Don't Feed Fido's Food to Fluffy

By Jane Geelan-Sayres
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:01 PM CDT
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Good Pet Nutrition is Important

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Good Pet Nutrition is Important

Good nutrition is just as important for your pet as it is for you.
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As longtime pet parents, Ken Maxwell and Patrick Phelan know the importance of good nutrition for their four-legged children.

Phelan, the founder of pethomepal.com, a pet recreation and walking service, and Maxwell make it a point to feed their cats Lourdes, Rocco and Ray in a completely different area from their dog, Oswald.

"The cats are then fed in their own area in the laundry room, elevated, a little higher than the washer and dryer," said Maxwell.
"Ozzy, we just feed him in the kitchen, on the first floor and when he wants to eat he eats," said Phelan.

But not all pet owners are as conscious. Some people actually feed their cats and dogs the same food.

"A cat is not a small dog, and that can be no more true, as in cat nutrition  for example," said Dr. John Bauer, of Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

This is why vets from Texas A&M stress the importance of specific diets for different kinds of animals.

"While a dog may be able to eat a cat's food without any particular problem, there is a reason why cats should not be allowed to have access to dog food," said Bauer.

Cats need more protein than dogs, along with a special amino acid called Taurine which is found in most cat foods.

"If the cat was fed dog food on a regular basis, then you would be assured you would run into some problems down the road," said Bauer.

Such problems can include heart issues and, in some severe circumstances, blindness.

It's a risk Maxwell and Phelan aren't willing to take with their animals because the reward of good nutrition is a lifetime of unconditional love.

"I love animals," said Phelan.

"They are just a joy to have in the house," said Maxwell.

More Information: Cat's Nutritional Needs Differ from Dogs

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