Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Although originally started to promote the importance of human nutrition, the veterinary industry has adapted it to its own needs. As a pet owner, providing the best nutrition for your dog, cat, rabbit or other animal is the single most important thing you do. That is because the food you select has a major impact on your pet’s long-term health.
Pet owners sometime make food buying decisions based on convenience or price without considering what is best for the individual animal. For example, many dog and cats have skin or coat issues, a sensitive stomach, or problems with their joints. This requires selecting a species-specific food that addresses these unique concerns. Pets also have different nutritional requirements based on their stage of life.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has specific regulations about what must be included on a pet food label, it can still be challenging to interpret. Most pet foods contain some combination of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, preservatives, and vitamins. However, it can be difficult to know the actual percentage of each of these that the pet food contains or to know how much your pet specifically needs.
In honor of National Pet Nutrition Month, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Veterinary Medical Center to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs with Dr. Chaudhri. You’re also welcome to ask for a nutritional assessment at the next wellness exam. We will let you know if your pet appears to have specific dietary restrictions and whether he or she is at a healthy weight. A nutritious diet and regular exercise help to prevent serious health conditions as well as provide your pet with the highest possible quality of life.