Pet Nutrition: Education and Management
You’ve probably heard many times about the benefits of a healthy diet. However, a good diet is just as important for your pet. That’s why our veterinarian offers nutrition education at Animal Hospital of West Nashville. Your pet is depending on you for a balanced diet, and as such, here are a few things you should know.
Water is Key
You may have heard the statistic that people are 60 percent water. Dogs are too, while cats are at 67 percent. It is vital to keep your pets well hydrated, particularly during hot or dry months. Make sure that you have plenty of fresh and clean water available. Offer several times more water than food. Pets may overeat and gain weight, but they don’t tend to over-drink so that shouldn’t be a concern.
Be Cautious of Cheap Kibble
Dogs and cats both require quality protein and fats. However, inexpensive and mass-produced kibble may be loaded with cheap fillers including carbohydrates. Some products may even try to slip in non-nutritional fillers or hazardous, expired ingredients.
This isn’t to say that all inexpensive pet foods are unhealthy. However, it pays to be careful and talk to your veterinarian about any concerns. This is especially important if you have an elderly pet or one with health issues.
Table Scraps Can Be a Big Problem
Your pet is begging by your seat, eyes fixed on that plate of food you’re enjoying. What could be the harm in slipping your pet a few scraps?
Unfortunately, this could cause a lot of harm. First of all, many foods intended for humans are highly processed. That means they're loaded with salt, sugar, and oils. This can irritate your pet’s digestive systems and cause them to pack on some pounds. It can also make them more likely to start refusing less seasoned, healthier-for-them pet foods.
Another major concern is what you’re giving your pet. Some human foods are highly toxic to pets. Common problem foods include:
- Coffee and caffeine-laced energy drinks
- Citrus foods
- Grapes and raisins
- Onions and garlic
In this case, ‘toxic’ can range from allergic reactions to vomiting and diarrhea. Some foods may even cause the death of the animal. Play it safe and keep human food for humans only.
Find Animal Nutrition Information in Nashville
Do you want to learn more about dog or cat nutrition? Are you having a hard time with pet weight management? Whether your animal is underweight or needs to lose a few pounds, our veterinarian is here to help. Contact us today at (615) 356-8993 to schedule a checkup and nutrition counseling at Animal Hospital of West Nashville.