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Differences Between Dogs and Cats

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Cami Smalley

on 4 March 2016

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Transcript of Differences Between Dogs and Cats

Nutritional Differences Between
Cats and Dogs

LIKE A CARNIVORE
Structured as a carnivore
Relatively short intestines (gastrointestinal tract)
Smaller stomach than a herbivore or omnivore
More acidic stomach than omnivore
Efficient production of the digestive enzymes (in the pancreas) protease to break down protein and lipase to break down fat
Moderate efficiency
in production of amylase to break down starches

OBLIGATE CARNIVORE:
Must eat meat to survive; to thrive meat should be the major component of their diet
Lack of sufficient digestive enzymes to fully break down uncooked grasses and grain (they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter)
Reliance on the digestive enzymes of their prey to aid digestion
Cats produce small amounts of the digestive enzyme amylase (in the pancreas) to break down
small levels of starch
Digestive System - Canines
CARNIVORE:
Eats a diet primarily made up of meat
Dogs are
opportunistic
eaters
Will eat fruits and vegetables without being ground up in their dry food kibble
Dogs produce enough digestive enzyme (amylase) to break down
small to moderate levels of starch
, however grains and grasses must be cooked in order to be digested
Type of Eater
Digestive System
Teeth & Jaw
Designed to rip and tear flesh and not to masticate (grind).
Strong jaws and very sharp teeth are equipped for ripping.
The jaw is hinged in to allow vertical movement and not lateral.
Teeth & Jaw - Felines
Designed to rip and tear flesh and not to masticate (grind).

The jaw is hinged in to allow vertical movement and not lateral.
Type of Eater - Felines
Type of Eater - Canines
Metabolism - Felines
Metabolism
constantly
working
Burning of calories consistently all day
Must eat multiple times throughout the day
Cats should not go longer than
12 hours
without eating unless directed by a veterinarian
Overall
caloric intake will be greater
than the average dog
Metabolism - Canines
Metabolism
not constantly
working
Dogs do not burn calories as consistently as cats.
Similar to humans
with peaks and valleys.
Dogs are better suited to go
longer without food
than cats, although any change in appetite should be addressed.
Overall
caloric content will be lower
.
Complete & Balanced - Felines
Cats
cannot synthesize Vitamin A and Niacin

Essential for proper body function
Must obtain in a preformed state (must be supplemented in food or eaten in prey)
Cats
cannot synthesize Taurine or Arginine,
both are essential
Taurine helps to protect the liver, kidney and eyes
Arginine helps the body process protein among other things
Must be added to their food (typically consumed from prey in the wild)
Unless formulated to meet the nutritional needs of both canine and feline, cats must eat food formulated for cats.
Complete & Balanced - Canines
Dogs
can

synthesize
Vitamin A and (to a lesser extent) Niacin
Dogs do not need the same levels supplemented in food
Dogs
can

synthesize
these essential amino acids -
Taurine and Arginine
With the growing popularity of higher protein diets for dogs, many food manufacturers have begun to add Taurine to dog food as well.
Unless formulated to meet the nutritional needs of both canine and feline, dogs must eat food formulated for dogs.
Teeth & Jaw - Canines
Complete & Balanced
Hydration - Felines
Cats evolved from
desert
animals and are designed to get the majority of their moisture from their prey (meals).
Cats
lack sufficient thirst drive
to drink enough water on their own.
Dry kibble only provides 10% moisture (on average)
Measures must be taken to
encourage
the cat to drink
Water fountains, fresh water daily, changing the style and location of the water bowl can help
It is highly recommended that cats be fed wet food.
Wet food is comprised of 70-80% moisture (similar to a cat's prey) and can provide sufficient moisture to keep the cat hydrated
Raw food (60-70% moisture) is also an excellent option
Without proper hydration, the cat will not be able to produce enough urine to flush the system, and the
urine
will be highly concentrated which can promote bladder and urinary tract issues (UTIs) due to a pH environment ideal for bacterial growth.
Hydration - Canines
Dogs have a more
evolved thirst drive
and in good health will seek out water to compensate for part of what is not provided in their diet.
A dog that eats solely kibble (about 10% moisture) will drink more water on average than a dog that eats a combination of canned (70-80% moisture) and kibble
A dog that weighs 80 pounds eating a dry food diet only should be consuming at least
one gallon of water
per day to remain hydrated enough, to digest the food and for all organ systems to function properly
It is often noted that dogs eating raw food (60-70% moisture) drink substantially less water than dogs on kibble
Fresh water must be provided at all times to allow the dog to drink sufficient amounts to remain hydrated
Vomiting and diarrhea can cause a dog (or cat) to become dehydrated and any pet with excessive vomiting or abnormal stool lasting more than 12 hours should be seen by a vet.
Hydration
Urinary Health - Felines
As obligate carnivores, wild cats eat a diet that is almost purely protein, with a lot more moisture than domesticated cats today.
Struvite crystals
exist in
alkaline
environment (most common)
Stones almost always form from
bacteria

