In keeping with our New Year's resolution theme, many of us are taking some time to consider our diets and the effects that they have had on us - both positive and maybe not so positive. So why not take a few minutes to do the same with your pet to make sure that they start 2019 off on the right foot.
Some things to consider:
- Let's start off with the hardest question of all. Is your pet overweight? Chances are, the answer is yes, at least a little, as a huge percentage of our pet population is overweight. The best way to look at this is to assess your pets body condition score and you can get more info on that through the link here: Body Condition Scoring - AAHA
As with ourselves, to help get a handle on your pets weight, portion control becomes very important. Its ideal to divide your pets food into 2 measured meals a day. To do this a measuring cup is ideal and for some of our smaller pets even a weigh scale can be used. Every kibble counts! Also take the time to be honest and look at other food sources your dog may have. For example table scraps, bowl “toppers” and “dishwashing duty” can all add up to extra unwanted calories very quickly.
- How is your pet’s skin and coat? Many pets get a little dry as the winter progresses but does your pets coat shine? A healthy dog or cat that is doing well with it's nutrition should have a soft shiny coat, free from itching and dandruff. If your pets coat isn't as luxurious as it once was then their diet could be the culprit.
- How are your pet’s bathroom habits? Are they regular? Do they look nice and normal? If so, then fantastic! But if they have relatively frequent soft stools, if they scoot their bum on the ground or if they periodically vomit then, again, their nutrition might not be a good match for them. In fact it was once believed that fur balls were normal for cats. However, this idea has now been disproved and producing more than 1-2 furballs a month is considered to be abnormal. What's more - their diet could be contributing.
- How is your pet's energy? Do they have as much energy as they used to? Or do they have the same as other dogs or cats their age? If not then being overweight could be to blame - but another possibility is that their nutritional profile from their food is not matching their bodies needs. Never underestimate the power of a healthy diet.
So, how does your pets food score? Are you happy with your pets overall health or perhaps it's time to make a change? What better time than the New Year! And as always, if you have any questions about diet or food options for your pet, then the vets at Healthy Pets are always just a phone call away!