Good Nutrition Lays the Foundation for Your Pet’s Health
Good pet nutrition helps maintain your pet’s health and give him the energy he needs to stay active. Here at Wadsworth Animal Hospital, we understand how confusing pet nutrition can be. Our Lakewood vets hope this blog post answers your questions about pet nutrition.
Wadsworth Animal Hospital Encourages Attention to Pet Nutrition
Cats and dogs do not need as many calories as we do — a small dog needs 185 to 370 calories a day, while a large dog needs between 1,000 and 2,000 calories a day. A cat needs 220 to 350 calories daily.
Cats need twice as much protein as humans do — at least 40 percent of a cat’s diet should come from meat or fish protein. Cats cannot survive on protein from vegetable sources like we do; they must eat meat. Meat contains taurine, an amino acid that cats need to maintain eye, heart and reproductive function.
About one-third of a cat’s daily calories should come from fat. Unlike dogs, cats may not drink as much water as they need, because they evolved as desert animals. This can lead to chronic dehydration over the long term. Our Lakewood vets recommend supplementing your cat’s diet with wet cat food as well as providing multiple sources of drinking water, to encourage hydration.
Dogs do not need as much protein or fat as cats; 18 percent of a dog’s diet should consist of meat protein, and nine to 15 percent should consist of meat fats. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water. Neither cats nor dogs should be fed table scraps. Treats should be given sparingly.
How do you choose a diet for your pet? We recommend choosing a food that has passed AAFCO feeding trials, and that is appropriate for your pet’s stage of life (puppy or kitten, adult or senior). Large breed dogs need a large breed food. Pet foods from established manufacturers are more likely to have undergone quality controls and stringent research.
What diet do you feed your pet?