What are the Different Feeding Habits of Dogs and Cats ?

Nutrition

03/12/2020

The Different Feeding Habits of Dogs and Cats

While they may sometimes act like it, your cat is not a small dog. Dogs and cats have different nutritional needs, and so need different foods to ensure the right nutrient balance for optimal health. Read on to learn some key differences and how you can pick the right food for your dog or cat.

Nutritional Needs of Dogs

 

Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, which means they need a balance of both meat-based and plant-based foods. Unlike humans, however, dogs can’t eat as wide of a variety of foods, such as chocolate, sweeteners, or foods high in fat. You will want to pick a food that provides a complete nutrient profile for their age, size, and any underlying health conditions or food allergies. Recent studies are also finding that dogs require taurine, much like cats, to prevent heart disease.

Nutritional Needs of Cats

Cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores. This means they rely on a diet that is high in protein and meat-based ingredients and lower in carbohydrates. While cats can digest carbohydrates to some extent, feeding a diet that is high in protein sources and has highly digestible carbohydrates such as rice will provide the best balance of nutrition. Cats also require taurine, an amino acid, in their diet as they cannot produce it themselves. Taurine is naturally found in dairy, fish, and poultry products. Low taurine levels in cats can lead to blindness, heart disease, coma, and even death.

 

H2 : Only Cat Food Is Adapted to Cats

 

Just like you wouldn’t feed adult food to a human baby, you don’t want to feed dog food to your cat, or vice versa. The best cat foods provide different levels of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and micronutrients tailored to your pet’s needs. It’s best to pick a food that has been designed specifically for your pet.

Choosing the Best Pet Food

In addition to picking the best pet food, there are several other considerations to keep in mind. For dogs, especially small breeds, you want to feed several small meals daily to help keep blood sugar levels balanced and prevent eating too much food in one sitting which can lead to GI upset. For cats, having food available all day for them to pick at as they want is a good idea, but may need to be separated into smaller proportioned meals if you are focusing on weight management. You also want to provide plenty of fresh water available at all times — especially for cats that are on a dry food diet.

When transitioning dog or cat to a new food, you will want to do so over a period of 7-9 days. This will help reduce any digestive upset as your pet’s gut flora adjusts to the new diet. Start by adding in a small amount of new food, and gradually increase that amount each day.

While our furry four-legged friends may sometimes act similarly, picking the best pet food is important to keep them healthy and happy. Be sure to pick a food your pet enjoys and that meets their nutritional needs for their age, species, and lifestyle. Your pets will thank you!

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