What your pet eats is a major factor in ensuring your pet’s health and well-being. Vet care, nutrition and regular exercise are the corner stones for a happy, long-lived pet. All pets need basic nutrients to survive. These include:

  • Water: Your pet is made up of around 70% fluids and will die without adequate access to clean, fresh water.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates from starch and sugars provide the energy to keep the muscles and brain healthy and active.
  • Fibre: Fibre aids in digestion and helps balance their diet. Fibre also enhances the nutrients and energy from other food sources.
  • Fats: Fats help with sustained energy and promote nutrient absorption. Fats need to be in the right balance to prevent obesity and related conditions such as osteoarthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Proteins: These help your pet’s body in maintaining a healthy immune system as well as ensuring they can produce the hormones and enzymes needed to function. Protein is needed for healthy skin, nails and coat. Proteins should come from meat and plant sources. Cats and dogs need high-quality animal protein in their diets.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Just like us, pets need vitamins and minerals for them to be healthy. Most of the systems in the body need various vitamins and minerals to function correctly. Minerals such as phosphorous and calcium help keep bones strong while vitamins C and E boost your pet’s immune system.

To ensure your pet gains adequate nutrition from the food they eat it is recommended that you feed your pets premium pet foods. Foods made from high-quality ingredients and include the correct levels of nutrients are the best option. Premium brands are made according to optimum nutrition based on research. These brands offer good palatability and have a track record of good quality products. Generic products may not have good quality ingredients and may result in irregular bowel movements, obesity and excess intestinal gas.

Check the food for freshness before purchasing and only purchase as necessary. Store in a cool, dry place and make sure the pack is kept tightly closed. Discard food that has not been eaten and give fresh food daily. Make sure bowls are kept clean and hygienic. To ensure good dental health and minimal tartar build up a dry pelleted food (kibble) is recommended. Canned foods are more palatable and can be stored for longer but require extra vigilance for dental issues.

Make sure you feed the correct portions based on the ideal weight for your pet. Avoid feeding extra-large portions or allowing pets to eat as much as they want. This can lead to gastrointestinal upsets, obesity and bloat, which can be life-threatening. Stick to a regular feeding routine. This also helps to ensure regular bowel movements which makes house training easier. Puppies need to be fed more often than older dogs as they burn more calories due to their high energy.

A pet’s digestion is quite simple and can be upset quite easily by changes to their food. Avoid giving them table scraps and other human foods. This can cause issues with their digestion and result in an unbalanced diet. This may also lead to pancreas inflammation which can be fatal.

Puppies need to be fed a good quality puppy food on a regular basis (3 to 4 times per day) to ensure they are able to grow properly. They also require more calcium, protein and carbohydrates due to them being more energetic. Older dogs are generally fed once or twice a day. Stick to manufacturers recommendations. Senior dogs need a diet high in fibre and lower in fat to be healthy. Most brands also offer additives to improve and manage arthritis. Pets with special needs should be fed the recommended pet foods to improve their health and well-being. We can assist with advice on the best products to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. We can help draw up a nutritional plan for your pet to allow for a longer, healthier life.