Do dogs need fiber in their diet? Here’s What to Expect

The surprising truth about dogs’ fiber requirement

Strictly speaking, dogs do not require any fiber in their diets. People are advised to consume in the neighborhood of 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day, which means eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. But it’s not because fiber contains any nutrients to speak of. It doesn’t. It’s not even readily digestible, meaning it passes through the stomach, small intestine, and colon pretty much without being broken down; thus, whatever nutrients or other substances it does contain are not able to be absorbed by the bloodstream and taken up for use in the body. Rather, depending on its composition, fiber can be useful as nature’s broom, so to speak, helping to insure the timely passage of food through the body and voiding of waste without diarrhea at one extreme and constipation at the other. It is also believed to help regulate appetite for people working to manage their weight by virtue of the bulk it provides, and it is recommended for those with diabetes because its presence slows the uptake of sugar by the body and therefore keeps blood glucose levels on a more even keel.

Interestingly, while fiber is not considered essential for dogs — there is no recognized optimal amount — it serves the same purposes for them as for us: helping to avoid diarrhea and constipation, modulating blood sugar levels, perhaps helping an overweight pet feel more full, even keeping down too-high levels of fat in the blood. All labels of commercially prepared dog food give at least some information about the amount of fiber inside the package. Unfortunately, it’s not readily decipherable.

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that passes through the small intestine. Digestive enzymes can’t break it down so it remains undigested. Once in the colon, the resident bacteria digest or “ferment” the fiber, creating gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. This also produces important short chain fatty acids (SCFA) like acetate, propionate and butyrate.


Prebiotics come in the form of inulin or fructooligosaccharide (FOS) found in fruits and vegetables. They feed beneficial bacteria in the gut like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.

High Fiber Dog Food Recipe

Fiber is important for your dog, like it is for you. Most people think of fiber as the nutrient that keeps your bowel movements regular. Fiber is also beneficial in other ways, though. Many of fiber’s benefits for humans apply to our canine friends, too.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that helps with digestion and gut health. Fiber doesnt get digested in the small intestine like most other nutrients, though. Instead, it gets fermented in the large intestine.

Like most nutrients our dogs need, its important that your four-legged friend gets the proper amount of fiber. Too much or too little could cause issues. Luckily, just by eating high-quality dog food, your pup should have the right fiber intake.

Lets take a closer look at why fiber is so important and how it helps your pets health. Well also learn about some of the best sources of fiber for dogs and how to make sure your dog gets enough of this essential nutrient.