Nutrition recommendations for dogs
Proper nutrition is essential for your dog’s development and health. Unfortunately, many well-meaning dog owners are uneducated about what constitutes a proper and healthy diet for their canine companions. By working with your ZippiVet veterinarian, you can learn how to feed your pet an ideal diet for health and longevity.
People often have the misconception that since dogs are carnivores, their diet should be meat-based. But in reality, dogs have evolved and adapted to an omnivorous lifestyle. This means their ideal diet consists of both animal and plant matter. A well-balanced diet has optimal combinations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids. This balance can help maintain biological functions, build tissue, and keep your dog active and strong.
The specific amount and balance of nutrients varies from animal to animal and depends on age. For example, your 8-week-old puppy will need a different diet than your 8-year-old dog.
Another misconception is that dogs require raw food. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, dogs digest carbohydrates easier when they are cooked. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has developed and published guidelines for commercial dog foods. Your ZippiVet veterinarian can discuss these guidelines with you, and educate you on the proper nutritional balance for your dog.
At your pet’s regular annual examination, your veterinarian will check your dog’s overall health, including weight, tooth and gum issues, and other indicators of proper diet. If adjustments to your dog’s diet are required, your veterinarian will discuss these needs with you.
Consider ZippiVet your partners in all of your pet’s nutritional needs. We will educate you and make recommendations to ensure your dog is eating right.
Nutrition recommendations for cats
Like any pet, cats have specialized nutritional requirements that help them maintain their overall health and wellness. While each cat has individual health care needs, it is important to understand the basics of cat nutrition and to work with your ZippiVet veterinarian to build an ideal diet for your cat.
Many cat owners feed their cats exclusively dry food. Since premium brands of kibble advertise their food as the ideal nutritional balance for cats, many pet owners believe their companions are getting everything they need. However, cats have a far better chance at a long life and optimal wellness if they eat a canned, wet-food diet.
Cats can actually become addicted to a dry-food diet. The carbohydrates in dry food make them active and energetic. But dry food has a very low water content, which can lead to dehydration and urinary tract problems. Cats don’t drink much water, so it’s important for them to get some of their water intake from the food they eat. Canned food has a high water content, which helps to supplement this important deficiency.
Cats have not evolved to be truly omnivorous. They are absolutely carnivores, and dry cat food has a high degree of plant-based proteins, which cats cannot properly process. In addition, the very carbohydrates that cats love can cause conditions like obesity, intestinal disease, and diabetes.
Even if your cat seems to be fine on dry food, they might still be at risk. It can take a long time for adverse conditions to result in disease or health problems. You should always address your cat’s diet and nutritional needs with your ZippiVet veterinarian, revisiting them at each annual examination.