Pet Nutrition

Our pets are important parts of our lives, and most pet owners want to do whatever they can to make sure their pets stay healthy. One of the aspects of a pet’s life owners have the most control over is nutrition. Managing a pet’s nutrition is a very important part of pet care and can be challenging and confusing because not all pets have the same nutritional needs. It often takes some guidance from a veterinarian to figure out what type of diet is the best for your pet.

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Finding the Right Food for Your Pet

If you are like most pet owners, you probably choose what you believe is good quality food for your pets soon after they join your family. For some, this just means grabbing a bag of whatever they were fed by the breeder after they were weaned from their mothers. There are foods formulated for puppies and kittens especially, that contain more fat to help ensure proper growth. There are foods marketed as grain-free, gluten-free, holistic, and may fully or in part made with raw ingredients.  People also commonly feed some table scraps to their dog or cat, which is a major reason why many pets become overweight or obese. The wrong foods, such as foods with sugar, can also affect pets’ dental health. If these are included in your pets’ diet, they should be included sparingly.

In most cases, having diets high in protein is important for both dogs and cats. Cats especially need to make sure that they have plenty of taurine in their diet, as it protects their vision and hearts. While protein can be found in a variety of foods, both animal and plant-based, taurine, in particular, is exclusive to animals, so it is important that meat be the main ingredient in your cat's food. Other things to look for are omega-3 fatty acids, which help with fur and skin health and protect the organs. These fats can also help pet food taste good to your pet. Fiber, through vegetables, rice, or wheat can help with energy and digestion. However, protein and fat should be the stars of your pet's food in most cases.

Monitoring the Need for Special Food

For the most part, if you buy a reputable meat-based food for your pet, and limit treats and table scraps, your pets should be fairly healthy for the bulk of their lives, but sometimes health issues arise in pets, and pet owners and vets need to take a second look at their diets. The most common reason your veterinarian may want to monitor your pets a bit more is if your pets have become overweight. Healthy weight formulas of pet food often contain more fiber in order to help pets feel full to avoid over-eating.

Bladder stones are a common problem for many dogs and may lead them to need a prescription diet. These diets are designed to help dogs drink more water and balance out the pH level in their urine to prevent bladder stones. Kidney disease is also a reason why pets’ diets may need to be adjusted. A sensitive stomach, food allergies, and heart disease are also reasons that your vet make want to make some changes and prescribe prescription diets for your pets.

Whatever you feed your pets, it is important to always be open and honest with our Houston vet in order to help us provide your pets with the best pet care possible. If you are looking for a veterinary clinic in Northern Houston near the suburbs of Spring and Tomball, Best Care Animal Hospital is here to help you take the best care of your pet possible. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Best Care Animal Hospital in Houston, TX at 281-251-0893.

 

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