Posted by Max Gottlieb on 1st Aug 2016
There may still be debate in some circles as to whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores, but science has made it clear that canines prefer meat for primary fuel, even though they “may” be able to tolerate some vegetable foods to a degree.
The key word here is “tolerate.” It is also well established that cats are obligate carnivores and do not have the biological capacity to derive nutrition from plant foods – although it may be hard to tell considering the way some kitties devour grain-laden kibble.
Just like us, our pets become addicted to flavor and taste as opposed to nutrient content, often ignoring the food their bodies so desperately need, opting instead for what satisfies their taste buds. It’s essentially the same as when we choose sugar and fat-filled fast food instead of a clean, home-cooked meal we know will nourish us far better. The difference is, we have control over our impulses and can make calculated decisions while our pets don’t, they follow our lead .
Another very important difference between us and our beloved animals is digestion, more specifically the digestive enzyme Amylase which is produced in saliva and helps break down carbohydrates long before they reach the stomach. The production of Amylase is significant in that without it, most plant foods move through the body completely undigested, which is the case when cats eat grains since they do not produce the enzyme whatsoever. Dogs, on the other hand, do produce some Amylase enzyme however it is not present in the saliva but introduced later on in the digestive process through the pancreas and small intestine. This biological distinction between canines and felines provides us with much needed insight into the importance of diet and supplementation and the health of our pets.
For cat owners who incorporate grains in their cat’s diet , a quality Amylase-containing enzyme product is absolutely critical to sustain any form of digestive health . In the same respect, dog owners who feed using more than 15-20% grains should also seriously consider an amylase-containing product, this will relieve a ton of pressure on their pancreas and small intestine to produce enough Amylase for carb overload. That being said, science supports a diet of 100% meat for cats and 85% or greater meat for dogs (preferably raw and organic) to achieve optimal health and nutrition. High quality digestive enzymes for dogs and digestive enzymes for cats tailored specifically to their respective systems is critical for long lasting health and longevity.