Diet and Nutrition

The appropriate diet and nutrition can increase your pet’s life expectancy. With so many brands and types of dog food available it can be very difficult to know what is best, Accuvet Veterinary Hospital can advise you on the best food for your pet.

The nutritional needs of dog and cats have evolved so when you feed your pet you must provide a diet that is complete and balanced, fulfilling all their nutritional needs.

Home Prepared Diets

Can be very palatable depending on the ingredients used, but are usually not nutritionally complete, with the calcium/phosphorus balance and vitamin, mineral and fatty acid levels being particular problem areas. Dietary imbalances can result in many health problems, including bone disease in growing pups, poor skin and coat condition and intestinal disorders.

Supermarket Pet Foods

Foods found in supermarkets usually provide your dog’ and cat with basic nutritional needs but make use of cheaper ingredients such as cereals, offal and soybean products, resulting in reduced palatability and digestibility, flatulence and a larger volume of stools with more odor. Artificial colours and flavour enhancers are often used and the balance of fatty acids, vital for a healthy skin and coat, is not optimal.

Veterinary Diets e.g. Royal Canin, Hills, Vets Choice, Ultradog

These are quality pet foods available from Accuvet Veterinary Hospital. They are available in formulations to suit dogs of all ages and activity levels, such as puppy, adult and low calorie, and are available in both tinned and dried variety.

These foods have the following advantages:

All protein is of a high biological value, which means that the balance of amino acids matches the needs of your dog. Such quality proteins include chicken, duck, venison, beef and egg, but not dairy products, which cause diarrhoea in some dogs, or soybean products, which do not contain all the amino acids that your dog needs and can interfere with digestion of other nutrients.

These diets are highly digestible, resulting in a smaller volume of stools with less smell, especially important with recent concerns regarding environmental contamination with canine feces.

No artificial colours or flavour enhancers are added.

The fiber level is optimal. Too much dietary fiber results in reduced digestibility and interferes with the absorption of other nutrients. The fiber source is beet pulp, providing a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes the health of the ‘good bacteria’ in the bowel. These bacteria prevent invasion of the bowel by harmful bacteria and produce acids which make the cells lining the bowel healthier. The health of the bowel is therefore improved. In fact, in many dogs, long-term diarrhea problems have been solved simply by switching to one of these diets.

These diets have the correct balance of fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat and to help control inflammation and itching due to allergies.  They are highly palatable which means less waste through uneaten food.

This information is provided as an advisory service only to assist pet owners and cares, if you have concerns over the health or behavior of your pet please contact Accuvet Veterinary Hospital for a professional opinion.