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10 Great Sources of Fiber for Dogs

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If you’re like many people, you know fiber is important for a healthy digestive tract and overall wellness. It helps keep you regular, controls blood pressure, and can even regulate blood sugar levels. But what about your dog? Does your dog need fiber? Are there natural sources of fiber for dogs?

To find some answers, we asked three veterinarians about their thoughts on fiber for dogs and some of the top sources of this plant-based nutrients for pups. 

Do Dogs Need Fiber?

Dog looking smiley in the grass

Fiber is a carbohydrate that plays a beneficial role in gut health. It comes in both soluble (digestible) and insoluble (not digestible) forms, and both have their place in the body’s ecosystem. 

“Digestible fiber refers to the fiber that can be broken down into simple molecules that can be eaten by bacteria in the pet’s gut,” says Dr. Sam Kovac of Southern Cross Vet. “Indigestible fiber can be thought of as carbohydrates that offer little nutritional value but massage the gut to reduce inflammation and clean the mucous membranes.” 

Basically, fiber helps your dog maintain a healthy balance in the gut, which regulates the bowels and keeps the colon healthy, too. 

“The colon loves fiber,” adds Dr. Kathy Boehme of The Drake Center. “Fiber is kind of magical because it can aid in both diarrhea and constipation. There are a lot of puppies with chronic diarrhea, and they respond beautifully to fiber.”

How Much Fiber Do Dogs Need? 

Dog looking up curious

This is where it gets tricky because not every dog needs fiber added to their diets. “A dog doesn’t need a diet loaded with fiber unless they have a lot of gastrointestinal problems,” says Boehme. 

According to Dr. Jeff Feinman of Holistic Actions, most dogs get their necessary fiber from their diets. But dogs with digestive problems like diarrhea may benefit from fiber supplementation. “My rescue pup has colitis, which causes diarrhea and even tinges of blood in the [stool]. He does quite well with a little fiber,” Feinman says. “Some dogs need it and some don’t.”

Understanding Fiber in Dog Food 

Dog with dog food, one of the primary sources of fiber for dogs

Visit any pet retailer, and you’ll find shelves of high-fiber dog food. Many of the commercial dog foods designed for weight loss are high in fiber, says Boehm, because fiber helps keep pets fuller longer—so they eat less.   

She says there are also fiber-rich foods designed for dogs with colitis or chronic diarrhea, including specialty prescription foods. “These foods are specially formulated by veterinarian nutritionists.” 

High-Fiber Dog Food Formulas to Consider

So, when it comes to fiber-rich formulas, exactly what kind of dog food should you be looking for? Do you need a prescription diet, or will any fiber-packed dog food do?

The answer depends largely on your dog’s specific health needs. Prescription formulas are commonly recommended for dogs with fiber-responsive health issues, such as diarrhea, constipation, diabetes mellitus, and colitis. But always check with your veterinarian when considering a new food, to make sure the formula fits their unique health and nutrition needs best.

Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Dog Food

This prescription diet is specially formulated to address fiber-responsive gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and loose stool. It contains a proprietary prebiotic blend called ActivBiome+ that works quickly to activate your dog’s gut microbiome. Within 24 hours this diet helps firm up loose stool and reduces the risk of future GI upset. This food can only be purchased with your veterinarian’s approval.

This diet may be especially beneficial for dogs as they age. Senior dogs often develop a variety of medical conditions that increase their need for fiber. If your senior dog is experiencing constipation or soft stools, talk to your veterinarian about whether a fiber-rich therapeutic diet such as Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome dog food could benefit them. 

Royal Canin Gastrointestinal High Fiber Dog Food

This veterinary-exclusive dry dog food formula can only be purchased with your veterinarian’s approval. It contains a blend of soluble and non-soluble fibers to support gastrointestinal regularity, plus fish oils and omega fatty acids to soothe GI upset. It’s highly palatable, so it’s a great, nutritious choice, whether your pup is facing long-term digestive sensitivities or short-term upset.

Natural Sources of Fiber for Dogs: 10 Healthy Options 

Dog with pumpkin

Whether your pet has some mild digestive issues, your vet suggests a fiber boost, or you just want to provide some occasional fiber-focused snacks to keep your dog full and focused, there are lots of sources to consider... and some of them could be in your pantry or refrigerator right now!

Many natural sources of dietary fiber can also serve as healthy (and yummy) treats you can add to your dog’s daily diet. Just make sure to discuss these additions with your veterinarians before giving them to your pup. 

Let’s look at some of the most popular sources of fiber for dogs that are easy to add to your dog’s diet.  

Beet Pulp

Beet pulp has been characterized as a filler product in some pet nutrition circles. But it’s one of the best sources of fiber for dogs. Beet pulp is a colorless and stringy byproduct of sugar beet processing and easily digested. “Beet pulp is common in many pet foods,” says Boehme. You’ll find it in many high-fiber dog foods.  


Turns out, this fall favorite is a tasty source of healthy fiber for dogs. You can find it year-round in grocery stores—just be sure you buy plain pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. You can feed fresh pumpkin, too. 

