Pet Nutritional Advice

Nutritional Advice

Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful nutrition is the best way you can contribute to your pet's prolonged good health.

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs:

  • Water is the most essential nutrient in any diet. Your pet's body is made up of approximately 70% water and will quickly perish without it. Ensure your pet can access fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Carbohydrates supply energy and come from sugars, starch, and fibre from plant sources. Carbohydrates help energise the brain and muscles, making your pet bright and active.
  • Fats also supply energy and in the right amounts help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. Too much fat however, can lead to such obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
  • Proteins are required for a healthy coat, skin, and nails. Your pet's body uses the amino acids in proteins to make enzymes and hormones in the blood stream and to maintain a healthy immune system. Proteins can come from plant and meat sources, but cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein.
  • Vitamins and minerals help regulate many body systems. For example, your pet needs the minerals calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C help boost your pet's immune system during times of stress.

How do you make sure your pet's diet is healthy?

 

We recommend that you:

  • Feed good quality food to your pet - whether it is fresh food or commercially available formula or a mix of both. Premium grade pet foods offer higher-quality ingredients, are made by companies specialising in nutritional research, and show a solid track record of quality and palatability. Feeding generic pet foods may lead to obesity, irregular bowel movements, or excess intestinal gas.
  • Make sure the food is fresh. Commercial pet diet comes in a range of forms like dry kibble, soft food in cans, chilled patties, frozen or dehydrated meat. If you purchase commercial pet food, check for freshness and purchase only the amount necessary for your pet. Store dry pet food in a cool, dry place and keep it tightly closed. Discard uneaten food and always place fresh food in a clean bowl. In general, hard food (or "kibble") is preferred for maintaining dental health and minimising tartar build-up. Soft, canned food tends to be more palatable and can be stored for longer.
  • If you prefer feeding your pet home made diet, it would be useful to consult with a pet nutritionist to formulate ingredients that would suit your pets' need.
  • Feed the right amount. Ask us or check the label for how much to feed according to your pet's ideal weight (not necessarily the same as their current weight). Avoid feeding pets as much as they want or feeding a large amount at one time. Doing so can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal upset, or even bloat, a life threatening condition.
  • Maintain a daily routine. A regular schedule will help your pet keep normal bowel movements and avoid indoor accidents. Younger pets need to be fed more frequently, as they are usually more energetic and burn more calories.
  • Avoid "people" food. Your pet's digestive system is simpler than yours and can be easily upset by changes. Feeding table scraps will result in an unbalanced diet, can cause stomach upsets or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.


Life Cycle Feeding

Your pet's nutritional requirements will change as they age. Puppies will need a diet higher in energy, calcium and protein, but feeding this to an adult dog can lead to obesity. Likewise, older pets need diets restricted in fat and supplemented with fibre for their optimum health. Ideally senior pets may need other supplements to assist in the management of arthritis which can make your pet more comfortable.

Please make an appointment with our vet to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs or we can refer you to a professional pet nutritionist for further advice to give your pet the optimum diet.

Veterinary Prescription Diet

We stock a range of veterinary prescription diet for your pet's specific condition. We can generally order other prescription formulas in too if we do not carry them on our shelves.

 

Remember, you are what you eat, and the same goes for your pet!

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