Your Dog’s Nutrition
Ensuring good nutrition is a critical part of your dog’s well-being. The nutritional status of your dog is an important indicator of their health and welfare. Any deficiencies or excesses in calories, vitamins, and minerals can significantly impact your pet’s lifespan. Our nutritional consultant will be happy to assist you in choosing a diet for your dog based on their age, breed, and lifestyle. Prescription diets may be required for patients with ongoing conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and many more.
We treat your questions about nutrition for your dog very serious. We know that it can be frustrating to receive confusing information from google or pet stores. We are here to give you and your pet personalized recommendations based on their lifestyle.
How to Choose a diet for Your Dog
In general, we recommend diets that have undergone AAFCO feeding trials to ensure not only nutrient balance, but also proper absorption of nutrients. Diets formulated by Hill’s, Purina, Royal Canin, and IAMS undergo these feeding trials.
Do not be fooled by trendy marketing! Dogs, unlike cats, are not strict carnivores. While meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs can also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods are not simply fillers, but can be a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good dog food will contain meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. The best dog foods contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that are appropriate for your dog’s digestive system. For most dogs, grains are actually a source of wholesome nutrients. Quality animal byproducts are also nutritious for both dogs and cats. These include organ meats and entrails, which often contain more nutrients than the muscle meat consumed by humans. Regulated byproducts do not include hooves, hair, floor sweepings, intestinal contents, or manure.
Feeding a diet appropriate for the life stage of your pet. Kittens and puppies have different requirements than adults or seniors. Feeding an “all life stages” dog food disregards the individual requirements pets have at each life stage. For example, puppies and kittens need food higher in protein and fat, with different compositions of minerals than adults. Large breed puppies need a specific Calcium: Phosphorus ratio to ensure optimal bone growth. Seniors may need a prescription diet or a food lower in fat to help prevent weight gain as they become more sedentary.
Feeding a diet appropriate for your pet’s breed and lifestyle. Large breed dogs may need to stay on their specific large breed puppy food longer than small dogs. Working or highly active dogs need more calories and fat than more sedentary dogs do. Small dogs may prefer a smaller kibble size that is easier to chew. Cats do not range in size to the extent that dogs do, but their breed considerations include considering a hairball control diet for long-haired cats.
Feeding dogs a grain-inclusive, WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) recommended diet is vitally important to the health of your dog. Diets not containing grain often include high levels of legumes, which can block taurine absorption. Taurine is a necessary amino acid for heart health, and this can lead to heart disease in susceptible dogs. Our nutrition team follows the most current research and is ready to discuss the most up-to-date information regarding potential concerns with diets not containing grains.
What if My Pet is Overweight
Weight gain in pets can be multifactorial. We recommend scheduling an appointment so any underlying medical concerns can be ruled out. Our nutritional team can then offer guidance and create the best diet plan for your pet. Opting to simply reduce the food can lead to frustration – we recommend a diet specially formulated for weight loss. For dogs, this often means a food higher in fiber.
We offer a Weight Loss Program to help your dog have successful weight loss.
- Up to one phone call per week
i. You can call us as needed and you will receive a response within 24-48 hours or we can set up times to call you each week.
- Unlimited text messages
i. You may text the main clinic number at 509-462-7387 and we will respond within 24-48 hours.
- Unlimited weigh-ins at the clinic will be tracked in their medical record.
i. These are great as they can double as a happy visit where you come in the door with your pet, let them get on the scale themselves (please don’t force them on the scale), and one of our wonderful CCR’s can record the weight and give your pet a treat.
- Not included in the membership fee but part of the weight loss program:
- Nutrition Consult at 3 months
i. Here you will meet with our nutrition consultant to discuss the current plan and how it is working for your pet and if changes need to be made.
- Nutrition Consult at 6 months
i. Here you will meet with our nutrition consultant to discuss how the program is going. If weight loss was achieved, then we will discuss maintenance. If ideal weight loss was not achieved, then we will discuss continuing with an additional 6-month program.
To schedule a nutritional consultation please click the link below. To discuss the weight loss program, please call our nutritional consultant, Aliesa, at 509-462-7387.