Veterinary Viewpoint on Importance of Pet Nutrition
Animals require certain essential nutrients and a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and certain vitamins and minerals. Removing these nutrients can result in a deficiency and cause illness in your pet. Our skilled veterinary team here at Airport Animal Hospital in North Bay advises pet owners on how to feed their pets, what foods are best and can suggest personalized pet nutritional plans to help keep pets healthy throughout all stages of life.
The first thing to realize is that pet nutrition means different things when applied to different animals. Dogs and cats, for instance, have specific and somewhat incompatible nutritional needs. Dogs are omnivores, meaning that they can get their nutritional needs from both plant and animal matter, whereas cats must consume meat to survive. Always take care to feed dog food to dogs and cat food to cats and do not interchange the two.
Pet nutrition is quite different from human nutrition in that animals’ bodies process certain nutrients differently. Vitamin C deficiency, for example, can cause gum disease, tooth loss and impaired immunity to disease in humans, so we must consume it in our daily diets. Dogs and cats, on the other hand, manufacture adequate amounts of Vitamin C in the liver and thus do not require it in their food. Table scraps contain an improper nutrient balance and excessive amounts of fat, and some "human foods" such as chocolate can even create a veterinary emergency.
Your pet’s nutritional changes may change over time. Puppies and kittens typically require higher levels of protein to accommodate their boundless energy and rapid growth. As your pet ages, however, his size, weight and metabolism will stabilize, and you’ll need to feed him approximately the same amount of food every day to avoid either malnutrition or obesity. Senior pets may grow sedentary, requiring you to decrease their food portions, and some may develop specific medical conditions that call for a customized program from your veterinarian.
Nutritional Plans for North Bay Pets from Our Veterinarians
To ensure a lifetime of wellness for your pet, schedule an appointment with us at Airport Animal Hospital. Our veterinary staff performs annual wellness evaluations to detect any problems before they escalate into serious health threats, including nutritional deficiencies, pet obesity or other problems related to dietary intake.
If your pet has developed a health challenge that calls for a special diet, any veterinarian at our animal hospital can prescribe the right foods in the right portions and advise you on the “dos and don’ts” of feeding. Your pet will look better, feel better and enjoy a higher level of overall well-being – make sure your pet is on the right path to nutritional health.