A Healthy Diet for Your Dogs & Cats

 dog cat happy
When you have a pet, they own a piece your heart.  You want them to live a healthy and happy life, and do everything you can to make this happen.

Since no two pets are alike, it is very important to know each pet’s unique nutritional needs.

Do you own a dog or a cat or both?  Though there are some similarities between their nutritional needs, there are also vast differences.  For example, both the species are carnivores, however dogs are functional carnivores while cats are obligate carnivores.

What does this mean? This means that cats being obligate carnivores depend on the nutrients found only in their prey for their survival, their body's’ are best suited to animal-based proteins and fats, an unsupplemented vegetarian diet can cause harmful or dangerous nutrient deficiencies. On the other hand, dogs being functional carnivores are more  adaptable to a wide range of ingredients, though they prefer animal-based protein they can thrive on a vegetarian diet if necessary.

Understanding Your Pet’s Metabolism Type


Under normal circumstances dogs burn calories slowly, this means that they are able to go longer without food.  Cats’ however burn calories continuously throughout the day so the intervals between meals should not be longer than 12 hours.

Vital Nutients for Your Pet


Dogs require amino acids from protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water to remain healthy.  Protein provides them with 10 specific essential amino acids that their bodies are unable to synthesize (make on their own).  A dog requires vitamins in low concentrations and is able to synthesize some on their own such as Vitamin A and Niacin.  


Cats also require amino acids from protein, fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water, however, animal-based protein is easier for them to digest than plant-based protein.  Two of the Essential Amino Acids that cats require must either come from animal protein, or be supplemented into their diet, a deficiency of Arginine can cause a toxic buildup of ammonia in the bloodstream, and a deficiency of Taurine can lead to blindness, deafness, heart failure, inadequate immune response and congenital defects.  A cats requirements for vitamins is different from a dogs, cats cannot synthesize some vitamins such as Vitamin A and Niacin so their food must supply it for them.

Proper Pet Hydration

Since cats evolved in a desert-like environment, they get most of their water from their prey. This is why it is recommended that cats be fed wet food rather than dry food. If a cat’s system is not properly hydrated, they will be at a higher risk for developing urinary crystals, leading to Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

Just like humans, around 80% of a dog’s body is made up of water. Canned or raw food is a great choice for a dog that does not drink a lot of water since dry food does not offer moisture to the dog.  For old or sick dogs, or dogs living in a hot or dry climate, it is especially important to keep their systems hydrated.

  

Pet’s Nutritional Needs at Different Life Stages

Dogs

Small puppy breeds (1-10lbs) from weaning to 10 months or 1 year of age need:

  • High Protein and Fat
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Medium puppy breeds (1-60lbs) from weaning to 1 year of age need:
  • Protein and fat (higher than adults, lower than small breeds)
  • DHA
  • Large puppy breeds (60lbs+) from weaning to up to 1.5 years of age need:
  • Fat, Calcium and Phosphorus (less than small breed puppies)
  •  DHA
  • Small dog breeds (1-10lbs) from 10 months or 1 year to 8 years of age need:
  • Protein and fat (higher than other adult dogs)
  • Higher omega-3 and -6 levels
  • Antioxidants and probiotics
  • Medium dog breeds (1-60lbs) from 1 to 7 years need:
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Probiotics and antioxidants
  • Large dog breeds (60lbs+) from 1 to 6 years of age require:
  • Fat (Low levels)
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin (High Levels)
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Probiotics

  

Cats


Kittens from weaning to 1 year of age need:
  • Protein and fat (Higher levels)
  • DHA
  • Adult cats from 1 to 8 years of age need:
  • Protein and fat (Less than kittens)
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Indoor cats from 1 to 8 years of age need:
  • Protein and fat (Low levels)
  • Fiber and L-Carnitine (High levels)
  • Omega fatty acids (High levels)
  • Cats with hairball issues from 1 year of age and over require:
  • High fiber
  • Increased omega fatty acids

Love your pet? Then, Pet-tek supplements are your best choice!

If you need quality products for keeping your pet healthy, Pet-tek is the name you should trust for your pet’s needs in Canada. Find the right product for your pet with the best pet product distributor  in Alberta. Being a pet supplement manufacturer , we offer a full line of high-quality pet supplements to help treat your pets.

6 Dangerous Foods for Your Cat

cat food 1 
Determining the correct food for your cat requires critical understanding because cats are unlike other animals when it comes to their dietary habits and needs.  

Cats are obligate carnivores; they require a high protein diet rich in animal proteins in order to receive the correct levels of essential nutrients.  Their diet must also be high in moisture, with a moderate amount of fat and a very small amount of carbohydrates.  In the wild this diet is achieved by consuming the meat and organs of small rodents and birds.

Cats generally eat multiple small meals throughout the day, this is due in large part to their natural food capture activities in the wild.  Their body is designed to take small amounts of food because their normal prey is small, to get enough food and nutrients in the wild a cat must repeat the chase and capture multiple times every day.  For a domestic cat the chase is not required, however eating many small meals a day can help prevent obesity, and adding in games or puzzle feeders can help keep the cat active.

Water is essential to your cats health, the amount of water they consume depends completely on their health and the hydration of the food they are eating.  If a cat is eating an all dry food diet they will consume more water then if they are eating a wet food or combination diet.  Be aware of how much water your cat normally consumes, changes in this amount can be a sign of serious illness or disease.  

To keep your cat healthy you must be aware of every aspect of your cats diet.  Certain foods can be dangerous or poisonous to your cat’s health.

