Dogs and cats are carnivores. On the Internet and in much of the publicity from Commercial Pet Food Companies pseudo-scientific terminology abounds sometimes from a sort of anthropomorphic wishful thinking but mostly to justify selling carbohydrate-based foods.
Cats are obligatory carnivores.
Much of the advertising for commercial foods works on the fear that you might feed an ‘unbalanced’ diet and much is made of how carefully ‘balanced’ this or that food is. We do not take this to the same extremes when feeding ourselves. We look at nutrition in a balanced way, not focussing on having every required nutriment in every single meal.
Most dogs and cats do better on a raw food diet. Many vets disagree, for all sorts of reasons, the big companies are apoplectic because it threatens their business model, and many people who feed raw food to their animals are afraid to talk about it to their vet (whom they rarely see.)
I fed my cats for 25 years on kibbled food, and my current dog had kibble as part of her diet for the first 6 years. However, I now believe that kibbled food has only two advantages. It is cheap and convenient. I no longer recommend it. However, for many owners it is cheap and convenient and we still stock and sell it. For how much longer I do not know.
Two of the biggest problems with which we deal in both dogs and cats are post neutering obesity and lifelong dental problems. Both of these problems are minimised if not eliminated by feeding a raw food diet.
You may get the impression from this that I am a raw food fanatic, the mirror opposite of the Commercial Food fanatics. There are many on both sides for whom it is almost a religion. My dog would not look at the commercial raw food we stock. She gets two tins a day and random oxtail which she buries, then digs up and eats, whatever KFC bones she can snaffle on the Common and most of our left-overs. She is spayed, slim, and has frighteningly gleaming teeth.
Cats should never be fed from plastic or any similar bowls. Glass, masonry, china, stainless steel is all fine, but there are serious concerns about any sort of plastic/melamine.
The ideal drink for both cats and dogs is filtered tap water.
For more on this topic, see our Podcast, or ask any of our clinical staff.