Have your pets ever had stomach problems? Constipation? Or even diarrhea? Most likely, it means your pets need some fiber but you should always consult with your veterinarian first.
There are many health conditions that can arise in your canine and feline friends if they aren’t receiving a well-balanced diet (this includes fiber), exercise, and love! Some of these include obesity and diabetes. If their health issues can be solved with fiber, it’s super easy and delicious to incorporate some fiber into their diets. Da-dada-da! Fiber to the rescue!
Cats & Dogs are Just Different
When it comes to fiber, and a lot of other things, cats and dogs are different. It may surprise you, but your canine companions are actually omnivores and cats are strictly carnivorous. This means, dogs actually need more fiber in their diets than cats. It also makes it easier to give them fiber since their bodies are made to digest protein and plants.
Now, my cat lovers may be asking themselves, “So does my cat need fiber???”
The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. First, you need to consider their lifestyles. Are they an outdoor cat getting constant exercise or are they an indoor cat who’s on the sleepier side?
If you have an outdoor cat hunting birds and other small prey, they don’t need additional fiber in their diets. They actually get enough fiber from the prey they eat! But if you know your outdoor adventurer doesn’t hunt because she has food at home, then they can use some fiber.
Under all conditions, indoor cats benefit from adding some fiber into their diets. Indoor cats are more prone to obesity than outdoor cats because they aren’t as active. But remember, cat’s diets should remain mostly meat protein so they don’t need a lot of fiber. Just enough to provide hunger satisfaction!
Now that we understand the basics, let’s discuss how fiber in your pets can prevent and manage obesity and diabetes.
Obesity and Diabetes in Your Pets
Obesity happens for our little fluff-balls the same way as it happens for us humans: eating overly processed foods and not getting enough exercise.
Studies have shown diets high in fiber and low in fat dramatically help your dogs lose weight compared to high protein diets. Fiber is a major key component of a healthy pet lifestyle.
Fiber helps manage body weight by making you and your pets feel fuller for longer. So, there’s less overeating and more hunger satisfaction. Soluble fiber slows down digestion by creating gel like substance in your and your pets stomach. That’s why we all feel fuller with fiber!
Fiber also helps your pets avoid spikes in blood sugar, and can even help treat diabetes!
Now since diabetes is more common in older pets, your vet may recommend exercise, insulin injections, and an improved diet (including more fiber). Fiber helps manage diabetes in your pets by slowing the absorption of glucose and improving blood sugar levels. All these are essential for managing diabetes.
How Do I Give My Pets Fiber?
You may be asking yourself, “How do I give my pets more fiber???”
Fortunately, there are a lot of pet foods out there that contain fiber. Unfortunately, the fiber can be just as processed as the food itself. It’s important to read labels and research how to identify which pet foods contain harmful by-products, and which have good nutrients in them.
The best kind of fiber for your pets are plant-based! This includes sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, and green beans. Throw in some steamed veggies or puree into their meals next time. But be careful not to give them too much fiber too quickly! As with any fiber, too much can cause constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.
Also, don’t forget, cats and dogs have different dietary needs. Although, cats can still eat some plant-based fiber foods, dogs can eat much more than cats. Check out the list below!
“Did that list say psyllium husk fiber powder???” It sure did!
Psyllium husk is all natural which means it’s safe for your pets. But do NOT give them flavored psyllium husk powder. We recommend our Naturlax™ Pure Psyllium Husk Fiber Powder for your constipated pets.
Fiber is your pet’s best friend when it comes to constipation, diabetes, and weight loss. Dogs need more fiber than cats and can eat a lot more fiber enriched foods because they are omnivores. Depending on the lifestyle of your cat, they may or may not need additional fiber added to their diets.
And as always, check with your vet for your pet’s best bet!
If you like this blog, check out our post High Fiber Diet: Why it’s important and what you should eat.