Proper nutrition is vital to maintaining a healthy animal. The age old adage "you are what you eat" is very true indeed. At Memorial-610 Hospital for Animals, we take nutrition very seriously. We carry several select products from different manufacturers to assist you and your pet to both fight disease and maintain health. Palatability is very important as well. After all, if your pet won't eat the food, what good is it? This is another reason why we carry more than just one brand of nutritional products.
Choosing an appropriate, satisfactory, economical diet for your pet may feel like a gargantuan task, with so many choices and so many different opinions on pet foods.
Appropriate: one matched to your pet’s species, life-stage, and activity.
A satisfactory diet consists of the following factors:
1) Complete– the diet contains all the required nutrients.
2) Balanced–all nutrients are present in the proper proportions.
3) Palatable– it will be eaten in sufficient amounts to keep the pet in moderate body condition.
4) Digestible– the diet can be absorbed into the pet’s body for use.
5) Safe– is free of deficiencies, excesses, toxins, etc.
Economical means that the food is available at a price per feeding that fits your budget.
There are three main classifications of foods available for pets:
Conventional Commercial diets: Most commonly fed. Common commercial foods are made with a variety of protein sources (chicken, beef, lamb, or fish products and by products), carbohydrate sources (grains such as corn, wheat, rice, barley and/or oats), fats and added vitamins and minerals to ensure that the final diet is satisfactory. These foods may be formulated for a specific life stage such as puppy/kitten, adult, geriatric, or for “all life stages”.
Veterinary therapeutic diets: These are used to manage a variety of health related issues and diseases in cats and dogs. These diets are made to be fed under our veterinary supervision because of one or more variations in nutrient content from typical balanced diets.
Home-prepared diets: Owners occasionally prefer to prepare food for their pets themselves. Nutritional consultations from Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists are available to discuss this option for individual pets. Creation of a balanced and complete home-prepared diet takes considerable knowledge to formulate it properly and safely.