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"You are what you eat," or so goes the old saying -- a saying that doesn't apply only to humans. Your beloved pet requires a precise balance of nutrients, administered on the right schedule, to ensure optimal physical function and a healthy weight. But between the smorgasbord of pet food products available and your pet's begging for table scraps, it can be hard to provide proper nutrition. That's why we're proud to offer nutrition counseling here at Fort Garry Veterinary Hospital. Your pet may even benefit from vitamins and other nutritional supplements.
Different pets have different nutritional needs. A puppy or kitten, for instance, may require a few meals a day during their early growth and development period, while adult animals usually need just a couple of daily meals. Larger or more active pets obviously need more fuel than smaller or more sedentary ones. The relationship between food intake and activity can sneak up on you as your pet gets older and slower, at which point he may need a reduction in calories or risk obesity. Obesity, which is frighteningly prevalent among pets, can lead to joint damage, heart disease, kidney or thyroid problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer.
The question of what to feed your pet is as important as the question of how much. A cat, for instance, must have meat so his diet can include the necessary Vitamin A and taurine, substances that a dog's body can manufacture from either plant or animal sources. This is why you shouldn't serve dog food and cat food interchangeably. Pets can also get fat and sick off of human foods, especially animal-toxic foods such as chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and alcohol.
Our veterinarians in Winnipeg can help you employ smart nutritional choices as a critical aspect of pet wellness. Weighing your pet and discussing his diet/activity during a pet wellness exam can help us determine whether dietary and nutritional adjustments are in order. We can also prescribe specialized yet nutritious meals to help your pet cope with food allergies (which are typically triggered by some of the most common pet food ingredients), anti-inflammatory foods to treat disorders such as osteoarthritis, and diets designed to address systemic internal diseases such as diabetes or kidney failure. As your pet ages, we can recommend additional nutritional strategies alongside a gentle exercise program to keep the excess pounds off.
If you think your pet is looking a bit chubby or you're just not sure how to provide him with the ideal nutritional mix for his needs, you've got a friend here at Fort Garry Veterinary Hospital. Call our vet hospital today at 204-452-9010 to arrange for pet nutrition counseling from our veterinarians in Winnipeg!