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Does Nutrition Really Effect My Pet’s Health?

As a veterinary technician, part of my job is to ensure that my clients are informed about proper nutritional diets and which one is most appropriate for their pet. Most people do not understand the important role that nutrition plays in their pet’s everyday life and so a very important part of my job is to ensure that all of my clients understand which diet best corresponds with their pet’s needs.

Say you have an 8-week-old puppy or kitten that you have just adopted, it is my job as medical professional to ensure that you are aware of and hopefully feeding your new fur baby something that has appropriate nutrition for development and growth, as well as decreasing the possibility of digestive ailments such as vomiting and diarrhea. We all love our babies and want what is best for them, fur or not; proper nutrition is always the building blocks to a long healthy life.

If a client comes in with a healthy 3-year-old dog, an adult maintenance diet would usually be the best fit for this pet, but there are tonnes of options to feed a healthy adult. My job would be to ensure the dog is receiving a sufficient number of nutrients, vitamins and a healthy balance of proteins and carbs if they are not then I must advocate for the pet to be transitioned to more appropriate diet.

When a client comes in with their pet wanting to know about oral health, I am ecstatic!  Oral health for pets is equally important to their human companions. Alongside regular brushing, all healthy pets are good candidates for one of our veterinary dental diets. Veterinary specific dental diets typically have larger kibble larger so that the animal’s teeth have to penetrate the kibble in order to eat it which allows for a mechanical cleaning on all sides of the teeth (if your pet does not like to chew their food, this may not be a good option). Veterinary dental diets are nutritionally balanced and can be used as a regular diet.

As our pets age, we may want to consider changing their diets to a mature formula which is suitable for a dog older than the age of 7 and cat around the age of 8. The diet is suitable for mature animals with early stages of kidney and heart disease and has additional antioxidants to support cognitive function, and includes things like omega 3 fatty acids to slow the progression of the renal disease.

For a long, healthy life it is very important to be feeding the appropriate diet to an animal regardless of what stage they are in, with or without a disease. It is important to choose the right diet so come see me for a nutritional consult or next time you are at your veterinarian, make sure to ask if what you are feeding your pet is a good choice for them!

Written by Brittany Skinner, RVT

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