Differences between the nutritional needs of cats and dogs?

differences between nutritional needs of cats and dogs
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Cats and dogs have significantly different nutritional needs requiring a tailored approach to formulating their diets. For dogs and cats there are varying requirements for protein, fats, vitamins and minerals as well as differing tolerances for Carbohydrates. Cats have a more extensive list of essential amino acids that need to be included in their diets than dogs do. As such a diet formulated for dogs should never become a cat’s main source of food, despite some cats showing a distinct preference for dog food over cat food.

Two amino acids that are deemed essential for cats but not to dogs are taurine and arachidonic acid. All amino acids classed as essential must be included in the appropriate diet due to an inability to synthesise them. In the case of dogs, Taurine, isn’t considered an essential amino acid as dogs can synthesise it. It is important that a canine diet includes sufficient of the specific building blocks to have the capacity to synthesise the necessary Taurine. This is where the skills of our nutritionist in formulating diets is critical to the finished product being complete and balanced.

The AAFCO 2020 Official Publication lists nutritional recommendations based on dry matter. For an adult maintenance diet dogs need a minimum of 18% protein, while for cats 26% is the minimum. While AAFCO doesn’t specify a maximum limit on protein, excess protein in the diet has been linked to health issues including kidney problems. The kidneys are responsible for breaking down any excess protein in the diet which are then disposed of via the urine.

To the untrained consumer all dry pet food is very similar. As such it’s important to explain to clients that there are major differences within the nutrition range of pet foods. Delicate Care encompasses all the nutritional requirements needed by pets, and as a premium pet food is 100% Australian owned and manufactured to AAFCO standards. Delicate Care is available through your local veterinary clinics.

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