Dog and Cat nutrition
Not only is the quantity important, but also the quality. Quality
is due to the specific amino acids that make it up and also how
digestible it is (this can vary from 50-95%). Plant proteins are
less digestible than animal and over-processing of the food can
lower digestibility as well. A lack of protein can cause poor
growth, lack of appetite, loss of coat condition and an impaired
These are complex chains of sugars joined in different groups that
provide energy to your pet. Surprisingly, they are not essential as
they are in people, because the energy your pet needs can be
supplied from protein or fat. Plant carbohydrates that resist
digestion are called "fibre". If the carbohydrate source is of poor
quality, or excessive, it can lead to diarrhoea.
These can be saturated (bad guys) or unsaturated (good guys). Some
fats, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6, cannot be made in the body and
so are called "Essential Fatty Acids" (EFAs). They are a
concentrated energy source, providing 2½ times more energy than
carbohydrates or protein. They also increase the palatability of
foods (i.e. for me, a salad vs a meat pie!).
For further information about pet nutrition
visit the ADVANCE Wellbeing section.