Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Problems

In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care is a great choice.

Just like humans, dogs can benefit from added fiber in their diet. Keeping your hounds bowels in good health, is beneficial for things such as maintaining optimum weight and combating constipation. Dietary fiber may also prevent problems occurring with your dog’s anal glands. 

If these little glands, or sacs, aren’t emptied regularly they can become blocked or infected. This makes them smell horrible, and it’s painful for your dog. Fortunately, there are some higher fiber foods to choose from which can help. 

In this article, I’m reviewing the following high fiber dog foods.

What Are The Anal Glands In A Dog?

These are two little sacs are, as the name suggests, located on either side of the anus. They are not visible, are quite small, and when healthy, contain a trace of scented fluid which is unique to the dog. 

This is why dogs sniff other dogs’ bottoms. They can identify the other dog as being known to them, or not. The glands secrete a little bit of fluid when your dog poops, and this can be smelled by other dogs. It’s all part of marking territory, which explains why your hound might pee on someone else’s poop!

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Glands Are Blocked?

If there is a problem, the most obvious symptoms are a strong fishy smell, and your dog may be rubbing their bottom on the carpet (scooting). They don’t do this to be naughty, it’s because it’s hurting. They might also be licking or nibbling their bottom, or their paws. 

If this happens, it’s best to get your hound to a vet so they can be checked, and treated properly.

Can I Empty My Dog’s Anal Glands At Home?

I would never recommend trying to squeeze the glands out yourself. This can cause more pain and problems for your dog due to incorrect technique.

This video shows how a qualified vet nurse empties the glands.

How Do Anal Glands Empty Normally?

A well-formed poop passing through the anus actually squeezes against the glands as it goes through. The pressure on the glands pushes the fluid out, which then mixes with the poop.

Why Do Anal Glands Get Blocked Up?

If your hound is overweight, suffers from allergies or diarrhea, or has glands with narrow openings, they may be at increased risk of developing blockage, infection or abscess.

Check these articles if you need dietary help with an overweight dog, or one with allergies.

Any dog can develop anal gland disease. However, in a study of over 100,000 dogs who attended vet clinics in the UK, six breeds showed increased risk of anal gland disease. 

  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel 
  • King Charles spaniel 
  • Cockapoo 
  • Shih‐tzu
  • Bichon Frise
  • Cocker spaniel

Six other breeds showed reduced risk.

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Border collie
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Lurcher
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Boxer 

Blocked and inflamed glands are very common. The condition is usually only temporary, and easily fixed with the right advice, treatment and care.

What Should I Feed My Dog So Their Anal Glands Empty?

Dietary fiber makes poop a firm consistency. This then squeezes the fluid out of the glands as it passes through the anus. Foods with high fiber content include some vegetables, fruits, beans and pulses, and wholegrains.

You can put some cooked vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, collard greens, pumpkin, or brussel sprouts in with your dog’s normal food. It’s never a good idea to keep changing your dog’s diet all the time. They are better with a consistent, healthy regime.

If you do want to add some fiber yourself, do it slowly and in small quantities.

Busy lives with work, and family, can make it difficult to find time to cook for your hound, as well. Leftovers from your own dinners are a good option. 

Your dog’s diet should only be changed permanently for chronic anal gland problems. Remember to check with your vet before any drastic changes are made to your dog’s feeding plan.

Fortunately, there are some high fiber dry foods available which make it easier for you to feed straight from the pack. I’ve had a good look at five of these foods, to make it easier for you to make an informed choice.

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food

Nutro Natural Choice healthy weight recipe is full of natural goodness. With a fiber content of 11%, your dog will definitely feel that they’ve had a good meal. The fiber also makes them feel fuller for longer, so it’s much easier to control their food drive, and weight. 

The first two ingredients are still rich in good chicken protein. This is always important for maintaining healthy muscle mass and energy levels. There’s plenty of dried vegetables, plus this kibble is made with non-GMO ingredients; no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy.

Formulated to support healthy immunity with essential antioxidants, found in the many vegetables in this recipe, such as pumpkin, kale, spinach and beet pulp.

