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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

Alida Saleh September 2022

Dr. M and his team are amazing. The level of service, care and attention given to Bella has been outstanding! Bella was diagnosed with a congenital condition when she was going into get spayed. The treatment that she received has helped stabilize her condition. Dr. M took the time to explain everything and treated Bella with care and attention to detail. Kudos to an amazing team of doctors and staff 👏

Rick Takamatsu September 2022

They are very thorough but aren’t selling you unnecessary things.

Paula Barin September 2022

Dr. M and his team were very attentive and caring when we brought our cat in. Our poor cat, Finnigan, had to stay in the hospital and Dr. M called to update us on his progress each evening. After extensive tests and treatment we took our cat home. A follow up call was made the next day asking on our cat’s health. So grateful for the marvellous care, follow up and great team. I definitely recommend Truscott Animal Hospital, Dr. M and his team.

Cancer Exercise Specialist September 2022

Love the vet and staff here. Very kind and helpful. They saved my dogs life after he ate a cob of corn. Surgery went well and he’s a happy and healthy dog. I can’t say enough about how wonderful they are.

Gehad El-ghandour September 2022

Dr Medhat saved my cat from a possible surgery. I cant thank him enough for his professional and accurate diagnosis. He listened to all my concerns and was very patient . My cat thanks to him is doing well, he was also very keen to be updated with my baby's condition when he said its okay to go home .
I am really glad i went to him , it was my first visit and for sure will not be the last. I totally recommend to go to him even only for consultation. He is genius and has a great experience dealing with pets. I want to thank his friendly staff as well. Simply you can trust them with your pet.
Thank you again DrMedhat its not easy to find great doctors!

Elias Dagher September 2022


Sharmeen Mufti September 2022

We came to Truscott Animal Hospital in an emergency situation. Our cat, Mikki, was vomiting constantly and not eating and in distress. I took him to VCA to find out that the earliest he could see a vet was after 8 hours! A few google searches later, I came across Truscott Animal Hospital and they were able to see him immediately. Dr M. is very passionate about his work and it shows! He is very humble and accommodating and went out of his way for us. He saved our cat's life and I have nothing but prayers for him and his team!

Zainab H September 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.

My Cat Razer’ health was not improving, due to kidney failure. therefore, and after discussion with Dr. M, we decided that it was time to let him go. Three weeks ago, we passed through thus hard process with clinic professional team. The staff lit up candles for farewell Razer and to honour our grief. My son and I were extremely heartbroken.

I would like to thank all doctors and staff at Truscott Animal Hospital and especially Dr. Medhat for their care and services.

I am sincerely grateful for your service , time and support. I missed Razer so much.

Jill Ranson August 2022

The people there are very caring and always want to help. I love dr Irene . She is happy to explain things in detail and also very caring and prompt.

Sucheta Acharyya August 2022

I've been raised in Mississauga but never needed vet visits during that time. After 5 years in Illinois, USA my husband and I were visiting my mum for the week with our two dogs. The last few weeks in July were pretty hot and although both dogs were pretty hot and panting quite a bit, our St. Berdoodle was behaving differently than usual. We discovered he had a fever, and called the Truscott Animal Hospital. They were ready to take him in right away, and diagnosed his skin infection quickly. They kept him at the hospital for a few hours to treat and monitor him. We took Archie home seeming better with medication. The staff was great with him, while the Dr's were wonderful. We were still concerned about his temperature the next day, and despite it being after hours, Dr.M saw him once more to make sure he was heading in the right direction. Seems our thermometer wasn't properly calibrated, but with the extra injection Archie received his temperature came down completely. We can't thank the amazing team at Truscott Animal Hospital. We feel fortunate to have had such great care and professional treatment for our dog. We followed the sprays and medicines as suggested and had a happy, energetic dog once again. If we ever have any issues in the future, we will definitely return back here! Many thanks to the entire team.
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