Many of today’s trendy dog and cat foods actually have too much protein for the older dog or cat. As you stroll through the pet food isles at the grocery store you will see many foods advertising various proteins. Chronic progressive kidney disease is one of the most common ailments affecting older dogs and cats. One of the jobs the kidneys perform is to filter the blood and save the protein for use by the liver to build tissues in the body. When the old kidney has to filter large amounts of poor quality protein kidney failure can progress quickly. High levels of poor quality protein are bad for older dogs and cats. 15-19% protein is about the maximum acceptable level of protein in dry dog food for older dogs. Cats are a little different. Cats are carnivores and require more protein in their diet than dogs require. The quality of protein may be more important than the quantity for your cat. A good estimate for an older cat would be 25% of good quality protein. Many of today’s trendy foods contain more poor quality protein than is needed by an older cat. You should contact the manufacturer of your cat’s diet to see exactly what the source of the protein is in the diet. Ask the manufacturer for the exact quantity of calcium and phosphorus in the diet, this is a clue as to the source of the protein. If the calcium and phosphorus are high the protein is likely coming from ground bones. Avoid these types of food for older cats. Feel free to call Kirkwood Animal Hospital if you have questions regarding the feeding of your older pet.
Nov 17 2014