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    Are Dogs and Cats Omnivores or Carnivores?

    Ensure your pets stay healthy by providing them a nutritionally balanced diet.

    One common misconception is that dogs are carnivores — the reality is that even their wolf ancestors eat only 70 percent meat. Today’s dogs are omnivores (meat and plant eaters), built to consume a more balanced diet — and that’s a good thing. Depending on the breed, dogs can live twice as long as wolves.

    Dogs have preferences about the smell, taste and texture of food. Dogs have a strong preference for meat flavors, but they also show liking for flavors typically associated with plant-derived foods (e.g., sweet). 

    Cats are carnivores (meat eaters) and thus have higher dietary protein requirements and require certain nutrients in their diets. Cats are motivated to eat by aroma, taste and texture. They tend to eat many small meals (for dry food) throughout the day (10-20 meals/day). Cats can’t survive on a vegetarian diet; they require meat protein for certain amino acids in order to survive. 

    Both cats and dogs get excited at mealtime, but they display their excitement in different ways. A dog’s excitement for food is often preceded by licking their lips, possible drooling, and tail wagging and barking. For cats, a lot of their behaviors are directed toward the person feeding them, such as running with their tail straight up, weaving between the person’s legs, rubbing against their legs and meowing.

    Key ingredients to look for in dog food

    • PROTEIN SOURCES FROM MEAT, FISH OR POULTRY — Meat provides the flavors dogs love and the high-quality protein they need.
    • DIETARY FAT AND OMEGA FATTY ACIDS — Dietary fats are a rich source of energy. Essential fatty acids are key in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
    • ENERGY-RICH CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES — Wholesome grains help maintain your dog's energy.
    • VITAMINS AND MINERALS — A mix of vitamins and minerals provides complete and balanced nutrition, while supporting a healthy immune system and promoting a shiny, healthy coat.

     Key ingredients to look for in cat food

    • PROTEIN SOURCES FROM MEAT, FISH OR POULTRY — Meat provides the flavors cats love and the high-quality protein they need.
    • DIETARY FATS AND OMEGA FATTY ACIDS — Energy-rich fats provide essential fatty acids and support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Omega-3 and Omega-6 help support your pet's immune system and have other important biological functions.
    • ENERGY-RICH CARBOHYDRATE SOURCES — Wholesome grains help maintain your cat's energy. Research conducted by Purina scientists has shown that cats can and do readily use carbohydrate sources for energy
    • VITAMINS AND MINERALS — A mix of vitamins and minerals contributes to a complete and balanced diet, while supporting a healthy immune system and promoting a shiny, healthy coat.

    Content Provided by Purina®. To learn more, visit Purina.com.

    Article provided by Purina

    Dollar General is not responsible for the content above and disclaims all liability therefrom. Dollar General does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service, or information provided on this site. All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and as such, the accuracy of same is not warranted in any way. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a veterinarian. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different dietary program or skin/coat program for your pet. Consult your veterinarian for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or grooming plan.

    If your pet has dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all food or grooming products prior to using. Neither Triad Digital Media, LLC nor Dollar General make any representations as to the accuracy or efficacy of the information provided nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Special written permission is required to reproduce in any manner, in whole or in part.

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