The Importance of Nutrition
It is important that you understand what you are buying when you purchase a food to feed to your pet. There is no way to determine the true quality of a pet food by reading the ingredient list or the guaranteed analysis. In fact, two products that appear to have the same guaranteed analysis might have actual nutrient levels that vary significantly. Individual ingredients do NOT determine the quality of a pet food; it is the nutritional value of each ingredient blended together that delivers a product specific for a pet’s age or condition.
Your Veterinary Health Care Team has the training, resources and knowledge of your pet’s health history to make the right nutritional recommendation for your pet’s age and lifestyle.
In cases where there is a present condition, such as in a diabetic cat or an overweight dog, the veterinarian will select a diet, or a combination of diets, which will aid in the treatment of specific or multiple conditions. These are generally referred to as Prescription Diets. Prescription diets generally have undergone extensive research and testing to ensure they will be beneficial for patients who require specific ingredients (or the absence of ingredients, such as in pets with allergies). For pets without medical conditions, there are Prescription diets called “maintenance diets” which have also undergone extensive research and testing, to provide a balanced and nutritious diet for your pet. These diets come in the form of puppy and kitten diets, adult and dental diets, and senior pet diets. Extreme caution should be exercised when considering store brand foods intended for “all life stages.” These foods may contain excessive levels of nutrients, making them inappropriate for adult or senior pets. Remember, a growing puppy or kitten requires more nutrients, and in different ratios, than an adult; feeding these food inappropriately can lead to obesity or other health complications. Your Veterinary Health Care Team is your best resource to ensure your pet is getting what they need from their diet.