If you’ve ever seen your furbaby scooting his but across the ground, you probably know about impacted anal glands. As a vet, one of the stinkiest jobs I’ve had is expressing or cleaning out these sacs when they’re packed full of gunk.
So…what are anal glands? How do these little organs become clogged up, and what can be done about it? These are some of the questions we’ll explore together.
Once we look at some information about impacted anal glands, we’ll take a look at 34 food brands currently on the market that may help your pal’s condition. Then we’ll share our pick for best high fiber dog food-anal gland problems
At a Glance: Our Top 8 high fiber dog foods For anal gland problems
- Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Fromm Gold Coast Grain Free Weight Management
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food
- Royal Canin Canine Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry
- Nulo Puppy & Adult Small Breed Limited Ingredient Diet For Digestive & Immune Health
- Dr. Tim’s Grain-Free Kinesis Formula
- Nutro Max Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food With Farm-Raised Chicken
- Solid Gold – Fit & Fabulous Grain-Free Natural
What are you looking for?
Table of contents:
Hill's Science Diet Light for Weight Management, Small Paws for Small Breeds, with Chicken Meal & Barley
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dog Food
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Food
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Healthy Weight Formula
Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dog Food
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food
ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free, Premium Quality Meat
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet, Small Bites
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Natural Dry Dog Food
‘’I and Love and You’’ Naked Essentials Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Dog Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Dog Food
Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Dog Food
Glandex Anal Gland Soft Chew Treats with Pumpkin for Dogs – Vet Recommended
Zesty Paws Probiotic for Dogs
Whole Life Pet Living Treats Pumpkin Treats for Dogs
Wholesome Pride Pumpkin Strips - Vegan, Gluten and Grain-Free
Portland Pet Food Company - All Natural Limited Ingredients, 5 Ounces, Pumpkin Flavour
PetMio Bites - Human Grade Dog Treats, Banana Almond Butter Pumpkin Recipe
Diggin' Your Dog - Pumpkin Super Supplement (Anti-Diarrhea & Anti-Constipation)
The Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat Dog Supplement
BERNIE'S PERFECT POOP Digestion & General Health Supplement for Dogs
Zesty Paws Advanced Probiotic Bites for Dogs
Note: Before you make any changes to Fido’s diet, consult with your veterinarian. The information in the article should not replace medical advice from the doctor that knows the most about your furry pal’s history and needs.
Anal glands are small sacs located in the muscle layers under the base of the tail. These are scent glands that pups use in communication. When everything is functioning normally, the tiny pouches secrete an oily substance through ducts every time your furry friend poops.
Anal Gland Impaction
Unfortunately, sometimes anal glands can become a problem.
The most common issue with these sacs is an impaction. In this case, the ducts become inflamed and swell shut. There’s no secondary evacuation route for the oily secretions, and they start to build up in the pouches. Unless the glands are emptied, they can enlarge, be painful, become infected, and eventually abscess.
Older dogs can also develop cancer in the anal glands.
Recognising Anal Gland Problems in Dogs
Do My Dog’s Anal Glands Need to Be Expressed?
The answer depends on whether your dog is having problems with the sacs. If everything is functioning properly, the glands naturally express when your pup defecates.
If Fido has impacted anal glands, then they may have to be expressed manually. It’s best to let a veterinarian or technician who has the training do it. The tissue is delicate and can be injured if you don’t know what you’re doing. Because it’s a messy, stinky job, you may prefer to leave it to someone else anyway!
How Can Injuries Interfere With the Anal Glands?
Injuries around the tailhead and anus can affect the anal glands. Whether the trauma is from an unrelated cause or due to excessive or improper expressing of the sacs, damage to the tissues leads to inflammation and possible scar tissue formation.
Swelling alone can block the ducts and lead to an impaction. However, after the initial irritation recedes, there may also be scar tissue that prevents proper emptying of the anal glands.
How Much Fiber Do Regular Dog Foods Contain?
The average dog food contains around 2-4 % dietary fiber. Depending on the brand and type of food, the amount can range from 1-10% fiber.
Feeding your dog a diet that’s high in insoluble fiber can help add bulk and firmness to his stool. That way, when Fido defecates, the feces exerts natural pressure on the anal glands so that they excrete the liquid. Unless there are other underlying conditions, this may be enough to prevent an impaction.
Foods That Are Sources of Dietary Fiber for Dog Foods
To add dietary fiber to your pup’s food, you’ll need plant-based sources. This nutrient is not found in meat, dairy products, or sugar. Additionally, highly refined foods like most white bread have negligible amounts of useful fiber. Some whole food ingredients that can add fiber to the diet are:
A high fiber diet should have 5-10% fiber based on the guaranteed analysis. Anything above 10% can cause negative effects.
Ingredients from trusted sources
How Can I Add Fiber to My Dog’s Diet?
What if the diet alone doesn’t help Fido keep his sacs expressed? Take your pooch to your veterinarian for a physical exam to determine the next steps. There may be something that requires medical attention. Or if all else fails, it may be time do discuss surgery.
Anal glands are scent organs, so their removal shouldn’t negatively impact your pup’s health. There is a slight risk that nerves controlling the anal sphincter could be accidentally cut or nicked. If that were to happen, and it’s rare, your furbaby wouldn’t be able to control his bowel movements.
Do Older Dogs Need High Fiber Dog Food?
How Does Dietary Fiber Help Control Inflamed Anal Glands?
How Can Fiber Help a Diabetic Dog?
Our Top Pick
After reviewing the above products and comparing their ingredients with our criteria for high-fiber dog food for anal gland problems, we have a top pick. And the winner is Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
It contains a combination of prebiotic fiber and probiotics to encourage healthy digestion. The salmon oil also provides omega fatty acids that can help to control inflammation.
This product has ingredients that we like. The first item on the list is protein from boneless turkey. With a mixture of fruits and vegetables, the whole foods provide a crude fiber content of 8.5%. As a grain-free food, the kibble is less likely to be a problem for pups with food sensitivities.
In addition to satisfying these criteria, owners report that dogs with anal gland problems show improvement when they eat this kibble.
All of these factors are the reason that we chose this Wellness Core product as the best high-fiber food.