Nutrition and Diet

In this day and age we all know how important it is to eat right. Exercise also plays an important role in how quickly we age. Our senior pets are no different. In the United States, over feeding or calorie overload plagues our pets. Every day we see pets that are overweight or obese, and the majority of these pets are older and carry an extra three to 20 pounds. Let’s put that into terms humans can relate to:

  • Say an average house cat who should weigh 10 pounds now weighs 13 pounds; that is a 30% increase, similar to if a 125 lb. woman were 38 lb overweight.
  • Or another example, an extra 10 lbs on a 30 lb dog would be comparable to a 125 lb woman now weighing 166 lbs.

The risks associated with obesity are the same for animals and humans. Diabetes, joint problems, high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis are the common outcomes of over consumption of calories and inadequate exercise. Luckily, there are specialized diets on the market that help cut calories while maintaining necessary nutrients to minimize muscle loss. If you are suspecting your pet is not maintaining a healthy body condition, please ask our veterinarians for their recommendations.

For our senior patients, there are several veterinary prescription diets that can help to slow the progression of chronic ailments such as kidney, heart or liver disease. These diets are chosen by your veterinarian because of their specific balance of fiber, minerals and nutrients. We can also use nutrition to help counteract the effects of arthritis, to improve brain function in our senile patients and to support our patients with cancer.

There are many choices available on the pet food market today; it can be a challenge to decide what is right for your pet. We are here to help, so please ask your Community Pet Hospital health-care team about any nutrition questions that might affect your pet’s health. Also check out Dr. Breon’s blog on this subject!