Wholegrain brown rice, and other included healthy grains are gentle on your hound’s gut.

Pros:

  • First two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal
  • Cooked in USA factory
  • Good quality ingredients
  • Value for money
  • Dogs love it
  • Proven weight loss results

Cons:

  • Quality Control issues with some batches

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

The flavor choices in Acana Singles are mouth-watering. Lamb and apple, beef and pumpkin, duck and pear, to name a few. This recipe includes 65% beef ingredients, and whole pumpkin, providing your dog with the protein, nutrients, and fiber they need in order to stay healthy. 

The addition of fiber rich sweet potatoes to help support healthy digestion, and overall gut health, as well as amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help your hound’s immunity.

This product is suitable for those dogs who need slightly more fiber, but on the lower end of the scale, and with a fiber content of 5% this recipe offers just that. The first two ingredients are high quality protein from beef, with superfood sweet potato in fourth place.

Pros:

  • High quality ingredients
  • Dogs love it
  • Value for money
  • Suits many dogs with allergies

Cons:

  • Some customers don’t like the smell

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome

Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome actively promotes regular healthy stool and supports digestive health.

ActivBiome+ ingredient technology is a proprietary blend of active fibers which nourishes gut microbiome to support digestive health and well-being.

  • High levels of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA)
  • Optimally balanced soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Quick response – clinically tested to help firm loose stool in 24 hours
  • Helps soothe digestive tract
  • Promotes growth of beneficial gut bacteria to maintain digestive health

Chicken is the first ingredient, so it is a good quality protein source. The fiber in this recipe comes in at 7.4%, so plenty to help your hound with their eight and digestive health.

Pros:

  • Veterinarian approved product
  • Better stool quality, no diarrhea
  • Made in USA
  • Dogs love it
  • Available in 8, 16, and 27.5 pound bags
  • Nutritionally complete

Cons:

  • Higher price point

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Purina ONE Probiotics, SmartBlend Digestive Health Formula

The Purina Digestive Health Formula is a very affordable 31.1 lb bag of kibble. Real chicken is the #1 ingredient, and the sensitive stomach dog food formula is enriched with probiotics for digestive health.

There is a lot of corn in this recipe, as well as soy and chicken by-product. The 3% fiber content is below the 5% threshold for optimum digestive care.

That said, many vets recommend Purina Dog Food, and it’s certainly a perfectly adequate mid-range product. The price tag makes it extremely accessible.

This is a high protein, highly digestible kibble, designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros:

  • First ingredient is real meat
  • Veterinary recommended food
  • Value for money
  • Well tolerated, and helps dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Majority of dogs love the taste

Cons:

  • Low fiber content
  • Contains corn and corn meal
  • Contains animal by-product

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Natural

The primary sources of protein from this high fiber formula are chicken, and chicken meal. It contains pea protein, and the fiber content is 10%. There’s added fish meal and flax-seed,  which provides omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to their diet, beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat health. 

Like other higher fiber formulas, this dog food contains less calories, due to less carbohydrates. The fiber keeps them feeling full and satisfied, so this kibble can be helpful for weight control, if used appropriately.

This recipe is grain free, and doesn’t use any corn, soy, wheat, or meat by-products in the recipe. It’s very affordable, and Blue Buffalo is a trusted brand.

This kibble also features their ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS. A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected to support your dog’s immunity.

Pros:

  • No chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives 
  • Value for money
  • High fiber content
  • Good quality ingredients
  • Made in USA

Cons:

  • Quality Control issues with some batches
  • Some dogs won’t eat this recipe
  • Recent price increase

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Conclusion

Whilst there are some excellent high fiber dog foods on this list, my personal favorite is the Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care.

Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians formulated this product with ActivBiome+, a new ingredient technology, to promote regular healthy stool and support digestive health. 

This kibble delivers on all it’s promises. Dogs that have had gut issues and diarrhea for years are being helped by eating this food. It’s nutritionally complete, and hounds love the taste.

The slightly higher price point is reflected in the quality of this high fiber food.

Remember to check with your vet before you make any permanent changes to your dog’s diet.

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