Even Your Pet Needs to Eat Right

Even Your Pet Needs to Eat Right, By Alex Chang
Your dog may adore just about anything you are willing to share, and your kitty probably loves a lot of the same foods you do -- but is it good nutrition? Pet nutrition needs are not the same as ours, but many owners of pets are clueless about what they are exactly.

 
Some facts:
 

  • More than one-third of U.S. dogs are overweight. Small, low-activity dogs only need 185-370 calories a day, while a larger canine around 67-88 pounds may need between 1000-2000 calories. This varies depending on activity level and gender. Yet many of our animals are fed more food than needed.
  • A healthy 10 pound feline needs just 220 to 350 calories a day. At least one-quarter of U.S. felines are considered obese

 

A balanced diet for a feline or canine is achieved through a precise dosing of meat, cereals, and vegetables in order to meet their needs in terms of amino acids, carbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. A hunting dog will not be fed in the same way as a house dog, just as a puppy will not be fed in the same way as an aging dog.
 
Dogs:
 

 

  • Need a careful balance of calcium/phosphorus and vitamin D for strong bones and healthy teeth.
  • Fats and oils are a source of energy which is important for active and large dogs.
  • Protein is required to maintain body muscle.

 

Cats:
 

 

  • A cat needs almost twice as much protein as a dog.
  • Vitamin A is necessary but within very precise limits
  • The wrong balance in essential fatty acids will take the shine out of a cat's coat
  • Taurine - a vitamin-like substance - is essential to prevent eye and heart disease

 

For a diet plan that is molded for your pet, ask your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with a diet plan that will have your pet healthy in no time!
 
Alex Chang, is a senior from Liberty High School in the Frisco School District