Nutritional Consults

Nutrition... It matters in all life stages!

Without proper nutrition, our fur pets can succumb to deformities or illnesses than can impact their overall quality of life. Large breed puppies are one example of this, if they are not fed an appropriate type of food during their first year of life, they can develop orthopaedic diseases such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and growth velocity.

It might not seem like much, and you can be forgiven for thinking that “a pet food is a pet food”, however just like us, pets require specific nutrients for daily function.

Fats, water, vitamins, minerals, fibres and proteins are all of extreme importance when establishing a proper diet for your pet. The levels of these nutrients vary depending on the life stage or life style of your pet; for example if you have a senior pet (seven years or greater), fat and energy levels in their food should be reduced as geriatric pets are likely not as active as a puppy or young adult. Instead an increased level of vitamins and minerals are formulated to assist with the immune system and their brain function, the percentage of fibre will also be increased to assist with gut movement.

All of these may be things that you have never considered but they are of extreme importance and without having a scientifically designed diet, disorders like obesity, kidney disease, liver disease and heart disease may occur at an early age.

Considering a premium diet is a start to helping your pet lead the best life that they can and it can also assist with overall coat and skin formation as well as prevent excessive stools.

So what is the difference between a premium diet and a commercial diet? A premium diet as already explained, has a range of life stage and life style products that are individually designed for that specific pet’s needs (hairball, indoor, age defying, large breed, toy breed and more). A premium diet is also made with natural and real ingredients. Commercial brands are often a generic product that has no specific measurement of nutrients. This means that often an excess amount can be given without us even knowing! This may depend on the time of year and what access the pet food company has to cheaper ingredients, often these foods for example can be higher in protein and minerals which can cause kidney disease, or they can be bulked up with cereals and offal that offer no real use to our pet other than filling them up.

Raw diets can also be tricky to navigate as without meaning too we can very easily leave out key nutrients, they can also have a high level of bacteria present especially when given uncooked, resulting in tummy upsets for our beloved furry friends. If you must feed a handmade diet, please speak with your veterinary team as they will be able to provide you with recipes that ensure a balanced diet, but you may also need to introduce a supplement.
 
Lots of owners worry that by providing only one type of food they are depriving their pets of the joy of variety, whilst humans love variety in their meals, pets generally don’t! While our furry friends have amazing senses of smell, that doesn’t extend to their taste buds, however there are different ways that you’re able to give food to your pets that will make their meal times more interesting and provide environmental enrichment which is much more valuable to them. That may be using different food systems such as snuffle mats or puzzle bowls. There are also different fun recipes that you can use for play Kongs or premium diets.  

As veterinary professionals we love helping your fur pets and we love educating pet owners in the importance of pet health and care. If you’re ever unsure and would like to know what is best for your pet contact us for guidance or simply a chat. Within our clinics we run nutritional consultations that include assessments of your pet’s body score condition and body fat index percentages and we will also take specific measurements of your cat or dog. With that information we’ll then design a personalised meal plan for them.

Our nutritional consultations are FREE, so please call us today to book in with our Veterinary Nurses.

 

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