Oftentimes we get questions from pet owners about what we feed our own pets. This can be a tricky question, as there is no “one size fits all” response. For instance, my German Shorthaired Pointer is very healthy and active, and eats a high protein, high energy diet. Our Chihuahua, on the other hand, has dental issues, and one of our elder cats is has chronic kidney disease. Many healthy dogs could eat almost any quality store-bought food and thrive. Dog foods with the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) approval/badge are guaranteed to be nutritionally sound and meet the needs of “normal” pets.
Prescription diets play an important role for animals that don’t quite fit the mold for “normal”.
Here’s a few prescription diets beneficial for dogs and cats.
Pets with from kidney failure need to eat diets containing moderate amounts of high quality protein to reduce the formation of nitrogen waste products that can make animals feel sick. Reduced phosphorous and sodium are also important.
Skin Food Allergies/Intolerance
Pets with a skin allergy/intolerance to ingredients regularly used in pet foods experience relief with foods including new/novel protein sources (e.g., venison, duck) or hydrolyzed diets.
Some gastrointestinal(GI) disorders can be managed with a highly digestible diet. Some are low in fat while others include high fiber. Picking the right GI diet depends on what specific disease your pet has been diagnosed with and sometimes requires “trial and error”.
Foods that are enriched with omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine/chondroitin, and antioxidants can promote healthy joints.
Some animals may lose weight quickly when fed a high fiber diet. The fiber adds bulk to the food, making them feel full without adding calories. However, others do better when they eat a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. We have several options that can help your pet.
Lower Urinary Tract Disease
Animals who produce excessive urinary crystals and stones can be at high risk for development and recurrence of stones. Encouraging water consumption is critical. Feeding them a diet that promote the formation of dilute urine (canned is best) and produces an optimal urine acidity is also important. Lastly, a diet containing reduced minerals that form crystals/stones can help.
Foods are also available that can help pets with diabetes, liver disease, dental disease, and recovery from illness or surgery. Talk to your pals at Blue Lake Animal Care Center about whether a prescription diet is a good idea for your pet.