Making sure your dog has an adequate amount of fiber in his diet can help lead to good gastro-intestinal health. It can also help protect against obesity, diabetes and even dental problems, if you opt to increase fiber intake through the introduction of fresh fruits and vegetables. As with any dietary changes, make alterations gradually to ensure your pup enjoys his new food and is not adversely affected by the new additions.
Select a commercial dog food that has a high fiber content, or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation about a high-fiber food or supplement that's appropriate for your dog’s specific needs. A dog’s dietary requirements change over time, and a professional medical care provider will help you make appropriate adjustments as your dog ages. Always remember to give your dog plenty of water to drink when feeding it anything high fiber, as the water will help the fiber do its job more effectively.
Vegetables and Fruits
Add vegetables and fruits to your dog’s diet, but don't overdo it or you could inadvertently give your dog diarrhea. Fresh foods are best, but low-sodium canned goods will work, too. Dogs have a preference for vegetables such as peas, carrots and pumpkin puree -- not pumpkin pie filling, which often contains sweeteners and spices that could upset your dog’s stomach and add unnecessary calories. Experiment with a teaspoon twice a day for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. Dogs also enjoy apples and bananas, and can eat half of each, but grapes should be avoided at all costs, because they can present a choking hazard.
Cooked brown rice is a good high-fiber supplement to add to your regular dog food. White rice works as well, but brown rice has a significantly higher fiber count. Rice is easily digested and can be mixed in with other food to boost fiber content. Carbs should only make up 10 to 30 percent of your dog’s diet, so measure rice proportions accordingly.
Psyllium Husk or Bran Supplements
Psyllium husk and bran supplements come in powdered varieties that can be mixed in with your dog’s regular food. Different brands have different degrees of fiber content, so ask your vet about the most appropriate dosage if you decide to go this route. Monitor your dog’s stool after introducing any fiber supplement to ensure you’re getting firm, not runny results.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.