Your pet may love when you slip them a scrap under the table, but is it really good for them? Probably not. The nutrition needs of dogs and cats are very different than that of humans, and neglecting their dietary health can cause a variety of health concerns for your pet. Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself on proper nutrition for your cat or dog. Fortunately, at Countryside Animal Hospital, we are well-versed in nutrition for your pets, and can help you design a diet plan that meets the needs of your furry friend.

Dog Nutrition: What You Need to Know

The two macronutrients most important for your dog’s diet are protein and fat. Protein should be made up of animal protein from meat and fish. Dogs can also eat certain vegetables. In general, it is not recommended that dogs eat vegetarian diets. If this is a concern for you, come to our vet hospital so we can help you determine the best source of protein for your pet. In addition, dogs need fat to maintain healthy skin and fur. It’s very easy for dogs to eat too much fat, however, particularly if you feed them table scraps. Limit your dog’s fat intake to only around 10% of their diet. Finally, dogs get most of their needs met by protein and fat, and don’t rely on carbohydrates for energy.

Cat Nutrition: What You Need to Know

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Protein is the most important macronutrient for cats. Around 40% of their diet should be composed of animal protein; they need a meat-rich diet to function. In addition, fat should compose roughly 30% of a cat’s diet. Carbohydrates are not necessary for cats, but many dry cat foods are made up of predominantly carbs. If your cat struggles with weight, it may be due to a too-carb-heavy diet.

The Importance of Water for Pets

It’s crucial to prioritize providing both dogs and cats with fresh, clean water on a daily basis. Make sure to always have fresh water in your pet’s bowl, especially after your dog goes for a walk. Cats are not as thirst-motivated as dogs so they are at particular risk for dehydration, so make sure they have plenty of water to drink throughout the day. You should also consider feeding your cat wet food because much of their hydration comes from food.

Come to Our Fort Collins Vet Clinic

Just as every individual human will have diets that work for them and diets that don’t, the same goes for your pets. It’s best to tailor your pet’s diet to their specific health concerns. While inactive pets may require very few calories, very active pets may need more than you think. We can help you determine what is best for your beloved pet when you come to our Fort Collins vet clinic. If you are looking for nutritional help for your dog or cat, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!