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Introduction

It has been suggested that cats be fed foods similar to their natural diet (ie, high protein and fat with relatively little carbohydrate) 1 to provide optimum nutrition and help prevent and manage feline obesity and diabetes mellitus. 2,3 The natural prey of feral cats is reported to contain 2% to 12% of calories from carbohydrate and 52% to 63% of calories from protein. 1,4 In contrast, commercial dry cat foods, and many wet foods, contain greater amounts of carbohydrates. 5,6 In 1 study, commercially available dry cat foods

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Osteoarthritis is a progressively painful disease characterized by articular cartilage degradation with loss of proteoglycan and collagen, subchondral bone sclerosis, periarticular proliferation of new bone, and chronic inflammation of synovial membranes. 1 Osteoarthritis is estimated to affect approximately 20% of dogs ≥ 1 year of age and 90% of dogs > 5 years of age. 2–5 Cats are similarly affected by osteoarthritis, with prevalences ranging from 16.5% to 91% and increasing with age. 6–9 Given the high prevalences reported, it is possible that companion animals may have undiagnosed osteoarthritis and the associated pain that goes unnoticed. Cats

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Many nutrients are critical for maintaining brain structure and function, including cognition. A deficiency of some nutrients can lead to compromised brain structure and function, which accelerates brain aging. Additional nutrients may have benefits when provided in quantities greater than those listed in recognized requirements, whereas other nutrients that may be beneficial to cognitive function may not be recognized as essential nutrients. The purpose of the information provided here was to summarize the evidence for beneficial effects of nutrients on brain function and cognition, with an emphasis on the aging brain, and to provide evidence on the dietary management of

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Health has become one of the most important factors for dog owners when choosing a diet for their pets. 1 This growing consciousness in health has resulted in a large number of pet foods that boast various claims. Often, these claims mimic trends in human nutrition. 1 Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets have become increasingly popular for both humans and pets. 2–4 An increasing number of pet owners believe that dietary carbohydrates are unnecessary and may even be harmful. 3 Obesity, diabetes mellitus, cancer, adverse food reactions, and gastrointestinal diseases are common medical concerns for dogs. 5–10

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Trends in companion animal nutrition often mirror trends in human nutrition, reflecting the desire of pet owners to feed diets that they consider healthy and beneficial for the well-being of their pets. 1–3 The number of people choosing to eat a plant-based diet and adopting a vegan lifestyle has been steadily increasing as individuals seek a lifestyle that they perceive to be healthier and with less impact on animals and the environment. 4–6 It has been suggested that eliminating meat from the diet is more prevalent among pet owners than for the general public. 7–9 Many of

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Chronic enteropathies are a heterogeneous group of gastrointestinal disorders characterized by gastrointestinal clinical signs that persist for at least 2 weeks. Depending on the study, chronic enteropathies and other diagnoses (eg, IBD) may include a variety of disorders and patient populations, and the inconsistent nomenclature can result in confusing information in the literature. Regardless, achieving a correct diagnosis and classification of chronic enteropathy is essential for proper nutritional management. The most important step in this process is eliminating the possibility of systemic disorders as well as ruling out several primary gastrointestinal diseases, all of which may be less responsive to

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Vitamin K1, also commonly known as phylloquinone, is the natural form of the fat-soluble vitamin K found in plants. Vitamin K is needed to complete the synthesis of blood coagulation proteins and for bone mineralization. Deficiency of vitamin K can lead to coagulopathies and uncontrolled bleeding. Purified vitamin K1 is synthesized and sold commercially. Although acceptable for use in infant formulas and other foods for human consumption, regulations regarding the use of vitamin K1 in animal foods are not definitively defined, but the need for its use is increasing. Menadione, a synthetic vitamin K-active

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Reduced food intake is an important clinical sign that can result from a myriad of chronic diseases (eg, CKD, congestive heart failure, cancer, or liver disease) as well as acute illness or injury. Reduced food intake can lead to insufficient intake of calories and other nutrients, weight loss, muscle loss (cachexia), and, ultimately, poor outcomes. 1,2 In addition, reduced or altered food intake is obvious to pet owners and is an important factor when owners assess a companion animal's quality of life. 3,4

It is important for veterinary health-care teams to be aware of and to take steps to

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Both the World Small Animal Veterinary Association 1 and American Animal Hospital Association 2 have developed nutritional assessment guidelines to aid veterinary health-care teams in determining the nutritional needs of companion animals. Body composition is the sum of various biological components, which include fat, bone, and lean tissue. 3–5 Lean tissue encompasses water, muscle tissue, nervous tissue, organs, tendons, and ligaments. 6 Accurate measurement of body composition can be challenging because body components are not compartmentalized; instead, they are mixed in various tissues in the body. 6 However, body composition assessments are crucial for preventing

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Vitamin D Metabolism and Hormonal Influences

In many species, the biosynthesis of vitamin D begins with exposure to UV light, wherein 7-dehydrocholesterol is transformed to previtamin D3. Factors that affect synthesis of vitamin D3 include quantity and quality of the UV light, coat, and skin pigmentation. Dogs and cats are unique from humans and many other species in that they lack the ability to synthesize vitamin D3 in the skin, likely because of high activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol-Δ7-reductase. 1,2 For this reason, dogs and cats require dietary supplementation with vitamin D to meet nutritional

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association