Remember that early morning when you missed breakfast because you were running late and you felt like a zombie trying to remain calm and communicate effectively with the disembodied voice in the Tim Horton’s drive-thru?
Urban Dictionary—only because the Oxford Dictionary has yet to incorporate it within its pages—defines “hangry” as “when you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.” Now, I’m not saying that a nutritional balanced breakfast will turn your zombie self back into a fully functional human being, but the recent induction of the term “hangry” into our daily discourse highlights a correlation between our behaviour and the satisfaction of our nutritional needs. For example, if we look closely at the concept of a “balanced” breakfast, we can see that what our body requires are different proportions of nutrients sourced from a variety of foods to feel full and satisfied. So how does this concept translate to patient care in veterinary medicine?
Healthcare begins on the inside. Oftentimes many health issues experienced by our pets can be avoided or repaired by meeting proper nutritional needs. Firstly, I must address the idea that this is not a fast track to fixing a current health problem or an alternative to visiting your veterinarian; think of it like a bicycle helmet: it may not prevent you from falling off, but it will reduce the chances of you receiving a head injury. According to Dr. Doreen Houston, studies have shown that Royal Canin Urinary SO and Hill’s C/D Multicare feline foods have resulted in an 80-90% reduction in symptoms for cats diagnosed with idiopathic cystitis—the most common feline lower urinary tract disease. Similarly, there are feline and canine foods that are packed with the right nutrients to make your overweight pet feel full, such as Royal Canin Satiety Support. These veterinary certified foods differ from those found in your local grocery store or pet store in that they are formulated specifically to prevent or repair health problems. Think of it like eating home cooked meals or McDonalds everyday; one is more likely than the other to provide your body with the what it needs and one is more likely to lead to further health problems. This is not to say that a bag of food from a grocery store will cause your pet harm, and we all like the occasional fast-food burger. What I’m saying is that your pet sitting by it’s bowl or yelling at you all day may be a result of them not receiving the proper nutrients their body needs and they’re most likely feeling a little “hangry” about it.
Written by: Krista Collier-Jarvis