Love your pet ... love your vet - February 2010
Meal deal – choosing the ideal diet!
Choosing a diet for your pet can sometimes seem a daunting task with such a huge range to select from. To make matters more complicated our pet’s dietary requirements alter as they grow from little kittens and puppies into adulthood and ultimately moving into old age. However, the good news is that with ‘life stage diets’ we are able to feed our pets a correctly balanced diet for every stage of their lives.
Puppies and kittens: because of their rapid growth rate, they need higher levels of energy, protein, fatty acids and other nutrients. Specifically formulated junior/growth diets ensure controlled growth (and avoiding obesity) and healthy joint development. Puppies of large and giant breeds also have different dietary requirements and require their own specially formulated diets.
Adult pets: with their major growth phase now complete, they require a balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy, but with lower levels of many of the nutrients mentioned above. To achieve this, adult pets require a carefully balanced adult/maintenance diet.
Older pets: they will be benefit from specifically formulated geriatric/senior diets. These have reduced calorie content to help prevent weight gain in older age, higher fibre content to reduce constipation and changes in protein and mineral levels to reduce the workload of internal organs such as the kidney, liver and heart.
Don’t forget: carrying extra weight places extra demands on virtually all of the organs in the body and this is the same for our pets. Excess weight can lead to or worsen many medical conditions including: joint and ligament problems, heart disease, increased blood pressure, sugar diabetes, breathing difficulties, decreased stamina and heat intolerance. Sadly affected pets often become old before their time, have a diminished quality of life and a reduced life expectancy.
You can tell if your pet is over-weight by feeling their chest – the ribs should be felt easily – but not seen. Dogs and cats should have a 'waist' between ribs and hips.
Whether healthy or poorly your pet will benefit most from a high quality diet that suits their needs. Your veterinary surgeon will advise you on the best dietary health plan for your pet throughout all the stages of their lives.
** VOUCHER FOR FREE 1ST VET CONSULTATION ** Print off the voucher and take with you to Hillside Vets
Keith Moore BVSc MRCVS is a Veterinary Surgeon at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. For more information visit www.hillsidevets.co.uk.
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