A. Carbohydrates are the  PREFERRED source of energy for dogs and cats and are well utilized by both species. There is no scientific or nutritional reason to reduce their concentration in dog and cat foods.The cooking process of extruding and retorting pet food cooks the starch ingredients, making them nearly completely available to the animal, similar to other ingredients.

There are many examples of carbohydrates (such as peas, lentils, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, tapioca, potato, and others) that are very healthful ingredients. These all have an excellent carbohydrate, fiber, and protein composition, and are excellent carbohydrate sources in quality pet foods. 

It is critical for pet parents to understand that obesity is NOT caused by carbohydrates. Obesity is caused by poor feeding practices of dog and cat pet parents who do not follow the feeding directions of the food manufacturer.  

Health conditions such as inflammation, diabetes, and metabolic issues are caused by many factors, some of dietary origin and some not of dietary origin.  To blame carbohydrate ingestion on these conditions is scientifically unsound.  Both carbohydrates and proteins (such as animal proteins) have the same caloric value (4 kcal/g). Management of total caloric intake by the dog and cat parent would go a long way in solving the obesity problem currently experienced by pet animals.