Feeding good quality food, especially to young pets as they are growing, will help provide them with all the nutrients they need to have a healthy body and a strong immune system. Cheaper foods often have lower quantities of the expensive ingredients such as essential fatty acids which can only be gained from their diet. Essential fatty acids such as salmon oil help maintain the skin and coat, the heart, good joints and the neurological system (such as the eyes). Vet Essentials is a good quality diet that is rich in these oils.
Good quality food has balanced vitamins and minerals. With home cooking, it is very difficult to get exactly the correct amount of additives such as vitamins but also the correct amount of fibre, fat, protein and carbohydrates. Feeding a deficient diet over a long period of time can then result in chronic problems that may be difficult to diagnose.
If your pet does have an illness, diets can sometimes be used to aid in the treatment of those conditions. There are special diets, such as the kidney disease diet, with extra Vitamin B, which is a water soluble vitamin and as kidney disease results in drinking and urinating more which causes more Vitamin B to be lost in the excessive urine. The kidney diet also contains a lower amount of protein, as this is more difficult for the body to metabolise and can result in more toxin production if the kidneys are diseased or old. The protein has to be a good quality protein.
We have prescription diets to help manage certain conditions. These are complete foods for liver disease, cancer, diabetes, weight management, bladder crystals, senility, pancreatitis and sensitive stomach or allergies.
Life Stage Diets
Pets have different nutritional requirements at different stages of their life.
Puppies require a “Puppy diet” which will contain a higher protein for growth of muscles and higher calcium for bone and teeth development.
Adult animals (who have stopped growing) can have an adult or maintenance diet.
Older dogs need a “Senior diet” which has less protein and higher carbohydrates which is easier for the aging organs to utilise.
Does your pet have the best body score? Feeling over the rib cage you should be just able to feel the ribs. If the ribs are very prominent your pet maybe too thin depending on the breed. If the skin is about an inch thick over the rib cage, then your pet could be overweight. Overweight pets have a shorter life expectancy as extra stress is placed on heart, joints and makes animals more prone to diabetes and cystitis.
If you would like any advice our nurses are always happy to help you with the dietary needs of your pets depending on their requirements. Offering a really good quality diet will give your pets the best chance in life