What food should I feed my pet?
Nutrition plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of your pet. It comes as no surprise that different pets have different needs when it comes to nutrition. It can be difficult to know what option is best for your pet with so many available diets.
The goal in animal nutrition is to ensure our pets receive nutrition that best support their individual needs. Certain foods optimise health, wellbeing, and longevity. Working with a vet to identify your pet’s individual needs is an important part of health care for your pet.
A nutritional assessment allows vets to make diet recommendations to ensure your pet lives have a long, healthy life. Your vet will consider the following factors:
Obesity is one of the most common health disorders seen in cats and dogs. An underweight pet may also signify an underlying medical condition that will need to be assessed by your vet. Identifying if your pet has a weight problem is essential for their health and wellbeing. Body condition score charts can help you visualise if your cat or dog has a weight problem.
Cats and dogs have specific nutritional needs depending on their life stage. During the first year of life, puppies and kittens have higher nutritional needs to support their rapid growth and development. Once your pet reaches adulthood, they require an ideal balance of vitamins and minerals to help them stay healthy throughout their adult years. Just as we give special attention to the nutritional needs of puppies and kittens, dogs and cats heading into their later years require a senior food diet to maintain their quality of life and increase longevity.
Breed and size
Certain breeds mature differently and can be pre-disposed to diseases like arthritis, skin allergies, dental disease, and weight issues. Feeding foods that are specifically formulated for these conditions ensures that your pet will receive the nutrients best suited to them. For example, large breeds can be prone to orthopaedic issues and smaller breeds can be more likely to have dental health and urinary tract concerns.
Appropriate feeding throughout your pet’s life can not only help prevent some health issues but can also assist in the management of other diseases. There are times where vets may prescribe a specific diet if a pet may have a disease or condition that needs nutritional support.
Every pet is different. Speak to your local Greencross Vets today to find out about your pet’s specific dietary needs.