Inverell Veterinary Clinic

32 Sweaney Street, Inverell

After Hours : 0427 456 616

Nutritional Advice

Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful nutrition is the best way you can contribute to your pet's prolonged good health.

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs:

  • Water is the most essential nutrient in any diet. Your pet's body is made up of approximately 70% water and will quickly perish without it. Ensure your pet can access fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Carbohydrates supply energy and come from sugars, starch, and fibre from plant sources. Carbohydrates help energize the brain and muscles, making your pet bright and active.
  • Fats also supply energy and in the right amounts help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. Too much fat however, can lead to such obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
    • Avoid giving your pet fatty food such as
      • Ham
      • Steak or chop trimming
      • Sausages
      • Bacon rind
      • Corned meat
    • Other foods that can be toxic  to your pet or cause  gastric obstruction include: onion, garlic, cooked bones, corn cob, chocolate, stone fruit, macadamia
  • Proteins are required for a healthy coat, skin, and nails. Your pet's body uses the amino acids in proteins to make enzymes and hormones in the blood stream and to maintain a healthy immune system. Proteins can come from plant and meat sources, but cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein.
  • Vitamins and minerals help regulate many body systems. For example, your pet needs the minerals calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C help boost your pet's immune system during times of stress.

How do you make sure your pet's diet is healthy?

We strongly recommend that you:

  • Feed premium pet foods. Premium foods offer high-quality ingredients, are made by companies specialising in nutritional research, and show a solid track record of quality and palatability. Feeding generic pet foods may lead to obesity, irregular bowel movements, or excess intestinal gas.
    • Some premium food brands have developed diets that help manage and prevent health issues such as dental disease, hairballs, obesity and allergies.  We have a range of these products available in clinic.
  • Make sure the food is fresh. When you purchase pet food, check for freshness and purchase only the amount necessary for your pet. Store pet food in a cool, dry place and keep it tightly closed. Discard uneaten food and always place fresh food in a clean bowl. In general, hard food (or "kibble") is preferred for maintaining and minimising tartar build-up. Soft, canned food tends to be more palatable and can be stored for longer.
  • Feed the right amount. Ask us or check the label for how much to feed according to your pets ideal weight (not necessarily the same as their current weight). Avoid feeding pets as much as they want or feeding a large amount at one time. Doing so can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal upset, or even bloat, a life threatening condition.
  • Maintain a daily routine. A regular schedule will help your pet keep normal bowel movements and avoid indoor accidents. Younger pets need to be fed more frequently, as they are usually more energetic and burn more calories.
  • Avoid "people" food. Your pet's digestive system is simpler than yours and can be easily upset by changes. Feeding table scraps will result in an unbalanced diet, can cause stomach upsets or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

Life Cycle Feeding

Your pet's nutritional requirements will change as they age. Puppies need puppy food because it is higher in energy, calcium and protein, but feeding it to an adult dog can lead to obesity. Likewise, older pets need diets restricted in fat and supplemented with fibre for their optimum health. Many premium senior diets also contain additives to assist in the management of arthritis and can make your pet more comfortable.

Please give us a call to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs. We will tailor a diet specifically for your pet that will give them the optimum quality and length of life.

 

Healthy weight management and your dog

 

This image scale below helps you visually assess your dogs body condition.

Ideally dogs are Body condition score 3/5.

How does your dog rate???

 

(http://www.hillspet.com.au/dog-care/nutrition-and-feeding-puppy.html)

 

Many of us don’t recognise when our dogs are becoming overweight while other know there is a problem but are not aware of how serous health risks associated with obesity are

  • shortened life span
  • inactivity
  • skin disease
  • breathing difficulties
  • digestive upset
  • liver disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • decreased exercise tolerance
  • heat intolerance
  • diabetes
  • skeletal and joint problems
  • increased surgical and anaesthetic risk.

 

Dieting your dog

  1. Check your dog’s health
    • Obtain a thorough vet examination
    • Review your dogs current feeding habits
  2. Establish a goal
    • What is your dogs optimum weight?
    • Weigh your dog
    • Target: 15% loss off current weight (or 85% of current weight)
  3. Determine the quantity of food your dog needs
    • Find the number of kcal required
    • Calculate the number of grams of dry or canned or mixture both that your dog can be fed
  4. Plan a daily exercise routine
    • 30 minutes per day for adult dogs
    • Break this time into 10mins sessions for older dogs
  5. weight your dog weekly
    • Once you’ve achieved 15% weight loss, set a further 15% target until desired weight is achieved

 

Regular exercise is essential to achieving and maintaining weight loss.

A daily exercise routine is great for dogs. Gradually build up to a minimum of two 10-15 minute brisk walks a day.

 

Tips for Successful dieting

  • Feed only the specified diet. Resist the temptation to give snacks or treats.
    • Premium food brands have developed specific weight loss and weight control foods to assist you in controlled and convenient weight management
  • Measure out the quantity of food using scales or a cup.
  • Get a new smaller feed bowl
  • Persist with the diet even if your dog doesn’t eat it straight away
  • Gradually change to any new dog food over a four day period
  • Ensure that only one person feeds your dog
  • Feeding separated from any other dogs will prevent stealing from other bowls.
  • Feed on a little and often basis, dividing the food into 2 to 4 meals
  • Remove any uneaten food after 10-15 minutes
  • Exercise and play are better rewards than food!