It's a smelly situation we have on our hands. Anal glands are small scent glands that can excrete a smelly (to say the least) liquid. In order for a dog's anal glands to function properly, your dog's diet needs to consist of high fiber dog foods. The fiber content not only helps with digestion but also firms your pup's stool, especially for those with anal gland problems. Firm stool helps push the anal gland when your pup does his business, and this helps push out the foul-smelling liquid. The anal gland is where dogs produce a unique scent, unique to each individual. Do you see dogs sniffing each other's butts upon their first meeting? Well, this isn't unlike us shaking hands. It's their way of greeting each other.
The anal gland is emptied naturally when your dog defecates, but if it isn't, it could become infected or even ruptured. You can have it checked by the vet, but generally, high-fiber dog foods will help firm the stool and expel the liquid naturally. So, we've narrowed the search and listed the best dog foods for anal gland problems to help your dog have a healthy digestive system and recover from any anal gland issues.
7 Best High Fiber Dog Food for Anal Gland Problems
1 – Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
The fiber in dog food usually comes from vegetables and fruits, and sometimes grains. However, grain free dog food is the new trend due to pups experiencing stomach and skin sensitivities. It's also suitable for dogs who have anal gland issues.
The Coastal Catch grain-free dog food recipe from Earthborn Holistic is a grain and gluten-free dry dog food that comes in a resealable bag for easy access. It's a very good contender for the top High Fiber Dog Foods for Anal Gland Problems.
This grain free blend uses fish like herring and salmon, which are rich in omega fatty acids that help with skin and coat health.
All the natural vegetables and fruits in this grain-free formula like peas, blueberries, apples, pumpkin, and even dried eggs are packed with dietary fiber and antioxidants to boost your pup's overall immune system. Overall, it's the best dog food for every dog that has unmanageable food allergies and anal gland problems.
- Rich in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
- Contains herring and salmon
- Packed with antioxidants and dietary fiber to help make anal glands function properly
- This dry food is made grain-free so it's ideal for a dog with a sensitive stomach
- Contains the right nutrients that boost your pup's immune system
- BPA-free packaging helps plant trees through Earthborn’s Reborn/Terracycle Program.
- Earthborn has had some recalls.
2 – Taste of the Wild High Protein real Meat Recipe
The roasted bison and venison are the first ingredient on the ingredient list in this high-fiber dog food. Sourced around the world, it's palatable for your dog. Not the usual raw or fresh meat he's used to, he'll be begging for more!
The real meat contains rich protein content and omega fatty acids for strong and lean muscle mass development. Micronutrients like added vitamins and minerals bolster the recipe and give your dog with an overall nutrition boost while ensuring anal gland function. Plus, there are probiotics to aid digestion.
The fruits and vegetables this recipe contains are digestible wholesome super foods that give antioxidants and sufficient fiber, making it a great choice for anal gland problems or weight issues.
This high fiber food is free from harmful ingredients as well like corn, wheat and artificial flavors, so it's safe to feed to dogs with anal gland issues.
- Contains a balanced blend of superfoods packed with nutrients like antioxidants and fiber.
- Contains omega fatty acids to help support coat and skin health
- High protein builds strong and lean muscle mass, promoting healthy weight management
- Has probiotics that help dogs' digestive health
- “Healthy weight dog food” that's rich in dietary fiber to prevent issues in anal glands
- FDA warning that it might cause heart disease.
3 – Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient Adult Dry Dog Food
If you want grains in your adult dog food, whole grains are ideal. This recipe contains barley that provides enough fiber to help with digestion and produce firm stool for easy anal gland secretion. This best high fiber dog food for anal gland will give ease to dogs with anal gland problems.
The limited ingredient recipes aim to provide dogs with nutrition without over-complicating the natural dog food formula. They leave out what's unnecessary and keep all that’s nutritional to maintain a healthy weight.
Take your pick of lamb or chicken as the main protein and choose from 7 different sizes. If your dogs love a chicken meal, he'll like this protein boost.
Purina works hard on their limited ingredients diets with a savory formula without sacrificing nutrition. Thus, it's one of the best dog foods for anal gland issues that will also help your dog achieve a healthy weight.
- Healthy, digestible, wholesome ingredients (less processed foods)
- “Healthy weight dog food” that's rich in fiber
- Free from sweet potatoes, corn, wheat or soy, working to prevent problems with anal glands
- Contains ranch-raised lamb as the main protein source.
- Whole barley may cause allergies in some dogs
4 – Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Puppy, Chicken Meal & Barley
We always try to provide options for every breed at every age or size on our list. The next best high fiber dog food for anal glands is meant for puppies. Puppies are in their developmental stage and what goes into their bodies causes a huge impact on their health and the dogs they become.
