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Include Your Ocala Veterinarian in Your Nutrition Decisions for Your Pet
Dogs and cat have different nutrition needs than people do, but just like people, they will not always make the right choice when it comes to choosing what to eat. That is why it is essential that the humans in their lives provide the proper food in the right quantities. Pet nutrition is a complex topic, so it is best to discuss it with your Ocala veterinarian to ensure that you are providing a healthy diet.
Cat and Dog Nutrition Basics
Cats need about twice the percentage of protein in their diets as humans do, and have no requirement for carbohydrates in their diet. They are obligate carnivores, meaning that they must eat meat in order to get the nutrients that they need. A higher percentage of fat than humans need is also an important part of your cat's diet.
Dogs only need about the same percentage of protein in their diet as humans do, although there are some people who are proponents of a high-protein, high-fat diet for canine health. Like cats, they have no requirement for carbs in their diet, although they can digest and make use of them better than cats. Dogs are better equipped to eat higher amounts of fat than people, although they do not require it at the same level as cats.
How Life Stage Effects Pet Nutrition Needs
Puppies and kittens do not need the same pet nutrition as their older relatives. During the growing stage, your pet may require more protein and fat, as well as more calories. Specially-designed food for their life stage is the best option, especially when it comes to large breed dogs, who may have unique dietary requirements as puppies.
On the other end of the spectrum, senior pets may require fewer calories to maintain a svelte figure into old age because they move less and their metabolism may have slowed down. Methods to accomplish this include decreasing the amount of fat in their food, adding fiber, or switching to wet food, which has fewer calories for a given volume.
Conditions Affected By Pet Nutrition
About a third of dogs and a quarter of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. This occurs because your pet is eating too many calories, but where those calories come from can also affect the issue. If you can't feel your pet's ribs without pressing or they don't have a waist, talk to your Ocala veterinarian about choosing a diet that is right for your pet.
Allergic dogs or cats may experience intense itching and other skin issues such as dryness, flaking, and rashes. It can be hard to figure out what they are allergic to, so it is always best to include your vet if you are concerned about a possible allergy. Gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhea may also be related to dietary intolerances.
Ask Your Ocala Veterinarian About Pet Nutrition, Call Us Today!
The topic of pet nutrition is extremely broad, and there are exceptions to every rule for individual pets. Because of this, it is always best to include your Ocala veterinarian in your decisions about what to feed your pet. Town and Country Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary clinic that offers nutrition counseling in Ocala, FL. Call us today at 352-840-7020 to make an appointment!