Our team at Northern Veterinarian Associates in Ishpeming offers nutritional counseling to ensure that your pet lives a long, healthy, and happy life. Meeting your pet's proper nutritional needs through all stages of life is crucial for their overall health. Cats and dogs have similar dietary requirements, but they also have some key differences. Size and breed can also impact the amount of calories and other nutrients an animal needs on a daily basis. Here's a closer look at nutrition for your pets.
Protein - The Foundation of Pet Nutrition
Cats are carnivores, and dogs also require animal protein as a significant part of their diets. Protein supports overall body maintenance, muscle repair, and cell growth. Animal protein also provides essential amino acids that your pet needs, including:
Taurine is an especially critical amino acid for cats. This amino acid is exclusively found in animal proteins, and cats synthesize it to support their vision, heart health, and reproductive systems.
Carbs for Pet Health
Carbohydrates are another important component of your pet's diet. Most pets consume a diet of dry kibble, and most brands are formulated to provide sufficient carbs. Your pet synthesizes carbohydrates for energy and cell growth. However, you need to be cautious about your pet's carb intake. Excessive carbs can be stored as fat, leading to pet obesity.
Healthy Fats for Dogs & Cats
A significant portion of your pet's energy comes from healthy animal fats. In fact, healthy fats provide approximately twice as much energy for pets as protein or carbs. Dogs and cats cannot produce essential fatty acids like omega-3s on their own; they must obtain these fats from their diet. Fatty acids help your pet maintain healthy skin and fur, aid in vitamin absorption, and protect their internal organs. As an added bonus, fats enhance the taste of your pet's food.
Vitamins & Minerals for Pets
Nutritional counseling for your pet also encompasses vitamins and minerals. If your pet is consuming a properly balanced diet of protein, carbs, and fats, they shouldn't require additional vitamins or minerals. Vitamin supplements will only be recommended if your pet's diet is deficient for some reason. However, an excess of certain vitamins can lead to issues with your pet's bones or kidneys.
Contact Northern Veterinary Associates in Ishpeming, MI
Do you need to consult a vet about your pet's diet? Reach out to Northern Veterinary Associates in Ishpeming today to schedule an appointment!