The best dog food for anal gland issues helps keep your pet’s stools dry and firm.
This food is close to what dogs would eat in the wild – minimally processed and with limited ingredients.
It also contains plenty of fiber to firm up your dog’s stools and allow smoother passage of bowel movements.
Vets recommend fiber-and probiotic rich foods for pets with recurrent anal gland issues.
Fiber firms up the stools to keep them small, firm, and dry. Firmer stools express the anal glands on their passage out.
Presenting below, 5 best dog food for anal gland issues with fiber (both wet and dry foods) based on the above criteria.
Many pet parents have seen great results with these vets approved dog foods for anal gland problems.
Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best dog food for anal gland issues:
- Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dog Food with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato
- Hill's Prescription Diet Fiber Care Dog Food
- Earthborn Holistic Unrefined Smoked Turkey with Ancient Grains & Superfoods
- Solid Gold Fiber and Probiotic Support Holistic Dog Food for Small Breeds
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Digestive Health Dog Food
Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues – 2022 Top 5 Picks
1. Our Editor’s Pick: Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dog Food with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato
Nature’s Recipe grain-free dog food contains fiber-rich pumpkin which is what vets recommend for all kinds of anal gland issues.
It firms up stools and has even helped eliminate hookworms in many pets.
Hundreds of pet parents also noticed fewer scooting episodes and reduced anal gland odor in their fur babies with this great food.
This kibble also contains sweet potato and chicken which most dogs love and can easily digest.
It is also free from grains, soy, wheat, corn, and fillers.
Nature’s Recipe food is packed with antioxidants for your pet’s overall health and well-being.
It’s highly digestible protein provides your pet with lean muscles and aids in weight management.
You can use this best dog food for anal gland issues for all life stages and breeds.
What we like about it
- Pumpkin and sweet potatoes in the food reduce grass eating, scooting, anal gland issues and other digestive troubles in many pets
- Grain and soy-free
What we don’t like
- This food comes in two pellet sizes – small and large – but you never know which one you will get.
- Contains one (1) 24-pound bag of Nature′s Recipe grain free dog food formulated by expert pet nutritionists — using only purposefully chosen ingredients
- Number-one ingredient is real chicken, a quality protein source that helps maintain optimal muscle strength
- Fiber from sweet potatoes and pumpkin helps support digestion and immune system health
- Natural dog food with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients — no poultry by-products or artificial colors, preservatives or flavors, and no added corn, wheat or soy
- Delicious, premium nutrition that′s honestly made and reasonably priced
Hill’s Prescription Diet Fiber Care dog food employs the ActivBiome+ Technology to promote regular healthy stools and prevent episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Many pets stopped scooting after being switched to this food.
Vets recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet dog food with fiber care for dogs having recurrent episodes of vomiting, diarrhea, soft stools, straining or constipation, change of appetite, flatulence, and stomach noises.
It contains a unique blend of prebiotic fibers that create healthy GI microbiome in your pet’s gut and also regulates bowel movements.
The easy-to-digest chicken supports sensitive digestion as well.
There is also a wet version of this food. Check out Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive / Fiber Care Chicken & Vegetable Stew Dog Canned Food.
What we like about it
- Healthy stools in 24 hours
- Has high levels of EPA and DHA for healthy skin and coat as well as heart and digestion support.
- Made in USA and formulated specially by vets and canine nutritionists
What we don’t like
- You need a vet’s prescription for buying it.
- Hill's Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome Digestive/Fiber Care with Chicken Dry Dog food is specially formulated by Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians to support your dog’s digestive health.
- Clinically shown to help firm loose stool in 24 hours and reduce risk of recurrence.
- Made with proprietary ActivBiome+ ingredient technology shown to rapidly activate beneficial gut bacteria and support a healthy GI microbiome balance.
- Unique blend of prebiotic fibers to promote regular bowel movements and help balance digestive function.
- High levels of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA); Hill’s Prescription Diet is the #1 US Vet Recommended therapeutic pet food — consult your vet to make sure Hill’s Prescription Diet Gastrointestinal Biome dry dog food is right for your dog.
High-quality unrefined smoked turkey, 5 ancient grains, superfoods, and the lack of junk fillers in Earthborn Holistic limited ingredient food help keep your dog’s stools firm and dry.
There are no eggs, gluten, corn, colors, preservatives, soy, and wheat which can cause impacted anal gland due to runny stools.
Earthborn Holistic food is also low in calories, packed with beta carotene, potassium, and lutein which are all excellent for your pet’s health and well-being.
It also provides vitamin E to your pet to maintain its skin’s lipid barrier for a healthier coat.
