Dog Vs Cat Nutrition
Gone are the days when people believe that dogs and cats are archenemies. Now, most pet owners already enjoy the pleasure of having both canines and felines inside their house.
While the two animals could be best of friends, they still have different physiology and thus, different nutritional needs. Knowing the nutrition requirements of dogs and cats is essential for pet owners, as interchanging their food could pose serious threats to their health.
What are the similarities between dog and cat nutrition?
One of the nutrients that can both benefit dogs and cats is probiotics. Both dogs and cats are prone to stomach aches which are mostly caused by indigestion. Probiotics are good bacteria that won’t just help them digest food easily, but also ensure that the body will absorb the essential nutrients in the food.
Fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are also good for the two pets. Cats’ bodies cannot produce Omega 6 on their own while dogs can. However, this amount of Omega 6 is not enough to fully enjoy its nutritional benefits such as heightened energy and stronger joints and much like joint supplements for dogs, you may need to consider something similar for a cat.
This is why both animals should consume the said fatty acids through food chews. Omega 3 and Omega 6 are also best consumed with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, so they could also enjoy the other benefits of healthy skin and a stronger immune system.
Lastly is Carbohydrates. They are the main source of glucose, which is the nutrients needed for energy. Starch and fiber are considered carbohydrates, too. Not only do they aid digestion, but they also control the cholesterol level in the body.
What are the differences between dog and cat nutrition?
The major differences between the nutrition requirements of dogs and cats lie in the amount.
Say, for example, both dogs and cats need protein. But a cat only needs 200 calories per day, while a dog needs more or less 800 calories per day. Also, Arginine is the most preferred kind of protein for dogs, while it is Taurine for cats.
Aside from this, the consumption of Vitamin A can be tricky for cats. Dogs' metabolic process converts Vitamin A into the exact compounds needed by their bodies, while cats cannot.
On the other hand, a high level of Vitamin D can pose a great risk to dogs, while cats can easily consume it.
What happens if a dog consumes cat food or vice versa?
Cats have more tolerance to wrong food intake than dogs. The side effects may even be unnoticeable if they consumed only little amount of dog foods.
On the other hand, eating cat food may cause stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting in dogs. Should this happen, it’s highly recommended to consult your vet.
This is why rather than looking for similar pet food, you should opt for food chews. There are lots of multivitamins that have the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for both cats and dogs. This way, you can save money without sacrificing the health of your pets!
Even though taking care of both cats and dogs could be confusing at first, in the long run, you would surely realize how pleasurable it is!
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard