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Dietary Needs for Cats and Dogs

Mississauga Animal Hospital

While it’s obvious that cats and dogs look very different from one another from the outside, it’s easy to assume that their internal processes would function the same. However, you’d be wrong in that assumption, as the metabolic differences between dogs and cats are quite different. So much so that they each require varying nutrients and amounts in their diets to keep their bodies functioning properly. For the well being of your furry friends, here are four important differences in the nutritional needs of cats and dogs.

Cats are Carnivores

Cats need the nutrients that are found in animal-based products in order to meet their dietary requirements. As cats have evolved and consumed animals over time, their bodies have become unable to properly digest and metabolize some of the essential nutrients that the animals they feed on are able to. Because a cat’s form can’t do it on its own, it’s necessary for their health that they’re fed on animal-based ingredients that are found in muscles and organ meat. Dogs, on the other hand, are semi-carnivores and are able to get away with less meat in their diets.

Amino Acids
Cats need more protein in their diets than dogs, proteins that are made up of amino acids. They need taurine as well, but their bodies are unable to make much of it purely from the amino acids within them. Without high levels of taurine in their diet, cats are likely to suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart condition), reproductive failure, abnormal development at a young age or retinal degeneration.

Fatty Acids
Fatty acids need to be consumed through food, as a pet’s body can’t make sufficient amounts of it on its own. Some of these essential nutrients, like arachidonic acid, are a fatty acid that a cat can’t produce on its own while a dog can. It’s necessary for producing an inflammatory response that tells the body when to send healing means to a location that’s experiencing blood clotting. It also supports the use of both the reproductive and gastrointestinal systems while also maintaining proper skin growth.

Cats are unable to create active forms of vitamin A as well as the necessary quantities of certain vitamin B complexes to nourish the body. These vitamins are necessary to support the health of your pet’s eyes and skin. They also help in converting proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy. Dogs, however, are able to convert these pre-vitamin forms into their active forms through their metabolic processes.

At Truscott Animal Hospital, we’re a team of dedicated veterinarians and pet lovers who take the care of your pets very seriously. Located in Mississauga, Ontario, our animal hospital offers services such as pet vaccinations, pet wellness, dental care, dietary counselling, emergency vet treatments and more. We’re a Mississauga vet clinic that will do what we can to keep your cats, dogs and other exotic pets healthy, so book your appointment online or give us a call.

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Customer Reviews

Truscott Animal Hospital

Customer Reviews

Bill Coppens June 2022

Dr M and his staff are professional all the way, very helpful and friendly. I do recommend this clinic to people I know that have recently got a pet even people I don't know who I run into while out with Mags.

Roxana C June 2022

I brought my dog Diego in for a checkup due to a limping on his right leg. Dr M was absolutely amazing! My dog is anxious by nature and he was very calm and relaxed the whole time! Thank you Dr. M for the amazing attention! Both Diego and I appreciate it! We will see you soon. Highly recommend this clinic, great staff and service!

Amanda Herbst June 2022

Amazing staff, super friendly service and you can tell how much they love animals. I went in a bit of a panic with my cat because he had gotten into something he shouldn't have, and was feeling very sick. Both the receptionist and the vet were so comforting and helped me come out of panic mode. They didn't push me into doing any unnecessary testing (like so many vets do) and just gave him what he needed and nothing else. After just a few hours, he was right back to his happy normal self!
I'm switching all my fur babies over to this vet from now on even though it's a bit farther from my house. Prices were very reasonable and fair. But the service is what has me coming back there. 10/10 would definitely recommend! Thank you Truscott Animal Hospital!

Zainab H June 2022

Thank you for the accuracy of the examination and follow-up by the doctors and the team. I recommend this clinic for its cleanliness, availability of food and medicine, in addition to its credibility and adequate explanation of pet’s health condition.

John Iskander June 2022

All three vets are amazing. They call you themselves to discuss anything they feel needs to be done, they offer multiple solutions and are very accommodating as far as cost! I love that the vets call as I can ask any questions and discuss all options with them rather than having to go back and forth.

samuel sanderson June 2022

I took in my dog Brax today he was suffering with a severe case of kennel cough.The vet was so good and prescribed the right meds and Brax is allready feeling great after only 4 hours.this Vet has great knowledge.

Zeera Duvall May 2022

Have been going to Truscott Animal Hospital for a few years now and can't say anything negative about them. They treat your fur babies as their own. Thank you for your services.

Tiara Banate May 2022


Teresa Knight May 2022

I have been to this veterinary clinic since March 2020 and am so grateful for the care my previous cat and my rescue dog receive. Kally went in for an annual checkup and had to have an echogram. Dr. M. explained the procedure, called me with results and provided me full instructions regarding her new meds. I particularly like how Dr. M. is so patient and teaches young people working in the clinic. Great opportunity for them to be working with such a animal loving kind person.

Sel Baig May 2022

I started coming to Truscott in 2020 after moving back to Mississauga. Having dogs and working with many different vets over the last decade this is honestly the BEST vet around. From the staff to the vets, you feel welcomed and that your pet is in the best hands. If I could rate any higher I would.