Dog and Cat’s nutrients

Animals have unique physiological and structural systems and, therefore, need specific food and nutrients to remain in optimal health. No longer insignificant, household pets are now considered family members who require special attention. Filling the need, the pet food industry has grown tremendously over the years. But you have to wonder if you are getting the best nutrients for your dog or cat.

Thought to be derived from several wild species of mammals, dogs are domesticated carnivorous animals that now enjoy pride of place in American homes. “Man’s best friend” is a perfect companion who can live a long active life if properly cared for. Just like human beings, dogs need carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water in a balanced diet to stay healthy. Unfortunately, most dog foods are not necessarily ideal. In fact, there have been claims that some pet foods contain meat and other ingredients unfit for animal consumption.

Dogs can tolerate plant-based food … but because they are essentially meat eaters, they need a good amount of meat protein in their diets for their unique systems. Like people, dogs suffer from the same conditions related to aging. So they may benefit from certain nutrients.

Carnitine is an essential nutrient biosynthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine and found in meat. It is required for the transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria for the generation of metabolic energy, and is especially important for the cardiovascular system.1 Vitamin E also has been shown to be important for your dog’s health.2,3

So how can you be sure that you are giving your pet the best nutrition? Besides high-quality commercial foods that are nutrient-enriched, food supplements are the best way to ensure your pets are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to live long healthy lives.

Cats have been domesticated since early times to catch rats and mice. Today, they are primarily household pets that, like dogs, require special attention when it comes to nutrition and care. Cats are carnivorous. But unlike dogs that can eat some plant-based foods, cats need animal protein to survive. Nutrients like taurine and arginine are important to a cat’s health,1-4 and without them cats could die. Taurine, for cats, is a must for heart, kidney, and eye health.5-8 Arginine detoxifies ammonia in cats’ kidneys and is also important for heart and pancreatic function and keeping the gut healthy.9-12 Arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats, since cats cannot convert significant quantities of linoleate to arachidonate.13 And, just like humans, cats need B vitamins to support the cardiovascular system.14 Cats also have problems metabolizing certain amino acids from other nutrients, like the conversion of niacin from tryptophan, or vitamin A from beta carotene. For that reason cats have more stringent nutritional requirements than such omnivores as dogs and humans.4

So how can you be sure that you are giving your pet the best nutrition? Besides high-quality commercial foods that are nutrient-enriched, food supplements are the best way to ensure your pets are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need to live long healthy lives.

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