“We are what we eat” is a common saying often applied to humans in an effort to get the person to consider the long-term aspects or consequence of what they put in their mouth. As humans are becoming overweight, so the concern for the welfare of the population is growing and the health professionals are trying to get people “back on track” to good health and long life by eating properly and trying to get people within a safe weight for their height.
So too the welfare of our animals needs to be considered when owners are putting the food “into the bowl”. This is very important as our animals become older and the animal’s ability to digest food and maintain a good healthy internal body starts to decrease.
When the animal is young (around 2 years of age), the body is at its peak internally and externally, therefor owners need not to be overly concerned about the quality of food given to their animals. But once the animal reaches its senior years, especially when the animal becomes a geriatric then the quality of their food becomes very important to maintain health and happiness. As our animals age so the importance of the quality of the food increases and each owner can assist their animal by being more diligent in what they feed their animal friend.
We can feed our dogs and cats either of 3 ways
- All commercial food such as dry food or wet food
- All home-based diet where we mix the food up ourselves
- Combination of commercial food and home-based food
We do NOT recommend home based diets unless they are mixed up properly with all the essential components of vitamins, minerals, ash, fibre, calcium, protein, fat etc.
If you want to use a home-based diet then please contact us and we will send you out a recipe but always remember
that if you do not include all the essentials then the animal can develop serious problems such as osteoporosis, kidney
problems, heart problems etc.
We DO recommend dry food but ONLY fed to the animal once or twice a day.
There are some “good” dry foods on the market and there is some “not so good” dry foods on the market. We ONLY recommend the following dry foods for normal ageing animals.
- Royal Canin Mature foods
- Hills Senior foods
Please also keep in mind that certain animals need special food due to their ongoing medical condition. For example – animals with heart problems should be on a low fat and salt diet, animals with kidney problems should be on a low phosphate high protein diet, animals prone to pancreatitis should be on a low fat low protein diet, animals with arthritis may need some glucosamine in their food, animals with osteoporosis need calcium, animals that are overweight need a high fibre high GI diet, animals with senility may benefit from a diet that stimulates the blood supply to the brain and the list goes on and on.
Every day we are inundated with advertising and misleading information from manufacturers of different animal foods trying to seduce us into buying their product. If we believed everything we see on television, read in the newspapers or magazines
or heard on the radio then we would think every product is “the next best thing to sliced bread” and it all becomes too confusing and too complicated.
When we become confused or bamboozled our brain just “shuts down” and we work on the principal – “if the dog or cat likes the food then that is the food I am going to feed to the dog or cat”. In other words – it is easier to feed the animal something it eats with gusto.
I don’t know how many times I have been told by a client “I feed this because Fluffy really enjoys it”. I really enjoy cake and biscuits but I do not think anyone is going to agree that they are good for me especially if that is the main part of my diet on a daily basis.
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the many different aspects of different foods for the many different ailments. But if you are interested in diet for your animal then please contact us and either one of our vets will discuss this subject with you or we can send you out some information.