Nutrition for Dogs and Cats
What should my dog eat?
Dogs are primarily hunters and scavengers by nature, and therefore have distinct dietary needs. The best diets are those that feed your dog’s “inner wolf”; that is, diets that are appropriate for the canine body. Wild canines consume a diet that is approximately 60% raw meaty bones, 15% raw vegetable matter, 10% offal (or organ meat) and 5% fruit. With this in mind, the best food you can offer your pet is fresh, human-grade meats, raw bones and vegetables. Variations on this theme are offered by many companies for your convenience:
- Frozen: raw ground meats, bones, vegetables and fruit formed into patties or cubes.
- Canned: cooked meats, vegetables and fruits – more processing means fewer natural vitamins and enzymes; some vitamins and minerals are generally added.
- Kibble: cooked, dried, ground ingredients pressed into pellets—convenient and keeps well on the shelf, but is the most highly processed food option available. If kibble is fed it is highly recommended to carefully read ingredients and make sure to avoid corn, wheat and soy as well as any animal by-products.
Vitamins and supplements can help to replace what is lost in commercial diets. If you wish to make your own raw or cooked diets at home we have books available with complete recipes to make sure your pets are eating a nutritionally complete and healthy diet. Ask your veterinarian for food recommendations and feeding tips.
What should my cat eat?
Cats are primarily hunters, or carnivores, and so require a higher protein content than dogs. All of the same forms of food are available for cats: raw frozen, canned and kibble, or the option to make a homemade diet designed specifically for cats. And all the same rules apply: avoid corn, wheat, soy, and by-products. In general cats tend to do better on a completely grain free and low starch diet.