Some Veterinary info on NUTRITION

 

How a dog’s nutritional needs differ from ours?

In a study of homemade pet foods, more than 90 percent of foods were found to be nutritionally unbalanced and incomplete for pets. It is extremely difficult to make sure that a diet is balanced for a dog. It has been proven that feeding an unbalanced diet for as little as 2 weeks, can compromise your dogs immune system. Therefore reputable commercial pet food companies have spent years working out the perfect balance of nutrients for your dog.

 

  • Each species has very different nutritional requirements. Cooking for your dog is not the same as cooking for your children or yourself. Dogs have nutritional requirements that are quite different from humans.
  • Foods that are not properly balanced to meet a dog’s needs can lead to health problems. For example, calcium and phosphorus must be balanced to ensure that a careful ratio of more calcium than phosphorus is maintained for a healthy metabolism.
  • Dogs have a need for much more taurine than humans require. Too little taurine can lead to heart and eye disorders.
  • Never feed raw meat to your dog. The handling of raw meat is always a critical part of cooking our human foods. It is also important in our dogs’ foods. Raw meats often contain bacteria like salmonella, listeria and even E. coli, which can be very dangerous to pets and the humans who care for them. Dogs and other pets fed raw meat can pass bacteria on to the humans who come in contact with them. Small children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems may become seriously ill.

How and When To Feed Your Adult Dog?

It’s important to feed your dog the right amount of food at proper intervals, but this can be tricky — it’s also worth remembering that feeding requirements vary greatly from one dog to another. Feeding guides on the food can or bag are just a starting point. It’s critical to your dog’s health that his physical condition be monitored regularly and the feeding amount be adjusted as needed

To help keep your adult dog healthy, follow the simple steps in this cycle:

  • Weigh your dog
  • Feed him based on feeding guide and veterinary recommendations
  • Evaluate your dog’s physical condition  every two to three weeks for the first six months  (using the body condition table found on the following website www.petslimmer.co.za )
  • Adjust the amount you feed accordingly
  • Repeat

Switching food

If switching your dog to a new diet, gradually introduce it over a 7-day period. Do this by mixing your dog’s former food with increasing proportions of the new food, until only the new food is being fed.

. You and your vet Your vet is the best source of information about the health and wellbeing of your dog. Ask your vet to advise regularly on your dog’s weight because achieving and maintaining a pet’s ideal weight not only reduces certain health risks, but can lead to your dog having a more energetic, longer and healthier life.

Different feeding options;

Free Choice: Food is available to your dog at all times. This is not recommended as it often leads to obesity. Going off their food is also a good indication of illness, something that could be missed if dogs are fed free choice. Time-Limited Feeding: Food is available to your dog for a limited time, but as much as he wants to eat for that time. This is also not ideal as can lead to obesity and excessive intake of air with the food.
Meal Feeding: A measured amount of food is available to your dog at specific meal times each day. This is the recommended feeding method as you can control the amount of food your dog eats, and will know quickly if he goes off his food.

Water Your dog must have an adequate supply of fresh water at all times. Not having water to drink for a sustained length of time can harm your dog’s health.

Treats & tidbits Although it’s tempting to give them table scraps, these do not provide your dog with the correct balance of nutrients, and often contain too much fat and salt. Try to be sparing with treats, as giving too many can lead to weight gain or nutritional imbalance. Also remember that salt carries a much higher risk for a dog than a human, and can exacerbate early heart or kidney disease.

The next step At around seven years old your dog will reach the senior stage of life. The nutritional needs of older dogs are different from those of younger adults, so you should change your pet’s food to a senior formulation. These formulations should restrict the nutrients that could cause or exacerbate problems common in senior pets, like kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes and obesity. Biological anti oxidants have been shown to improve immune function, and  are thought to have anti-cancer properties too. By feeding a good quality senior diet you can help keep him younger as he gets older, and delay the onset of senior related diseases.

 

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One Response to “ Some Veterinary info on NUTRITION ”

  1. Vanessa venter says:

    Hi i would like to know what is your opinion of vets choice as my 2 beagles was on royal canine and started scratching so i now have them on vets choice but dont know if its a good choice of food? Would appreciate your opinion on the food thank you

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