The Dietary recommendations for domestic species have been published in the form of nutrient profiles by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All pet foods must now conform either to AAFCO nutrient profiles or undergo AAFOC-approved feeding trials before being marketed.
However, these improved procedures hardly represent a perfect solution for nutrition of the "individual" animal.
Breed and function are important nutritional considerations in domestic animals. A recent study showed that different breeds of dogs exhibit different abilities to digest the same diet. Working animals may perform better on (and therefore require) diets high in protein and fat rather than carbohydrates: diets like these are not commercially available.
Even if our domestic animals were of a homogeneous "race" like their ancestors, as are the wolf, panther, buffalo, and wild horse, they would still display individual differences in physiology and metabolic processes. Biochemical individuality in humans, applies in many ways to domestic animals. It has been determined that even in normal humans (who are of relatively consistent size and shape), the needs for most nutrients vary over a fourfold range, on average. These factors will vary further according to age, activity level, existing disease, and simultaneous drug therapies.
It should be clear that, in addition to uncertainty about the more subtle animal requirements in general, individual animals vary so much in their metabolic function that a blanket recommendation for "any good commercial diet" is a gamble for the pet's health. In general, when we think about how to feed pets, we refer to the "Paleolithic" (primitive) diet as a starting point. Carnivorous or omnivorous pet animals, like the cat and dog, are presumed to need high quality meat and fiber sources, along with adequate fat levels, vitamins, and minerals. Interestingly, a requirement for carbohydrates has never been identified in cats, yet commercial dry foods are composed primarily of grains, providing relatively high levels of carbohydrates.
Animals whose individual needs differ due to inbreeding or genetic abnormalities (sometimes common in purebreds) should receive individualized dietary consideration when health problems of any sort occur (no matter how minor). Each breed, as well as each individual, represents its own uniqueness.
Recommendations: For keeping pets healthy the natural way, we recommend using Pet Remedy Charts, a Step-by-Step Holistic Home Healthcare System that will enable you to naturally treat your pet at home (without drugs) using safe, side effect free healing methods for dogs, cats, horses, or birds.