If you've ever taken a close look at the small print on a bag or can of cat food, you've probably noticed that taurine is among the list of ingredients. Taurine is an amino acid that helps keep yo ...View Article
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Keeping your dog or cat healthy is the goal of every responsible pet owner, and taking care of their nutritional needs is a big part of this. At Westside Animal Hospital we feel this is so important that we make nutritional advice for pets a part of every annual wellness examination.
Filling a food bowl might seem like a simple task to do every day, but the foods you pick and how often you feed your pet has a huge influence on their health. Your cat or dog might love a bite of cheese or turkey now and then, but they really don't have the same nutritional needs as humans do. For instance, did you know that cats must have animal protein in order to be healthy? There are no healthy vegetarian cats, because they have a critical need for the amino acid taurine, which is only found in animal flesh. A meat-rich diet is the best way to keep your cat healthy.
Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores. They enjoy some healthy vegetables with their meat. One of the healthiest snacks you can give your dog is a carrot to gnaw on or some slices of peeled apple. Your dog needs some fat for energy, but make sure it's only about 20 percent of its total diet. The best way to make sure your pet is getting the right percentages of each nutrient is by feeding an approved commercial pet food. Our animal doctor in Casper can recommend a variety for you to try for your pet nutrition needs.
For most pets, sticking to a basic feeding schedule is enough to keep them healthy, but for some dogs and cats, that's not enough. Like humans, more animals are suffering from pet obesity today than ever before. To fight this problem in your pet, you'll need a combination of healthy food, more exercise and cutting out human snacks.
Some pets have a hard time eating commercial food due to allergies of one ingredient or another. The best way you can narrow down the ingredients is by making your own pet food using foods that aren't normally allergens, such as potato and venison. By introducing one possible allergen after another, you can narrow down the culprit and find out which ingredients to avoid feeding your pet.
A constant source of fresh, clear water is an often overlooked part of your pet's healthy nutrition. Check your pet's water bowl frequently during the day to make sure the supply is adequate.
A healthy diet is just as important for your pet as it is for you. If you've got questions about the best way to feed your dog or cat, call our office today at 307-472-5600. We'll be happy to make an appointment for you to consult with one of our experienced Casper, Wyoming veterinarians.