Special Diets for Dogs and Cats

Back when I was a kid, our choices for my Lady girl’s supper was Gravy Train, StrongHeart canned food, or table scraps (of which she got plenty). Fortunately, dietary research for dogs and cats has come such a long way in the last 20 years. So much has been learned regarding what dogs and cats really need for their proper diet, just the right amount of protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, trace minerals, etc. We now have a myriad of very good basic diets.  And there are also many special diets for dogs and cats that greatly improve pet nutrition today.

Nearly every good pet food company now offers basic diets targeted for your pet’s current season of life. Pups and kittens grow so fast that they need higher levels of protein, fat, and calcium. Even larger breed puppies have their own special diets geared just for them to minimize the chance of having bone and joint diseases like hip dysplasia as they mature. We have good diets for indoor pets, for outdoor working dogs. We have low cal diets for that pudgy pooch or tubby cat. And of course we have special senior diets for your pet’s retirement years.

In addition, companies like Hill’s (the makers of Science Diet) have developed through years of testing lines of special foods available only by prescription. These special Prescription Diets target certain diseases, like diseases of the heart, kidneys, liver, or pancreas. There are diets for dogs with aging joint disease to help them be more comfortable and diets for urinary problems for cats. We even now have very special novel protein diets for dogs and cats with food allergies or food hypersensitivity.

When I consult with a client regarding their pet’s diet, I tell them that they don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive diet. But neither should they buy the bargain basement foods that are the cheapest. Most of the more expensive diets usually have ingredients that are more digestible, that is, the pet’s intestinal tract absorbs more of the food. That makes for firmer stools (meaning easier to clean up), but also makes for a healthier pet.

Here at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital, we are long time fans of Hill’s Science Diets and Prescription Diets. They have a long history of solid research and quality control that makes us comfortable recommending them for all our clients. In fact, we feed Hill’s foods here to our boarding animals and to our own pets at home.

Your pet has never had it so good nutritionally. With all the new advances in dietary research, Fido or Felix can have the best foods ever.

If you have questions, call us at 903-839-7235.

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