1. Onions and garlic are toxic

Consuming onion and garlic can break down your cat’s red blood cells, which can further lead to anemia. Onions eaten in any form - powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated, along with garlic can be poisonous for a cat. The amount taken determines the level of poison, lethargy, pale gums and a reduced appetite are signs of a toxic reaction in your cat.  Immediate medical attention is required.

2. A glass of milk is not a cat’s thing

Most cats are lactose-intolerant. They are exposed to lactose only through their mother’s milk when they are kittens. After weaning, the cat does not require milk in their diet. Milk and other dairy products are not good for your cat’s digestion. A bad digestion can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. All that a cat needs is fresh, clean water.

3. Canned tuna fish is not for cats

Canned tuna fish is not a nutritionally complete meal for cats, a diet which is rich in tuna can lead to mercury poisoning and a deficiency of vitamin E. It can also leave your cat malnourished because it doesn’t contain all the nutrients required for maintaining the proper health of the cat.  Most canned tuna fish cat food contains other added ingredients, nutrients, minerals, vitamins, etc that are essential to a cats health.

4. Raw Eggs can be poisonous

Feeding your cats with raw eggs can be dangerous. Raw eggs can lead to salmonella or E. coli poisoning in your cat. The symptoms of this bacterial poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. There is a protein called avidin in raw egg whites which obstructs the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. This obstruction leads to various skin and coat problems in cats. 

5. Chocolates are not a healthy food

Chocolate is dangerous to cats because it contains caffeine and Theobromine (a chemical that is harmful to them). Theobromine is present in every kind of chocolate from white to dark, the darker the  chocolate the more dangerous it is. Chocolate can cause abnormal heartbeats, tremors, and even death if ingested by a cat.

6. Caffeine is not the drug for your cat

Caffeine works as a diuretic drug that causes dehydration in cats and can be fatal. The symptoms caused by caffeine in cats include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, fits and muscle tremors. Symptoms of severe caffeine poisoning can also include collapse and seizures.  Immediate medical attention is required.


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Edmonton pet-lover gives Wilson the life he deserves — at last

EDMONTON JOURNAL -- There was no telling how long the dog had been bobbing in the ocean in the waters off Cancun by the time he was rescued.

By then, he had so much salt water in his ears and in his stomach — to say nothing of his other injuries and medical issues — no one imagined he would even survive.

Survive he did, though, and eventually made his way to Edmonton — and straight into Jannet Talbott’s heart.

Talbott first saw the dog she named “Wilson” — after the basketball cum companion who shared a deserted island with Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway — on the website of a local animal rescue organization known as WHARF, or Whitecourt Homeless Animal Rescue Foundation.

If the photograph of the pooch stole Talbott’s heart, the accompanying story practically broke it in two.

Talbott called me after I asked readers last week for stories from people who have adopted pets from Mexico, where homeless dogs roam the street by the hundreds and have to fend for themselves.

When fishermen in the port towns come in with their catch, the dogs sneak onto the boats to scavenge for fish guts and whatever else they can find.

Sometimes they’re still hiding on the boats when the fishermen put out to sea again, and, when they’re discovered, are simply tossed over the side.

And so it was with Wilson, who is thought to have been paddling around in the water for days by the time he was spotted and pulled onto the boat that rescued him.

He was taken ashore in Cozumel and handed over to a local animal shelter where, exhausted by his ordeal, he slept for nearly a full week.

Barely 10 pounds, he was thought by the vet to be a cross between, of all things, a Pomeranian and a golden retriever. The vet also guessed him to be about eight years old, unheard of for most street dogs, whose life expectancy is somewhere between two to four years.

Wilson had never been vetted before so his nails had grown under his feet and his dew claws into his hind legs. He had a serious infection in his eye that necessitated its removal and was also grappling with a host of maladies that required medication.

He was, in short, a perfect candidate for WHARF.

“We take the really bad cases, the ones that are really special needs,” says Ashley Lee, who runs the non-profit organization with her sister, Tessa.

They also own a gourmet pet bakery in Edmonton called Food Dish Wishes, where they sell a wide variety of homemade pastries and ice creams using all natural ingredients.

In addition to helping cats and dogs close to home, WHARF started reaching out a couple of years ago to help abused and abandoned animals farther afield.

The sisters joined forces with a group called Cats and Dogs International, or CANDI, which transfers homeless cats and dogs from Playa del Carmen and Cancun in an effort to help them find their forever homes here in Canada.

“We have a really good adoption rate,” says Ashley.

She says the mixed-breed dogs that come from Mexico, in addition to being meek, are incredibly affectionate, and so appreciative of getting a second chance at life.

Talbott knows that first-hand. She adopted Wilson in June, and he has since become her shadow.

She says he fits perfectly into her family, which also includes two cats, a horse and a big golden retriever named Riley.

Riley has his name on an all-natural supplement powder Talbott developed in 2006 in collaboration with friend and master herbalist Rainer Geertz. Intended to contribute to the overall health of cats and dogs and boost their immune system, Riley’s Legacy Inc. exceeded all their expectations.

Three years ago she entered into a licensing agreement with Pet-tek who markets the product and sells it in specialty pet food stores across Canada.

Last month, Wilson underwent surgery to remove some abscessed teeth — the nerve was exposed on one of them — and had his ears flushed out.

“Now we’re starting with a clean slate,” says Talbott. “For the first time, likely in his life, he is pain free. I’m already seeing a difference, even though he still has stitches in his mouth.

“My heart gets bigger every day because of him. I have so much respect for his courage, and his will to live. I made him a promise: You will have the life every day that every animal deserves; you will receive love on a daily basis.”

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