This unrefined dog food is rich with 5 ancient grains, such as quinoa, chia and buckwheat. These ingredients provide a great source of protein and fiber in addition to amino acids that are essential for your dog’s health!
This environmentally conscious company also makes their bags recyclable and free from BPA and other harmful chemicals.
What we like about it
- High-quality turkey, ancient grains and superfoods which are good for firmer stools and healthy anal gland.
- No grains, colors, corn, preservatives, flavoring, egg, potatoes, and gluten.
- Crunchy kibble cleans teeth
- Vitamin E nourishes skin and coat
What we don’t like
- Your dog may take a few tries to get accustomed to the taste of this delicious meal
- Made with free-range, vegetable fed and antibiotic-free fresh Turkey
- Packed with 5 ancient grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and chia, that are rich in protein and provide a great source of fiber and vital amino acids.
- Enhanced with 17 superfoods, such as blueberries, Kale, Spinach and carrots, that are nutrient-rich and packed with Omega fatty acids to help with digestive support and healthy skin and coat.
- Enriched with taurine to help support your dog's heart health.
- Only good stuff, included! This means no peas, no lentils, no legumes, no chicken, no by-products, no potatoes, no fillers, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives.
Solid Gold contains brown rice, pearl barley, carrots, pumpkins, and blueberries which provide plenty of fiber as well as phytonutrients to your pet.
This super-food rich kibble also contains prebiotic and patented live probiotics that are very good for the digestive health of your small fur baby.
There are nearly 90 million CFUs of probiotics per pound of this kibble.
Solid Gold high fiber dog food is made with farm-raised bison and is free from potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives.
Its optimal levels of omega 3 and 6 not only nourish the skin and coat but also fuel beneficial bacteria for healthy microbiome in your pet’s intestines.
Bison and whole grains provide plenty of iron while supporting healthy digestion.
What we like about it
- Fiber and probiotic rich food helps produce firmer stools
- Farm-raised natural, non-GMO ingredients
- Small heart-shaped kibble is perfect for picking up for small jaws
- Healthy ratio of balanced omega fatty acids
What we don’t like
- Only for toy and small breed dogs.
- For Your Wee Little One! - Solid Gold Wee Bit is a natural, craveable, and potato free dry dog food formulated to support gut, immune, skin, and coat health for small dogs of any age or breed.
- Probiotic Support for Digestion & Immunity - This dog food features prebiotic fiber and patented probiotics for digestive health, balanced gut flora and bacteria, and immune support for small dogs.
- Premium Ingredients & Zero Filler - This natural dog food is made using pasture raised USA bison, along with fiber, protein, whole grain, salmon fish oil, brown rice, and pearled barley in every bite.
- Best Support for Pet Wellness - This healthy kibble formula includes superfood, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids that support skin, coat, and immune system health for pet dogs.
- Craveable Flavor & Easy on Teeth - This gluten free kibble was designed with care for small mouths to help little dogs chew with ease, and comes in a mouthwatering flavor that your dog will crave!
Here is what one pet parent had to say about Purina One Sensitive System & Digestive Health dry dog food:
‘My dog has chronic impacted anal glands, and has abscesses frequently. This food has been great, it has the extra probiotics that have prevented her from having anal gland problems for about 6 months now.’
Purina One SmartBlend has a balanced mix of dry crunchy kibble with meaty morsels which most dogs love.
The live probiotics and fiber in the form of carrots enhances your pet’s digestive health.
Real chicken provides protein for lean muscle development.
Its omega 6 nourishes skin and coat health while also protecting the heart and vision and helping in weight management.
What we like about it
- Digestive care kibble with live probiotics for improved stools
- Omegas for healthy skin and coat
- Crunchy kibble reduces tartar
- Contains glucosamine for joint health.
What we don’t like
- Very small kibble.
- One (1) 31.1 lb. Bag - Purina ONE Dog Digestive Support, Natural Dry Dog Food, +Plus Digestive Health Formula
- Complete and balanced dog food with digestive support for adult dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Highly digestible adult dog food formula enriched with probiotics for dog digestive support
- Real chicken is the first ingredient in our high protein dog food, which includes natural glucosamine sources for joint health
- Real meat dog food recipe contains a SmartBlend of purposeful ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives and zero fillers
How to Select the Best Dog Food for Anal Gland Issues?
Vets recommend the following features in the best dog food for anal gland issues:
1. Is Rich in fiber
Fiber helps regulate bowel movements in dogs. For example, if your pet has constipation, then fiber can allow easier passage to keep your dog regular.
