Nutritional Counseling

You are what you eat!We here at Victoria Road Animal Hospital believe that proper nutrition provides solid building blocks to preventive health care. Providing our furry family members with a highly palatable, nutrient rich diet right from puppy-hood allows for proper bone and organ development. Continuing to provide quality nutrition though out your pet's lifetime helps preserve their health, allowing them to live longer and live better!Each one of our patients receives nutritional counseling upon a visit and physical examination. We believe in tailoring to your pet's individual nutritional needs.

Nutrition and Your Cat

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With cats being ancestral to a wild desert animal, their physiology differs greatly from that of a dog and therefore their nutritional requirements differ greatly as well. When cats aren’t fed appropriately, or eat appropriately being the picky beings that they are, they can succumb to disease and illness. Illness can range from diabetes in overweight cats to fatty liver in those cats that aren’t meeting their required caloric intake.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a common disease that can affect many feline companions- particularly male cats. Signs of the disease include blood in urine, straining to urinate, urinating frequently and inappropriate places and urinary blockage. Although there is no singular factor for the cause of FLUTD, it is becoming more apparent that diet can play a large role in the prevention of this disease. Many veterinary grade diets help maintain a cat’s urine pH in the appropriate range to inhibit urinary crystals from forming and urinary blockages from occurring.

Dry vs. Canned Debate

There really is no debate when it comes to feeding dry diets versus canned diets- each have their own benefits. Generally speaking, dry diets more economical and easier to store- there normally isn’t any worry about expiration dates and refrigeration. Dry, crunchy food is also healthy for the teeth and the gums of our kitties- most specifically when they are eating dry diets such as Medi-cal Dental formula or Hill’s T/D. Canned diets provide your cat with balanced nutrition as well as it is a source of moisture. Being an ancestor to a wild desert animal, cats have the ability to drink relatively little water on a daily basis in comparison to dogs. This decreased water intake can make some cats susceptible to diseases such as FLUTD. Canned food will help increase your cats’ voluntary water intake and help prevent instances of FLUTD. Canned food can also get a “grazer” to meal eat. This is particularly helpful if your cat ever needs to take medication.

Nutrition and Your Dog

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There are many misconceptions when it comes to optimal nutrition for a dog. The most common misconception is that our dogs should be eating a diet compromised mainly of protein with minimal carbohydrates. Although protein is an important part of a canine’s diet, it isn’t the sole important ingredient. Furthermore, our dogs require calories from energy most commonly found in a carbohydrate source.

Man domesticated dogs over three to four events nearly 15, 000 years ago, and while wild dogs are used to hunting and killing their prey, our domesticated companions are used to having food put in a bowl for them at meal time. Likewise, our companions are living longer and healthier lives compared to the wild populations due to administration of preventive veterinary care, emergency medicine, and proper nutrition. Proper nutrition for our dogs require a more tailored and broad spectrum diet that is balanced in both carbohydrates and proteins, as well as fats, vitamins and minerals.

Reading the Pet Food Label

Although all pet food labels are required to indicate the ingredients found in its associated food, the pet food companies are not required to follow any strict guidelines as to how to list those ingredients present. This being said, it is possible that manipulation can occur in order to have a pet food seem “more appealing” in the eyes of a consumer. For example, a pet food labeled as being a ‘high protein’ diet can separate the carbohydrate portions of the diet therefore their cumulative portions don’t have to be listed and therefore don’t appear first in the ingredient list. This therefore allows a protein source to appear as the first on the ingredient list thereby continuing the illusion of being high protein diet.

Digestibility, in other words the body’s capacity to use the ingredients for metabolism, plays an enormous role in the quality of pet food. Many ingredients can be used in pet foods that appear to be sources of energy or protein however are 100% un-usable by your pet’s body. An example of such a case is the use of chicken feathers, beaks and legs found in poultry meal that is a high source of crude protein but completely unable to be absorbed by the body. Similarly, carbohydrate sources such as corn can be over 80% digestible and a fantastic source of energy if the proper part of the corn is used as an ingredient (ie. Using the corn germ instead of the hull).

Cost Of Veterinary Grade Diets

Most clients are deterred from buying veterinary grade diets for their pets due to the perceived cost associated with feeding the diet. Interestingly, all veterinary grade diets use high quality ingredients that are readily absorbed by your cat’s and dog’s bodies. With more nutrients available for absorption in veterinary grade diets, less food has to be fed at meal time. Not only will you notice that your pet will produce less fecal matter per until of food fed, but you will notice a change in coat condition as well. Coat condition is always a fantastic indicator of the efficacy of the diet your pet is eating- less dandruff more shine!

Get more for less! Why not provide your pet with a healthy balanced diet that is guaranteed to be palatable for the equivalent cost of a coffee or a bottle of water a day? If you wish to provide your pet with optimal nutrition, come in and speak to our staff. We can also provide you with a detailed cost per day analysis on the food your pet is eating.

Nutrition and Your Pet

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We have always been told, “you are what you eat!” and this statement holds true for our pets as well. Proper nutrition provides our pets with the essential building blocks to a happy and healthy life and is therefore the first step in preventive medicine. Balanced nutrition – protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals – are key components required for healthy growth and development. Furthermore, proper nutrition can also be a key component to aging less rapidly in the pet population. One can expect to change your pet’s diet at least 3 times throughout their lifetime in order to meet their physiological needs.

Here at Victoria Road Animal Hospital we carry Medi-Cal veterinary grade diets as well as Hill’s prescription diets in order to provide your pet with the best individualized nutrition program. If your dog requires a diet that we do not regularily keep stocked, it can usually be special ordered usually within 24-48 hours. Stop by and see what diet we would recommend for your pet’s lifestyle!

Giant Breeds

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Giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and giant schnauzers have unique dietary requirements. Very few commercial puppy foods offer the ideal mix of calcium, energy, and protein levels that these breeds need. We can provide you with feeding recommendations that will encourage your dog’s maximum growth potential without causing developmental problems. For added convenience, we also stock veterinary-approved diets for giant breeds.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s nutrition or if you would simply like to discuss this topic with us.

Puppies/Kittens

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It’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed by all the pet foods on the market. We can help you weed through the choices and find a puppy or kitten food that will meet your growing pet’s nutritional needs. We even carry many nutritionally balanced, veterinary-approved brands in our clinic.

Feel free to ask us for a food recommendation or to contact us with any nutrition questions or concerns you might have.