Pet Nutrition Guidelines

If your dog or cat had its way, you’d share everything you ate with it, every time you sat down for a meal. Those big eyes might be persuasive, but pets don’t really know what’s good for them. Do you? You know you have to buy dog or cat food for your pet, but are you aware of the pet nutrition guidelines that ensure your pet lives a happy and healthy life? Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs than humans and, while the occasional tiny treat won’t harm them, they need proper nutrition to help keep them healthy and energetic.

Pet Nutritional Requirements By Age

Just like you wouldn’t feed a steak dinner to a baby, you shouldn’t feed your kitten or puppy the same food as you’d give a full grown dog or cat. Pet nutritional requirements change as they age, beginning with their first meals after being weaned. Most kitten and puppy food contain higher levels of fat and protein, as well as more calcium, to help support the rapid growth animals undergo in the first six months of life. You can feed your pet these formulations, or choose a food that’s labeled as “complete & balanced for all life stages.” Our veterinarians will advise you on how much food to give your new pet to keep it healthy while avoiding overfeeding, which can cause stomach upset and, eventually, obesity.

Once your pet reaches one year of age, you should begin to feed them normal, adult pet food. Read nutrition labels carefully to make sure yours is formulated for a complete diet. Cats need twice the protein of dogs or humans, pound for pound, and it has to come from fish or meat. Dogs, on the other hand, need a variety of nutrients from a variety of sources, including those found in vegetables and some grains.

Older cats and dogs over ten years of age are considered seniors. Once your pet is a senior, consult with our veterinarian about changes in your pet’s diet. Senior dogs and cats naturally slow down as they age, which means they won’t be burning off as many calories as they did before. Other animals don’t assimilate their food as well, leading to weight loss.

Looking for a Danville Veterinarian?

Giving your dog or cat the right food throughout its lifetime is the single most important part of responsible pet ownership. Your pet’s food can help with weight problems, allergies, energy levels, and a host of other issues. Our veterinary team at Tassajara Veterinary Clinic is always happy to discuss proper foods with you, along with any other pet health issues you may have. Give our office a call at (925) 736-8387 to schedule an appointment today.