Struvite crystals in urine do not pose a problem unless its accompanied with a urinary tract infection
Low protein diets will not prevent Struvite stone formation (14, 15)
While essential to the diet,
Magnesium
and
Phosphorus
minerals should not be present in excess (Please see “Ash” in the ingredient list for more details.)
These minerals can be slightly decreased in the food, to help prevent recurrence of struvite stones, as these minerals are the building blocks of struvites.
Adequate
water consumption
is essential for urinary tract health
Paired with the moisture content of raw meat (60-70%) the cat is able to produce sufficient urine to flush the system and keep urine potency down. See hydration for more details.
Urinary Health - Canines
Dogs are also susceptible to stones and urinary issues, however at a lower rate than cats.
Crystals are common in 40-44% of normal healthy dogs.
Struvite stones are usually formed from crystals in combination with a bacterial infection
Keeping the overall
ash content
of the food at reasonable levels and encouraging
increased water intake
can affect urinary health.
Supplements containing
cranberry
can be helpful for both cats and dogs in maintaining urinary tract and bladder health. Cranberry capsules are more concentrated than juices, extracts and those made from concentrate.
A
Probiotic
supplement can help prevent infection.
Paired with the moisture content of raw meat (60-70%) the dog is able to produce sufficient urine to flush the system and keep urine potency down. See hydration for more details.
Urinary Health
Calcium Oxalate Crystals & Stones - Felines
Calcium Oxalate
crystals form in
acidic
urine
CaOx crystals are of concern but does not mean cat will develop stones
Only significant if found in fresh urine

Calcium Oxalate stones:
Current recommendations for dogs prone to forming CaOx stones say that diets should not be restricted in protein, calcium, or phosphorus
Studies have found that higher levels of protein reduced the risk of uroliths (18)
Water
is key ingredient, and the most important change that should be made for stone-prone cats or dogs. Increase fluid consumption and opportunities to urinate
Adding salt to the food does not appear to increase risk of CaOx stones (Dog study in 2003, human study in 2009)

* NOTE: Urinary Health/Tract diets add a urine acidifier to the food making the urine pH extremely acidic. It is theorized that the excessively acidic urine created by these foods is responsible for the increase in cats with Calcium Oxalate Crystals.
Calcium Oxalate Crystals & Stones - Canines
CaOx stones occur in both bladder and kidneys
Majority are found in the kidney, usually small breed males
Contributing factors to breed and sex:
Overweight, under-exercised, neutered, and eating a dry food diet (more concentrated urine)
Cortisone and other cortisone-type medications
Diuretic drugs like furosemide (Lasix, Salix) for CHF
Vitamins C and D are also believed to contribute to formation of these stones
Generally speaking, irreversible and unaffected by diet modifications. Surgery is only treatment, unless laser therapy is available for smaller stones.
60% of cases recur within 3 years
Water
is key ingredient again!
From Merck Veterinary Manual:
“Struvite crystals are commonly observed in canine and feline urine. Struvite crystalluria in dogs is not a problem unless there is a concurrent bacterial urinary tract infection with a urease-producing microbe. Without an infection, struvite crystals in dogs will not be associated with struvite urolith formation.”
CATEGORIES OF DIFFERENCES:
Type of Eater
Digestive System
Teeth & Jaw
Metabolism
Complete & Balanced
Hydration
Urinary Health
Calcium Oxalate Stones

Digestive System - Felines
LIKE A CARNIVORE
Structured as a carnivore
Relatively short intestines (gastrointestinal tract)
Smaller stomach than an herbivore or omnivore
More acidic stomach than omnivore
Efficient production of the digestive enzymes protease (in the pancreas) to break down protein and lipase to break down fat
Inefficient production
of amylase to break down starches

Takeaways
Water intake is key in maintaining urinary tract health
Probiotics can help prevent infections
Stones typically do not exist without an infection
If the dog has stones already, difficutly urinating,
blood in urine, or any other signs of discomfort,
a Veterinary visit is necessary
Full transcript