Nutritional Counseling and It’s Impact on Your Pet’s Health
One of the most important aspects of good pet care is your pet’s nutrition. You’ve heard the adage, “you are what you eat,” right? The same applies to your pet. If your pet is eating poor quality food, getting a lot of table scraps, or eating wrong portions, their health will suffer.
The food quality, the types of food and snacks they eat, the amount of food they get, and the frequency make up your pet’s overall nutritional picture. Having the right nutritional plan for your pet goes a long way toward living an active life with minimal health issues.
Whether you are a seasoned pet owner or you just got a new pet, speak to your vet at your dog’s annual wellness exam as to whether adjustments in your pet’s nutrition need to be made.
The Dangers of Pet Obesity
Obesity is one of the biggest problems pets face due to owners not understanding what their pets need to be their healthiest. When your pet is obese, many health problems that can occur that will interfere with their quality of life and can even tragically shorten the life of your cherished pet.
An overweight pet may not be able to run around and play, climb up and downstairs, or even get on the couch the way their thinner pet buddies can. Many obese pets have trouble simply walking from place to place.
Paying attention to your pet’s weight as they grow can prevent obesity and the need to ever put your pet on a restricted diet. Overweight pets can develop the same health issues overweight people can, including diabetes, heart problems, arthritis due to pressure on the joints, and gastrointestinal problems. This affects their quality and longevity of life.
Signs of Poor Nutrition
We understand how easy it is, as a loving pet owner, to want to spoil your pet with lots of treats and tasty meals. To avoid your pet gaining weight unnecessarily, the food they eat needs to include the right ingredients and nutrition for its age, breed, and species.
With the many different brands and types of food available, it can be difficult to choose what is best for your pet’s health. During an appointment with your vet, whether it’s a specific checkup or a routine wellness exam, you can discuss the type of food and nutrition your pet should have. The last thing you want is for your pet to be getting empty calories with no nutritional value or benefit.
Signs of poor nutrition include:
- dry, flaky coat (dandruff)
- excessive shedding or patchy hair loss
- excessive gas
- bad breath (bad doggy breath is not normal)
- body odor
- unusual bowel movements such as constipation or diarrhea
Scheduling your pet for regular wellness checks with our office, right from the very beginning, will help you know how much your pet should weigh as they reach certain age milestones.
You don’t need to stress about your pet’s weight because we will ensure that you have the right eating plan in place that will keep them in great shape throughout their lives.
Don’t worry, you can still spoil them, but you can do it in other ways such as extra playtime, a walk to their favorite park, or special toys rather than lots of treats or table scraps that can have an unintentional negative effect on their health.
What Do I Do if My Pet is Already Overweight?
If your pet is currently overweight, don’t be too hard on yourself, but do schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. The sooner you take steps to get the right food for your pet, the sooner it will feel better.
We are here to help and provide you with the right nutritional plan to take those pounds off and get them back on track. A healthy pet is a happy pet at any age.
Can Nutrition Have an Impact on a Pet’s Illness?
Despite your best efforts in keeping your pet healthy with regular visits to our office, sometimes pets can contract certain illnesses, including diabetes, arthritis, heart problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and liver and kidney disease.
Poor nutrition can make these health problems worse, tragically shortening your pet’s life. The good news is that many health issues can be reduced or even reversed with the proper combination of nutrition and medicine.
Nutritional Counseling Services We Offer
Many veterinary clinics offer various nutritional counseling services that will ensure your pet is eating the best possible food and amounts for its size, weight, current health, and age. We’ve listed some of these terrific services below:
- customized nutrition plans
- eating plan analysis
- supplementation counseling and recommendation
- home-cooked diet formulations
- critical care nutrition for your pet with health challenges
- regular consultations and check-ups to ensure ongoing nutritional success
- senior pet nutrition
You can also discuss these points with your vet during any checkup as diet is an integral part of pet care.
Will Nutritional Counseling Help Me Feed My Pet Correctly?
Yes! We take the guesswork out of the nutritional process by sitting down with you and coming up with a plan that will be the best for your individual pet’s needs and preferences, including the best and safest treats to feed them.
When coming up with your pet’s ideal nutritional plan, we consider several factors that make up their individual nutritional requirements. These factors include:
- age of your pet
- type of pet
- their current weight
- exercise level
- existing health issues
By the end of your veterinary visit, you will have the perfect eating plan in place for your pet buddy that will help them get into the best shape and health of their lives. The nutritional counseling you receive in our office provides you with confidence and peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to feed your sweet pet companion the best diet for their specific needs.
This is a great lesson for your kids if they are pet owners, as well, and we encourage you to bring them to the appointment so they can learn how to take care of their pets’ nutritional needs early on.
It’s Never too Late – Give Your Pet Good Food They Deserve!
Getting started with dietary advice early in your pet’s life will ensure that you will know what to feed them, how often, and when to change those amounts as your cherished pet ages. A small pet does not require the same nutritional plan that a large pet does. This is especially true with different dog breeds that may reach the age of maturity later than others and so on.
By ensuring that you get started on the right nutritional plan from day one and keeping your wellness check-up appointments with us, your pet will have everything they need to be tiny and mighty, or grow big and strong.
Need help finding the optimal nutrition for your pet? Schedule a nutritional counseling consultation or a wellness checkup with us and ensure that your pet is getting the best nutrition possible.