If, on the other hand, your pet has loose or runny stools (which is what causes impacted anal glands), then fiber adds bulk and firms them up making stool pick up easier.
High fiber dog food helps keep your pet regular and prevents constipation and diarrhea.
Also Read: High Fiber Cat Food for Diarrhea
2. Contains probiotics/prebiotic
Pro and prebiotic ingredients help improve digestion in your pet.
These ingredients flood your pet’s gut with healthy bacteria which regulate bowel movements.
This can prevent constipation, diarrhea, and other bowel-issues which lead to all kinds of problems in dog anal glands.
Also Read: Best Probiotic for Cats with IBD
3. Has limited ingredients
Ideally, the best dog food for anal gland issues should have limited ingredients.
This means that it must contain single protein source, few or no grains, and absolutely no corn, soy, and wheat.
It should also be free from fillers, preservatives and colors.
Limited ingredient diets are easier to digest, minimally processed, and won’t lead to bowel movement irregularities and impacted stools.
What are the Stages of Anal Gland Disease in Dogs?
Anal sacs or dog anal glands are small pouches at the base of your dog’s anus.
Their lining consists of tiny sebaceous glands which secrete pheromones into your dog’s poop.
These pheromones act as markers which other dogs around your pet sniff to identify the signature scent of your dog.
Anal gland disease in pets could have the following stages:
A. Impacted stools
It typically starts with impacted stools.
When your pet’s stools are small and firm, they press against the sacs and squeeze out the fluid with the pheromone markers out.
But, if your pet consistently has loose and watery stools or constipation and lack of regularity, then the sacs do not get expressed as often as they should.
As a result, the fluid inside the sac hardens and dries up.
Furthermore, it mixes with the sebum along the lining to become hard and ‘plugged’.
When this occurs, your pet could experience tremendous pain while passing out stools.
You might notice your pet straining while trying defecate.
It might even scoot on the floor or furniture to scratch and press its anal glands.
Over time, without treatment, the impacted anal glands could turn into an abscess.
An abscess is much like a pimple – it is swollen, tender, and contains pus. It could burst to let out the pus and sebum.
This can be very painful for your pet and might even need anti-inflammatory medicines and antibiotics for treatment.
In case of repeated abscesses and anal gland impaction, your vet might recommend surgical removal of the anal glands.
While the procedure itself is a small one, it could lead to long-term adverse effects like stool incontinence which can cause your pet’s poop to leak out constantly.
What are the Ways to Prevent Anal Gland Disease in Dogs?
1. Observe your pet’s stools
Do not ignore your pet’s loose or watery stools, constipation, straining, or irregularity in bowel movements.
You must ensure that your dog produces small, dry, and firm stools and is regular.
2. Exercise your pet every day
Regular exercise can prevent constipation in your pet.
When your dog has regular bowel movements, it automatically express the anal sacs frequently.
Do not let your dog lead an inactive lifestyle as anal sac disease is more common in inactive dogs.
3. Prevent obesity
Anal gland disease is more common in obese dogs.
The excess weight puts a pressure on the anal glands causing them to swell up.
Feed your dog a healthy diet and exercise it daily for obesity prevention.
4. Add fiber to your pet’s diet
Fiber adds bulk to the stools and enables them to pass out easily.
As the stools pass out with ease, they express the fluid from the anal glands as well.
That is why you must feed your dog pumpkin, sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, and other fibrous foods.
These foods add roughage and bulk and enable easier stool passage while also improving its digestion.
5. Have your vet check Your Pet’s anal glands regularly
At every check up, get your vet to express the anal glands.
You can also learn the procedure of manual anal gland expression so you can do it at home.
This way, you can prevent many complications like abscesses from occurring.
How Can You Add More Fiber to Your Dog’s Diet?
Oats is full of fiber and easy to digest for most dogs.
Feed your pet porridge made with oats, chicken, and some broth for a healthy breakfast.
B. Steamed vegetables and fruits
Steam some veggies like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beans, carrots, apples, pears, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Pour this stew over your pet’s kibble for a healthy, fiber-rich treat.
C. Brown rice
Brown rice is full of fiber and a healthy way to add roughage to your pet’s stools.
Cook brown rice with vegetables, chicken, salmon, etc. and feed your pet twice a day or as advised by the vet.
The best dog food for anal gland issues is rich in fiber, has limited ingredients, and is minimally processed.
It also contains prebiotics or probiotics that enhance your pet’s digestion and improve stool quality.
We recommend Nature's Recipe Grain Free Dog Food with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato which contains fiber-rich pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
It has helped reduce anal gland odor, eliminated hookworms, and also stopped hundreds of pets from scooting.
Do check out our other recommendations as well.