Cats and dogs’ nutritional needs are different than humans, and even though they are made up of 60 to 70 percent water like humans and like many of the same food, their nutritional needs are quite different.
As a matter of fact, there are some disturbing stats gathered from WebMD concerning these issues which are as follows:
- Over a third of dogs in the US over one year old are overweight. Large dogs weighing between 67 to 88 pounds only need 1,000 to 2,000 calories each day, and small, low active dogs only need 185 to 370 calories each daily.
- One quarter or more of US cats are either overweight or obese, and thus, only 220 to 350 calories are required daily for a healthy, 10 pound cat.
Nutritional Foods: Dogs VS. Cats
Feline’s Nutritional Needs
Fats are a great energy source for felines. They taste good to cats , and they help them to obtain the fatty acids needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins E, D, and A. The problem, however, is cats like fats too much which is why many of them have weight issues. And just like humans, cats can experience many of the same health issues, including arthritis and diabetes.
There are some issues relating to water and carbohydrates as well. When it comes to carbohydrates, there is no recommended amount that cats should eat; however, too much will bring on extra pounds. Also, commercially dry cat food may have up to 40% of the calories from carbohydrates.
When it comes to water, cats have a low thirst drive which can be even more of a problem high levels of dry food in the cats diet. These dry foods only have five to 10 percent of water which can lead to dehydration. Also, urinary tract infections can occur. Wet cat food have about 78 percent water which is helpful; nevertheless, clean, fresh water should always be available for the kitty.
Canine’s Nutritional Needs
When it comes to canines, they need more protein, good fats, and fewer carbs. 18 percent of the canine’s diet should be protein just like humans, and thus, animal protein from fish and meat provides the required balanced protein for dogs. Dogs like some vegetable too which is a good thing, and if a plant based diet is being fed to the pooch, the diet should be in accordance to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). With this diet, the essential amino acids are included, and labels from the AAFCO will be on the dog food with essential amino acids.
Fats and water are important too. Fat is needed to maintain a healthy skin, nose, coat, and paw pads of the dog. They are also a good energy source for them. However, only 9 to 15 percent of fat should be in an adult dog’s diet. And when it comes to water, it’s crucial to keep the dog hydrated; therefore, clean, fresh water should always be available for the pooch.
The much loved companion must have preventative care to stay fit and healthy, and live long. To make better sense of the pet’s nutritional needs, consulting a vet is key to optimizing the pet’s diet.