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Ohhun Kwon

Director, A'alda Vet India Pvt. Ltd.

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Pet Nutrition – Cutting The Chase Towards A Balanced Diet With Facts From Veterinarians

Stay vary of misinformation Science has advanced and there are many power-packed safe food options for pets that can ensure complete nutritional requirements.

Photo Credit : Pic Courtesy: Pixabay,

Pet nutrition – cutting the chase towards a balanced diet with facts from veterinarians When it comes to feeding animals at home, the myths surrounding the space aren’t much different from the human nutrition scenario where social media and other mediums open a plethora of information. However, medically, they may not be the best. For example, there is a recent trend in the human diet to be “gluten free” and some pet parents translate that to being healthy and implement with their pet dogs, but research in the USA has shown that a link exists between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy. Hence, pet parents should only consult doctors or qualified nutritionists to avoid the harmful impacts of such diets.

Balanced diet for happy pets? A food item works differently on human’s vis a vis animal. A dog or cat that eats an unbalanced diet without essential nutrients is likely to suffer from health issues that can reduce life expectancy and quality of life. Pet owners prefer making pet meals themselves. Pertaining to difficult and different nutritional needs, a thorough understanding is required when it comes to home prepared pet feeding of their nutritional needs, dietary interactions and methods of preparation and storage. Ready to eat pet food from reputable brands /manufacturers come with the reassurance of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety.

Many pet parents depend on trusted commercial options so that diet and health aren’t compromised. Selecting nutritionally complete pet food means that it has been developed to provide a balanced diet. Pet food fulfills all of the animals’ requirements for energy, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Having said that, all packaged foods for pets must be verified with a qualified veterinarian. Bacteria can contaminate improperly formulated or undercooked pet food which can make your pet sick. Safeguards have been put into place by Pet food manufacturers throughout the manufacturing process to prevent such problems.

Complete details from the breeder help plan the diet ahead It is advised that one adopts from a reliable breeder/ family to know the right age of the dog. Not just vaccinations, even diets vary from puppy to adult food in the case of dogs and that shift can be done right if there is complete disclosure of information about the pet’s age. If you continue with puppy meals into adulthood of the puppy it could amount to deficiency and many other health issues. “Growth” foods necessary at the puppy stage have higher protein levels and calorie counts to meet your pup’s developmental needs. But once it has matured and the growth of the body has slowed down, changes are needed.

Growing pups who have higher metabolism and energy require more frequent meals than adult dogs. When you switch your dog to adult food, you’re not only cutting back on protein-dense, calorie-rich food, you’re cutting down on the number of meals.

The recipe for successful food transitioning is to do it gradually. Mix a small amount of the adult food with your dog’s favorite puppy formula and slowly increase the amount over a week, while decreasing the puppy food. You should only be feeding you dog adult food by the end of that week. Changing his food gradually makes it less likely he’ll experience any gastrointestinal issues.

Obesity tendency and regulation of portion If you know your pet is prone to overeating after you’ve observed enough to discuss ways with your vet to control portions of food and also regulate timings so as to control access to food for your pet. For starters don’t reward or love with food, pets must be trained to adhere to a plan based on timings and portions so that neither to they expect nor do you give into the temptation of timeless feeding. Also, it is best advised to not leave food out all day or at places where the pets can access it. This means you should give your pets a certain amount of time say like 30 minutes to eat each meal. Also, dog treats should make up 5-10% or less of your pet’s daily diet. Do check with the vet the no. of treats you can share with your pet in a day as it’s based on their weight and activity level.

Start Young Since their immune systems and tolerances are still developing, young animals are more vulnerable than adult members of their species which translates into the fact that the risk of contracting infections, diseases, etc is much higher in the early stages of life.

If a good diet plan is followed from this stage along with a robust vaccination plan, one can secure to a large extent a healthy life where risks of diseases are lowered. It is suggested that you ensure a vet health check-up and secure a plan for your pet’s health.

Conclusion – Stay vary of misinformation Science has advanced and there are many power-packed safe food options for pets that can ensure complete nutritional requirements. Going by hearsay, social media, an internet search can be detrimental as it may not be valid information and may not suit your pet, causing damage. This can also become the cause of long-term health issues and thus focusing on pet nutrition from the word go and that too with the help of an expert is recommended.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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Pet Nutrition Veterinarians Obesity tendency

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