Pet Health Today

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How Pet Diets Can Affect Pet Health

Just like humans, as our pets age they face many and varied health issues. Most of these issues can be due to natural age related changes that can be found in older animals.  The more common ones are decreased visual acuity (including blindness), hearing loss or deafness and arthritis. Pets also have a higher tendency to develop other health problems, and some of these are more commonly found in certain genders or breeds of dogs and cats. Diabetes is a good example, and is a common health condition that occurs more often in female cats and dogs. Other diseases in older pets include many cases of kidney disease, dementia and even cancer.

One way to prevent many chronic illnesses in pets is to keep a close watch on their diets. Many pets suffer from serious nutritional challenges and chronic conditions and will always  benefit from being on a special diet. In such cases it may beneficial to feed a specially developed prescription diet to your pet. Changing what your pet eats could have a very positive impact on the overall health and general well-being of your pet.

These days there are many dog food brands available so it's important be careful with your choice of dog food for your furry friend. Avoid any dog food that contains a high level of artificial ingredients like additives, sugars and fats. Reduce the amount of snacks and treats given daily to your dog and if possible, give your dog only healthy treats. All treats are different, so look for treats that contain more nutrients and less fat.

There are many good dog foods available today, some good and some not so good. Some  commercial dog food brands are made with good natural and organic ingredients and by-products, but you will need to search to find them. There are unfortunately also many other commercial pet foods that will only just meet bare minimum standards when it comes to nutritional requirements. Just read the list of ingredients to find a great dog food and eliminate the bad ones.  Quality ingredients are very important to pet health, but don't be misled by ingredient lists and do your research to determine which pet food is best.

Pets are like humans and being overweight can not only put massive strain on your dog's cardiovascular system, but his joints and ligaments will also suffer and deteriorate faster. Also like in humans, when a dogs' joints are overloaded and you add a lack of exercise to the equation, then this will result in a poor muscle tone as well as reduced fitness. This can in turn lead to joint strain and joint injuries.

Another good tip for your dog's diet is to avoid the ingestion of too many bones, either scrap bones or cooked bones given in a raw diet. The theory behind this is that ingesting any dense material like bone in excess, may lead to the slowing down of gastric processes and the excessive absorption of fluid. So it is wise to limit the amount of bones you give to your dog, especially if you buy them too many natural meat-on-the-bone treats.

Bones can also splinter and tear the lining of your dog's stomach. And remember that they add virtually nothing to any pet's required nutritional profile which a well chosen and balanced pet food can't offer.

Cats, and especially senior cats also have special and unique nutritional requirements to keep them healthy in the last few years of life. Ask your vet about a good senior feline diet choice so you can take good care of your ageing furry friend.

Newborn kittens always require a diet of mother's milk or not available, then a good synthetic milk substitute. This is vital to promote proper growth early on in life. Younger kittens should be fed a good wet kitten food to prepare them for the transition to a dry food a few months later.

The above tips and diet advice for your pets should keep them healthy and happy for many years to come but a sensible pet insurance policy is also advisable if you are a responsible pet owner.

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