Carbohydrates in croquettes for dogs and cats: what are they?

A balanced diet is one of the essential care your pet needs to preserve its good health. Regardless of its species, sex and age, all animals require optimal nutrition to develop physically and mentally.

To help you provide the best nutrition to your pet, then we will discuss the addition of carbohydrates in croquettes for dogs and cats , its possible benefits and risks.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates, too called carbohydrates, are biomolecules composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. As a nutrient in the feeding of animals, they represent the main source to generate energy immediately .

During the digestive process, these biomolecules are metabolized to give origin, finally, glucose molecules. That is, carbohydrates are converted into sugars in the body of the animal that consumes them.

When the body needs to produce energy quickly, first use the glucose molecules derived from the metabolism of carbohydrates. This happens because glucose can be easily metabolized, which generates a lot of energy in a short time.

However, this energy is also 'spent' quickly, so it is necessary to consume them more frequently to maintain a regular metabolism. In turn, proteins and good fats require a slower and gradual metabolization process , so they are better sources of long-term energy.

 Types of carbohydrates

Types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one of the biomolecules most commonly found in nature, so they are present in almost all foods. Although they tend to appear in greater proportion in foods of vegetable origin, others such as dairy and meat itself, are not exempt from carbohydrates.

Currently is recognized various types of carbohydrates that are classified in two large groups: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are those that have simple glucose molecules or sugar chains easy to 'break' . Its structure is rapidly metabolized, allowing energy to be obtained immediately. These carbohydrates are subdivided into the types:

  • Monosaccharides : simple glucose molecules that are directly absorbed, and do not require any conversion. Monosaccharides are galactose (present in milk and its derivatives), fructose and glucose (present in fruits, vegetables and honey).
  • Disaccharides : chains of simple and easy to break sugars, which require simple metabolism. The disaccharides are lactose (milk and derivatives), maltose (barley and honey), and sucrose (fruits and vegetables).

Complex carbohydrates h3>

Complex hydrates, also called polysaccharides, contain chains of longer sugars and are difficult to metabolize; therefore, they require a slower digestive process to be properly absorbed.It is known that, unlike humans, these animals have a short gastrointestinal tract, so they are not prepared to digest very long sugar chains.

It must be remembered that dogs and cats get energy for your metabolism, mainly from fat molecules , and not from carbohydrates. In fact, the natural diet of these species would be based on the consumption of meat and fat from their prey, and would hardly include cereals, legumes and other vegetable protein sources.

Therefore, it is not recommended to incorporate polysaccharides in the diet of dogs and cats, with the logical exception of glycogen present in low amounts in meat. However, moderate consumption of simple carbohydrates, present in fruits and vegetables, and also provide vitamins and minerals, can help supplement the nutrition of animals.

On the other hand, carbohydrates They do not provide all the nutrients that the body of dogs and cats needs to stay healthy and balanced. For this reason, your diet should not be based on the consumption of hydrates, since nutritional deficiencies could be generated due to the insufficient consumption of proteins, vitamins and minerals.

If we specifically analyze croquettes for dogs and cats, their Carbohydrate levels should not exceed 5% in the case of cats, and 10% in the case of dogs.

An excessive consumption of carbohydrates often leads to digestive problems , such as gas, diarrhea and vomiting. In addition, it can cause rapid weight gain and elevated blood glucose levels, which will make the animal more predisposed to obesity and diabetes.