The main purpose of this dried formula is to support the growth and immune system of puppies. It contains DHA and omega fatty acids acquired from fish oil to provide healthy skin and coat and also support cognitive development.
This also contains high quality and ideal amounts of protein from real chicken to support healthy weight and lean muscle mass.
Made with natural ingredients in top USA facilities with many global ingredients of high quality, there's a reason Hill’s Science Diet is the number 1 vet recommended brand. Of course, if a vet recommends it, it's enough proof you need.
Have a small dog or toy breed size? Hill's Science has an ideal separate product for that.
- Promotes healthy weight and boosts immune system with high fiber content
- Rich in DHA and essential fatty acids
- Contain rich protein from chicken supports lean muscle growth.
- Contains minerals that strengthen teeth and bones
- High in fiber and contains digestible grains that help with healthy digestion and nutrition
- Hill's Science Diet has had recalls.
5 – Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food Chicken & Veggies
The best things about the dog food line from the Rachael Ray name are the delicious flavor your dogs will love and the wide variety of needs each recipe meets. In just this one chicken and veggies flavor you may find options suited for large, small, puppy for all breeds. You also get different sizes and the choice of chicken and brown rice.
Farm-raised real chicken is the number 1 component without the use of any by-products like fillers, wheat, or gluten. The fiber content from ingredients like peas, carrots, and beet pulp support smooth digestion and firm stool. It's definitely one dog food that makes it easier for dogs with anal gland problems and weight issues.
It's a delicious and feel-good top recipe that sounds good enough for your pet or even you to eat!
- Farm-raised chicken with healthy amounts of rice, fiber, vitamins and minerals
- High in fiber to support a dog's digestive system and for healthy weight management
- Only natural ingredients used
- Delicious flavors from Rachael Ray.
- Glyphosate (a pesticide) could be included
- It contains a small number of ingredients that aren't the best for your fur baby.
6 – Orijen High Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Animal Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Choose from the original chicken flavor, the Regional Red (which is red-meat focused), or Six Fish (made with fish like salmon as the main protein).
Orijen believes that our dogs have a high need for quality protein to satisfy their biological needs for wellness, and they aim to do that with each recipe made of 85% of animal ingredients.
Using a grain free formula of fresh and raw meat with fruit and veggies, each formula is high in fiber and is biologically-appropriate for dogs. It promotes healthy weight, too. Not only does your pup get red meat, but there's also a mix of cartilage, organs, and bone so they can get a natural diet.
All the ingredients in this grain-free formula are obtained from trusted sources and delivered to Orijen kitchens in their fresh and natural form for maximum nutrition.
- High-quality natural ingredients for your dog's nutritional needs
- Unlike other dog food brands, this food is made in their Kentucky state-of-the-art kitchens
- Grain-free dry dog food that's rich in omega fatty acids
- Cartilage and bone are used aside from raw meat
- It's slightly pricey.
- May have an unpleasant odor.
7 – Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
The grain-free dog food Blue Buffalo offers has four different flavors with potatoes and one pure lamb. The formula contains real animal protein and the sweet potatoes, peas, and pumpkin provide sufficient fiber to aid digestive system processes. With animal protein and other nutritious components in the meal, it's one of the best high fiber dog foods for anal gland problems.
The grain-free basics food line contains necessary ingredients for a nutritional diet, promoting lean muscle development and reducing the risk of food allergies.
What’s extra about Blue Buffalo grain-free food is they offer LifeSource bits. These are added ingredients with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to round-out the diet. These nutrients will help your dog if he has problems expressing his glands.
Another great Blue Buffalo pet food is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Blue Buffalo Wilderness provides an ideal amount of fiber and protein. Another great brand you can feed your dog for weight management is the Instinct Raw Boost. Instinct Raw Boost is also rich in natural ingredients. Check how the Blue Buffalo performed VS the Merrick here.
- Animal sources of protein, while other sources like peas and pumpkin provide fiber
- The LifeSource bits balance the recipe for wellness
- Limited ingredients reduce risks for food allergies that some regular dog foods cause
- Grain-free and great fiber source for the relief of anal gland problems and to support healthy weight
- Was hit with a lawsuit claiming to have high levels of lead in their food in 2018.
Our Top Pick: Orijen High Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Animal Ingredient Dry Dog Food
For your dog's anal gland issues, search no further than the Orijen High Protein Dog Food. It's our best high fiber choice. There is no perfect dog food out there, and manufacturers try their best. Most regular dog food lines have had recalls so you can only try to find one that has most of what your dog needs.
Orijen uses 85% animal ingredients in their recipe, so it's mostly a natural diet. Only ingredients they trust and are sourced from a reliable supplier are used and all made in their Kentucky kitchen. No process in the development and manufacturing of the food is outsourced. Orijen has full control over what goes on in their facilities.
