Your pet’s nutritional needs are different than your needs, but like your nutritional needs your pets’ needs can vary by age, gender, and activity level. Small breed dogs on average only need 185 to 370 calories per day, while large breed dogs need 1,000 to 2,000 calories per day. A ten-pound cat, on the other hand, only needs about 220 to 350 calories a day. Did you know more than one-in-three dogs in the United States over the age of one are overweight and one-in-four cats are overweight. So what nutritional factors does your pet’s food need to take in consideration?
Like you, dogs only need about 18% protein in their diet and vegetables are good for them too, however, a strictly vegetable diet is a bad thing. Avoid obesity in your pet by maintaining the minimal caloric intake in your dog to prevent obesity. Eliminate table scraps from your pet’s diet and make sure they always have a good source of fresh water. Obesity in dogs leads to many health concerns in your pet. Did you know obesity can lead to degenerative joint disease, early onset arthritis, heart and lung overexertion, and shorten your dog’s life span significantly. Walking your dog around the block every evening or taking them to the dog park weekly not only will keep your pet happy and healthy but can also be a good exercise motivator for yourself. Swimming is also a good, non-impact exercise for your dog.
If dogs need about the same percent of protein as you, do you think cats need the same? If you said yes, then you are mistaken. Cats need about twice the protein you or your dog needs. Cats get that protein from meat or fish, that’s right, your cat’s nutrition can be summed up with one word: MEAT. One vital amino acid cats get from their protein is taurine. Taurine cannot be made in the body is essential in your cat’s heart, eye, and reproductive functions. Vitamin A is another supplemented nutrient cats need from protein. Just like dogs, cats too have a dietary commonality with humans: fats. Fats are a good energy source for cats, but like in humans, cats enjoy fats a little too much so be careful with feeding table scraps. Obesity in cats can cause arthritis and shortened lifespans, but unlike dogs, over-weight cats can develop diabetes. Cats love activity, get them exercise-stimulating toys to get your lazy cat up and moving to help prevent obesity related health issues later. Last, but not least, cats should always have a source of fresh water readily available, or a good canned food fed to supplement their low thirst drive.
All Animal Clinic has a full staff of doctors and technicians that can help you with your pet's nutritional needs. As your pet changes with age, so should his/her food. Our staff can also provide you with the best recommendations on skin health, shedding, weight gain, weight loss or food allergies. Does your pet scratch or have chronic skin (or ear) issues all year round? Showing these symptoms could be due to and underlying food allergy.