Nutrition, including controlling your pet’s weight, seriously affects pet health, especially as your pet ages. Weight management is
one of the most critical factors in maintaining pet health. Giving your pet unlimited access to food (free feeding) is one of the worst things you
can do. The standard serving for felines and canines is 120-170 calories per pound of body weight. If you’re trying to help your pet gain weight,
increase caloric intake, and if you’re wanting your pet to lose weight, decrease caloric consumption. During a routine exam, we can discuss the
exact amount of food to add or subtract from your pet’s diet based on breed, activity level, and current weight. Remember that overweight pets are
more likely to suffer from arthritis, certain cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and skin problems.
Pet food classifications:
The following pet food classifications are as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
By-products – Pet food that contains by-products which are declared clean and free from foreign substances and
Natural – Natural pet food is defined as having ingredients that are obtained entirely from plants, animals,
and/or mined sources. Natural pet food is free from all chemical processing.
Organic* – Organic pet food is, at minimum, 95% produced and handled in observance of all USDA National Organic
*If advertised as 100% organic, then 100% of the ingredients (including additives) must be organic.
Keep in mind that a pet food classification does not dictate superiority. Many pet food manufacturers market their natural or
organic foods as being better than pet foods with by-product, but that isn’t always the case. Some organic and natural foods lack the vitamins and
minerals that a food with by-product can offer. The main goal of pet food is to maintain a nutritious and balanced diet; this can be obtained with
the right pet food, regardless of what category it fits into. If you need help choosing proper pet food, our veterinary staff will happily provide
you with our recommendations.
Medicated diets are created to augment nutritional needs for pets dealing with illness or disease. A variety of manufacturers
design pet food specifically for pets suffering from allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, and more.
If you think a medicated diet would benefit your pet, contact our office today.
As your pet ages their need for phosphorus, sodium, calcium, and protein lessen while their need for fiber increases. Dietary
supplements can help meet your pet’s needs as they age. Supplements also offer therapeutic function. Vitamins and glucosamine are just some of the
beneficial supplements available for your pet. Please inform your veterinarian if you think dietary supplements would be helpful for your pet.