Many pet owners take nutrition for granted. Did you know that
SPECIALLY FORMULATED DIETS
can assist in the management of various medical conditions, including kidney disease, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease? From the very first day you bring a new pet home through the final days of its life, nutrition plays a critical role in your pet’s overall health and well-being.
Proper nutrition and a balanced diet, along with fresh, clean water, is an essential ingredient for your pet’s overall good health. As your pet’s caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable you control.
Feeding your pet the highest-quality food you can afford is one of the best ways you can contribute to his or her health and vitality. Although the differences between premium and budget varieties may not be apparent on their nutrition labels, they are in the quality of the ingredients. Both may contain the same amount of protein but may be very different when it comes to digestibility and nutritional value. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only effects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet’s life.
To support your efforts, your Derry veterinarian will perform a thorough body evaluation during every physical examination and give recommendations based on what we see, including information on proper serving size, nutrient needs, and feeding strategies. We will also help you navigate pet food claims so you can make the most informed choices.
Prescription Diets: Some pets have weight challenges or chronic conditions that benefit from a special diet. When that is the case, we may recommend feeding a special prescription diet. Making this change can have a significant positive impact on your pet’s overall health and well-being.
Prescription diets benefit medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney disease, digestive problems, renal failure, food allergies, diabetes, and more. For your convenience, Derry Animal Hospital sells Purina, Royal Canin, Hills and Iams prescription products.
Quality pet foods should have a claim of nutritional adequacy on their packaging. This signifies that the food is “formulated to meet or exceed the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO nutritional profiles,” or “animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the food provides complete and balanced nutrition” for your pet’s life stage. Pet foods that go through AAFCO feeding trials have an added layer of protection and can be trusted to be safer and more nutritious for your dog or cat.
Dogs and cats have varying nutrition needs based on their age, size, and any existing health conditions they might have. Puppies and kittens tend to require a high-protein diet to help them grow up healthy. Adult pets need a diet that helps them maintain a healthy weight and activity level. Senior dogs and cats may need a prescription diet to help them manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, or diabetes. The key is to make sure your pet is on a diet formulated to meet all their specific needs. Your veterinarian can give you the best recommendations.
Don’t skip out on reading the food labels before selecting a food for your pet. Take a look at the nutritional adequacy statement and carefully comb through the ingredients list to see what’s included. Consult feeding directions and guaranteed analysis as well. While it may be tempting to choose a budget-friendly diet alternative, there is often a marked difference between budget varieties and premium quality diets. Talk to your veterinarian so they can help you choose a food for your pet that meets their needs and suits your budget at the same time.
As we briefly mentioned above, prescription diets can help dogs and cats manage chronic health conditions. Whether you’re trying to help your pet lose weight, reduce allergy symptoms, or alleviate digestive issues, your vet can discuss prescription diet options formulated to address those specific problems. Derry Animal Hospital carries a wide range of high-quality pet foods for just this purpose, including Royal Canin, Purina, Hills, and Iams.