When feeding pumpkin to dogs, it’s better to start small and see how they react. Feinman recommends “a teaspoon or less.” 

Ground Flaxseed 

Flaxseeds in a bowl

Flaxseed is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, which means it’s good for your dog’s skin, coat, brain, and overall nervous system. Flaxseed is also a great source of dietary fiber and antioxidants and can help intestinal health, according to the Flax Council of Canada.

There are many ways you can add flaxseed meal or ground flaxseeds to your dog’s diet. You can sprinkle it on your dog’s food, mix it with peanut butter and roll into balls for treats, or mix with a bit of plain, organic yogurt. It’s best if the flaxseeds are ground right before using. As with any new food, start with a small amount—a teaspoon is plenty as a starting point. 


If you’re a sushi fan, you might think of kelp as the seaweed wrapped around your sushi rolls. Of course, the Japanese have long known of its health benefits. Kelp is high in iron, and as it turns out, it’s also a high-fiber food that’s safe for pups. 


Close up of lettuce leaves

If your dog likes green lettuce, then it can be a good source of fiber—even if its high water content doesn’t provide a lot of additional nutrients. You’ll want to chop it up so it’s easier to eat and make sure it doesn’t have any dressing or other elements that could be harmful to your pup. Iceberg lettuce might taste good, but it has very little fiber.


Many dogs love chomping on apple slices as a high-fiber treat. As a bonus, apples are low in calories and help clean canine teeth too. Try offering your pup a slice of apple and see how they like it. As always, keep the pieces proportionate with your dog’s size and never give your dog the seeds or core.  


Many pet parents buy bags of baby carrots to feed as treats. Like apples, they’re low in calories, which is perfect for pups who’d benefit from a bit of weight loss and are high in fiber to keep your pup fuller longer. A study also revealed that feeding dogs raw carrots can help improve a dog’s liver and kidney function. 

Green Beans 

Close up of green beans, one of many sources of fiber for dogs

Consider green beans as another addition to the veggie selection for your pet. They’re also low-calorie and full of fiber for a healthy, high-fiber dog treat. 

Brown Rice 

Recent grain-free trends aside, brown rice turns up in many high-fiber dog foods because it’s a great fiber source, according to a 2016 research study. It also mixes well with veggies like carrots and green beans.

Strawberries and Blueberries

Got fresh berries? Your pup can enjoy fresh strawberries and blueberries along with you. Just rinse them and eat. These natural sources of fiber for dogs can also give your pet an antioxidant boost. A study of sled dogs who were fed blueberries after exercise had elevated antioxidant levels in their blood compared to a control group that was not fed berries.

Just don’t overdo the berries, since fruits like strawberries and blueberries have natural sugar content. Too much won’t be good for your dog. 

Fiber Supplements for Dogs 

Dalmatian dog licking his lips

Adding fruits, veggies, or brown rice to your dog’s diet may not provide them with all the fiber they need—especially if they have digestive problems. If your pup has irregular bowels, is obese, or has diabetes, they may need more fiber than can be found in fresh food. 

“I like the idea of feeding fiber in the form of fruits and veggies, but the amount should not comprise more than 10 percent of the diet so that you do not unbalance the diet,” says Boehme. “If it is not possible to do this, then they would need an additional supplement.”

Vetasyl is one such fiber supplement veterinarians commonly recommend because it’s made entirely of natural fiber in the form of psyllium husks. Plus, it’s highly palatable, contains no salts or sugars, and is easy to administer. 

If your dog would prefer their extra fiber in treat form, VetriScience makes a yummy duck-flavored GI Balance chew that’s available through veterinarians as part of the brand’s Pro Line. Each fiber-rich chew is packed with ingredients to promote gastrointestinal comfort, regularity, and immune health, including Sunfiber, a proprietary soluble fiber proven to support beneficial gut bacteria to ease digestion.  

Before adding any new fiber supplements to your dog’s diet, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about the kind and type that will best benefit your pet. 

Is Metamucil a Good Source of Fiber for Dogs? 

Dog squinting into the camera

When people think of fiber Metamucil—a popular fiber supplement that is mixed with water—comes to mind. And if you’re mixing up a glass for yourself, you might be wondering whether your dog can experience the same benefits from Metamucil. 

Turns out, a small amount should be okay—just make sure to read the label carefully.

“A pinch of Metamucil can be helpful for dogs,” Feinman says. “Just be sure it’s only Metamucil and not filled with artificial sweeteners like xylitol as those are dangerous for dogs.”

Plain Metamucil can be an effective and convenient fiber supplement for many senior dogs that require supplementation.

What to Do If You Think Your Dog Needs More Fiber

As you can see, there are many healthy sources of fiber for dogs. From feeding apples and carrots as fiber-rich dog treats to drizzling flaxseed or wheat germ oil over your pet’s food, your dog may love these additions.  

However, like every health question, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. “It depends on the individual,” Feinman says. 

If you’re worried about your dog’s digestive health and you think more fiber may help, talk with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s fiber needs.