Just as with humans regular exercise and responsible and balanced nutrition is the best way you can contribute to your pet's prolonged good health.
Your pet has some basic nutritional needs. Here are some:
- Water. It's essential in any diet. Your pet will quickly perish without it. Your pet should have access to clean, fresh water at all times.
- Carbohydrates for energy. These come from sugars, starch and fibre. A bright and active pet needs carbohydrates to rejuvenate brain and muscles.
- Fats for energy. In the right amounts, fats help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. Too much can lead to diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
- Proteins. Cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein for a healthy coat, skin and nails. The amino acids in proteins make enzymes and hormones to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Vitamins and minerals. These help regulate many body systems. Calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C boost immune systems.
How healthy is your pet's diet?
- Feed premium pet foods. They offer high-quality ingredients and palatability. Best for maintaining good health.
- Fresh is best. Check pet food for freshness. Store in a cool, dry place and keep lid tightly closed. Place in a clean bowl.
- Feed only the right amount. Check the label for the measured amount for your pet's ideal weight (may not be their current weight). Feeding too much or large amounts at one time can lead to obesity.
- Keep a regular feeding routine. This will help your pet keep normal bowel movements and avoid indoor accidents. Feed younger pets more frequently, as they usually burn more calories.
- Avoid feeding your food. Feeding 'human' food or your leftovers will result in an unbalanced diet, can cause stomach upsets or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Onions, garlic and chocolate, for example, are toxic for dogs and cats.
Life cycle feeding
Your pet's nutritional requirements will change as they age.
- Puppies need puppy food because it is higher in energy, calcium and protein.
- Older pets need diets restricted in fat and supplemented with fibre for their optimum health. Premium senior diets also contain additives to assist in the management of arthritis.
Please give us a call at Sydney Animal Hospitals to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs. Our trained veterinarians can ensure your pet gets the diet that will give them the optimum quality and length of life.
Remember, you are what you eat – and so is your pet!