The Importance of Nutritional Health for Your Pets 

Nutrition is one of the most essential elements of good pet health care.   Commercial pet foods are formulated to provide the necessary protein, energy, vitamins and minerals a particular pet requires.  Human foods, while tempting to pets, do not provide all their nutritional requirements.  There are several good quality pet foods on the market and this article is not intended to promote one over another.  Just know that it is important to feed a good quality pet food from a reputable pet food company rather than feed whatever is least expensive.

It is important to feed for life stage and size as well.  Puppies and kittens should be fed puppy and kitten foods as they have different nutritional requirements than adult pets.  Adult dogs and cats should be fed food especially for adult pets and not puppy or kitten food.  Senior pets should be fed senior diets and not puppy/kitten or adult foods.  If you see a food that says it is for all life stages, don’t buy that food.  For cats and small dogs, senior status begins around eight years of age.  For large breed dogs, it begins a little earlier or around seven years of age.

Large breed dogs have different nutritional requirements than do small breeds particularly regarding normal bone and joint development.  Try to feed food that specifies if it is for small breeds, medium breeds or large breeds.  You don’t feed a Chihuahua and a Great Dane the same diet.  Kibble size is a factor as well.  Small kibble size should be fed to small breeds and large kibble size should be fed to large breeds.  

Dry food is preferred for several reasons.  It can sit in a bowl longer without going bad.  It helps keep pets’ teeth clean and healthy.  And it is typically less expensive.  Canned foods are OK to give to pets as a treat or if a pet has no teeth or a sore mouth.  Canned food may also be used to mix in dry food to make it more palatable.  It is best to avoid feeding your pet human food as some may be toxic.  Visit our website for more information.

Note: The advice provided in this article is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.

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