Need something more specific for your pet labrador? We have our top recommended list of labrador dog food ready for you!
What to Look for When Buying the Best High Fiber Food for Anal Gland Problems?
High fiber food naturally aids in healthy digestion, firming up your dog’s stools to help the expression of anal glands. If your dog is obese, high fiber dog foods also help them achieve a healthy weight. There are two types of fiber in meals: Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps deep within your dog’s gut and digestive tract. Insoluble fiber helps bowel movement. If you see your dog having soft stool but he’s somewhat healthy, your vet will suggest that maybe it's time to switch to high fiber food.
Healthy Sources of Fiber
You don't want anything synthetic for pups with anal gland problems, so always identify what constitutes healthy sources of fiber. Soluble and insoluble are the two types.
Insoluble: Insoluble fiber absorbs a little amount of water and cannot be digested, instead they work to firm up your pup’s poop for easy passage through the intestines.
Soluble: Soluble fiber absorbs a large amount of water and increases the number of healthy bacteria in your fur baby's digestive tract to help with digestion.
Now, if you look at the dog food label and find the Guaranteed Analysis part, you may notice the words “crude fiber”. Crude fiber can sound scary. Don't be alarmed, as crude fiber only refers to how the fiber is measured and does not pertain to quality. On the other hand, crude protein depends on the nitrogen present in the food. Adult dog food must have at least 18 percent crude protein.
Whole ingredients are digestible and thus important for relieving anal gland issues. Aside from that, you should choose recipes that contain animal protein as the first ingredient. This protein can be from things like chicken, salmon, turkey, or others. It's good to avoid grains in the meal if your dog has a sensitive stomach or sensitive skin, and these are the greatest grain-free picks for skin allergies.
Remember that if you include grain in your dog’s food, always make sure it’s whole grain.
Artificial preservatives, flavor, and coloring are among the many worst things for your dog's health. If made with high-quality ingredients, your dog's food should be free from any unnatural enhancers. Not only are these substances unnecessary for a meal, but they can impact your dog's health in a harmful way especially if he has anal gland problems. Keep your dog safe by using only good and natural recipes.
Health Enhancing Nutrients
Many added health benefits like wholesome fruits, veggies, vitamins, and minerals are important to your dog's diet. Omega fatty acids help support healthy skin coat and also reduces inflammation. You can add sweet potatoes to the diet as they're good fiber sources, but it shouldn't be the main ingredient. Get pet food that's a great source for these.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
It's not new that probiotics and prebiotics are essential for good digestion. Dried probiotics and prebiotics coat your pup’s intestines with healthy bacteria that will leave your dog feeling good after every meal, and able to poop smoothly.
Benefits of a High Fiber Diet for Your Dog
Your vet will tell you that fiber intake is needed for healthy digestion. Dry dog food or raw dog food will work as an excellent source. But other than that, a high fiber diet has an array of other benefits.
- Obesity – Healthy bowel movements and limited calories in a high fiber diet can decrease weight. This is important as obese dogs have a high risk for anal gland problems.
- Irregular Intestinal Functions – If your dog’s poop rarely holds shape or he often has diarrhea, these symptoms are considered irregular bowel movements and a high fiber diet can relieve this.
- Anal Gland Issues – Located outside their anus, anal glands secrete your dog’s unique scent. They need to be expressed regularly, but if they aren’t it could lead to infection problems and pain. Do you see your dog scooting his butt around the house? It may be time for some expelling.
- Diabetes – Fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels. Having fiber in a diet is important for healthy digestion. Still, consult a vet if your dog is experiencing any symptoms.
When Do My Dog’s Anal Glands Need to Be Expressed?
A healthy pup should be able to naturally take care of this problem when he or she poops. However, there are some factors that could lead to new problems when they're expressed, and one such example is anal glands located too deep within the rectum.
Although you can secrete his or her anal glands yourself (if they cannot do so themselves), it’s still advised to seek professional help if it happens often. You may not know how much pressure to use on the glands and you might damage the anal gland and causing more problems for your pup. Seeking help from a veterinarian is advised if your dog is often unable to empty his anal glands naturally, or if he's scooting across the floor.
You can also see our most recommended ear cleaners for dogs, because anal sacs are not the only parts that can smell when left unattended.
We do love our dogs very much, hence we want the best food for them as well as other stuff on this list. Although you can talk to a veterinarian for a new tailored diet, there are actually alternative ways to add fiber to your dog's normal diet. Our reviews and list of best dog foods for anal gland problems should narrow down the search and steer you in the right direction.
Have an old dog? You can read our list of the 7 Best Dog Food for Aging Canines next.