. High-fiber foods encourage ease of digestion, helping dogs to eliminate their waste on a regular basis and without any struggle. However, it is not just the amount of fiber added to a diet but also the kinds that make the difference when it comes to the efficiency of a food’s ability to provide relief.
Any food suited for dogs with anal gland problems should contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is not a digestible material; however, it plays a vital role in helping a dog’s stool by absorbing liquids contained in the food to encourage solid fecal matter. Soluble fiber disintegrates in water. It is the digestible portion of the food that carries nutrients to the dog’s body and also helps the stool to pass easily through the digestive tract to enable elimination.
It is the act of defecation that causes the release of a dog’s anal glands. When a dog’s stool is too soft, it lacks the pressure required to cause the glands to expel the liquid that accumulates there. Therefore, if a dog eats a diet that does not contain sufficient fiber, blocked anal glands can become a recurring problem.
It is recommended that a food to help with anal gland release contains 4 to 5% fiber; however, for dogs that struggle with this problem on an ongoing basis, a diet that includes 7 to 8% fiber or higher is best.
As a general rule, a food for adult dogs should also include a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat. This criteria should be an important consideration when searching for the best high-fiber food for dogs with anal gland problems.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for High-Fiber Foods for Anal Gland Problems
Trying to determine how much food to feed a dog with anal gland problems can be challenging. With most high-fiber foods, the formulation itself is very nutrient-dense, focusing on quality rather than quantity. To determine how much of a high-fiber food should be fed, it is best to use the suggested serving size on the bag as a guideline. Adjust the portion accordingly to reflect the dog’s activity level and weight.
The best high-fiber dog foods for anal gland problems are typically lower calorie and more filling, so most dogs do not need to eat a large portion to feel satisfied. It is important to check the dog’s stool quality to see if the food is being effective at alleviating the problem.
Dietary Requirements for High-Fiber Foods that help Dogs with Anal Gland Problems
A dog food rich in fiber and comprised of excellent quality ingredients can be a great help in promoting good digestion and resolving any ongoing anal gland issues. One of the most important things to look for in the best high-fiber dog food for anal gland problems is a formulation that includes prebiotics and/or probiotics. These powerhouse supplements are an excellent support for good digestion and also encourage anal glands to express on their own.
Food allergies can also be a common cause of anal gland problems. Most commonly, it is foods that are low in dietary fiber or that take their proteins from difficult to process items such as soy, corn, or wheat. Diets that include a meat as their primary ingredient are best for dogs with issues related to digestion such as anal gland blockages. Sometimes, dogs who struggle with anal gland problems need a food that is grain-free to provide additional dietary fiber to resolve the issue.
For some dog breeds, a high-fiber food is not sufficient to alleviate recurring anal gland problems. In these cases, a food such as pumpkin or psyllium husk powder can be added to the formulation to provide natural bulk to improve stool quality. Regular exercise will also aid in the digestion process, encouraging good elimination and the natural release of anal glands.
When it comes to protein, meat is best. Whole proteins are preferable, but meat meals are also an excellent source of dense, high-quality protein.
Carbohydrates can come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables, but they must be high in dietary fiber and preferably should also be rich in antioxidants to support a strong immune system.
No diet is complete without the addition of healthy fats. Healthy fats provide dogs with vital energy and also support healthy coat and skin quality. The best source for optimal fats is from animals and includes such ingredients as chicken fat and oily fish like mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and sardines.
Things to Look for in the Best High-Fiber Food for Dogs with Anal Gland Problems
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a high-fiber food for dogs with anal gland problems:
- Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
- Includes a minimum of 4 to 5 percent dietary fiber