Did you know that when an animal is spayed/neutered, their metabolism drops 30 percent within 48 hours? Or that food can stay in a large dog’s colon for 30 to 40 hours.
Small dogs have lots of teeth which can lead to constipation problems. There area 300 bacterial species in the mouth of a human, dog or cat. Dental and the negative effects of plaque and tartar, is the most unappreciated part of pet health.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we all should know about our pets. Recently I attended a presentation by Avi Deshmukh, DVM, MS, PhD, manager of scientific communications for Royal Canin
, whose philosophy is that one kibble does not fit all and that’s why they tailor their pet foods to specific breeds, sizes, and needs.
As a lifelong journalist, I’m not easily impressed, but this presentation was absolutely unbelievably awesome. And for it to be out in the middle of East Podunk (nowhere) Maine was even more astounding.
Deshmukh’s splashes of science were laced with wit, as those in the audience could just picture being in a room underneath a glass floor full of cats or dogs, checking to see which food they liked best. Now, in no way do I want this post sound like a promotion for Royal Canin, but the information about how various nutrients and vitamins interact with different organs to ward off breed specific diseases was fascinating. For more information on this, go to the two-part article I posted with Examiner.com
It seemed to make sense that small dogs would have very different mouths than large dogs. Their metabolisms are much different, and their health issues are different. They tailor their foods to meet those needs.
He was very critical of anything called holistic because he said no two people would define holistic the same. He was equally critical of the term natural. He pointed out that all vitamins and minerals are synthetic, so if it’s got vitamins in it, it’s not 100 percent natural.
Other fascinating information that he rattled off on the tip of his tongue included:
- Animals and people need antioxidants to maintain the integrity of cells.
- One gram of protein uses 30 percent less energy than a gram of carbohydrates.
- A lot of canned foods are 80 percent water. They should have less than one percent salt. All wet cat food has a minimum of 70 percent water.
- A half pound on a small dog is like 20 pounds on a person.
- A duschund will burn more energy per pound than a shepherd because they have more muscle tissue, and a higher metabolic rate per pound.
- In Type 2 diabetes, cells allow some glucose to come in, but not all. If you reduce the weight, the cells are more responsive. That’s why losing weight is so important in combating diabetes.
While obesity is a huge problem for both cats and dogs, he had an interesting take on fat cats. People are concerned about the cat’s beautiful skin, coat and eyes. “People don’t like to admit their cats are fat. They call them pleasingly plump, a little pudgy, and pretty. The fact is they like their fat cats. As a matter of fact, he had an interesting take on cats. And I’ll conclude this post with the quote I used at the end of the Examiner.com article.
Cats walked into our houses looking for mice… They don’t really listen to us. They thumb their noses at us. Every time I think I’ve learned something about the cat, they throw me a curve every time.
Now for that comment to come from someone with this uncanny knowledge base, you just have to appreciate how smart our feline friends really are.
If you’ve ever run into an incredibly informative seminar that you’d thought might be a dudd, please share. And if you have some interesting tidbits about your pets, please share. Perhaps it could be the subject for the next blog post.