Modern Medicine, Old-Fashioned Care

Mar 6, 2014 | Nutrition

Proper Nutrition Helps Your Pet Live a Healthier Life

Weight management is a delicate issue to discuss, but the fact of the matter is there is an obesity crisis affecting our pets. Nearly 60% of dogs and cats are overweight, making obesity the most common nutritional disorder identified across veterinary practices.

“Proper nutrition, physical exercise and annual exams are vital in preventing pet obesity. A focus on your pet’s overall wellness, starting with nutritional counseling, goes a long way in thwarting the types of diseases and medical conditions which impact the quality and length of your pet’s life. Food quality and nutrient content definitely influence weight gain and should be carefully considered early on,” said Dr. Laura Weis, co-owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital.

Obesity is much more than a number on the scale.

The health effects associated with obesity are a top concern for pets today and can have an impact on the cost of healthcare over the lifetime of your pet.

  • Obese pets are more likely to experience heart and liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis and chronic joint pain.
  • Obesity can shorten the lifespan of your pet.

However, proper nutrition through a lifetime provides many benefits to your cat or dog:

  • Weight and disease management
  • Good muscle tone
  • A strong immune system
  • Ease of digestion
  • A healthy skin and coat
  • Better quality of life and more healthy years to enjoy

Quality pet foods are formulated for the various stages of your pet’s life and management of various medical conditions such as diabetes, urinary conditions and allergies. Nutritional needs change during your pet’s life due to growth and development, the aging process, and management of various medical conditions. The breed, size, energy level and environment of your pet are also factors in determining proper nutritional needs such as calorie intake and frequency of feeding.

The best way to determine the nutritional needs of your pet is to talk with your veterinarian.

Optimum nutrition is the foundation for preventing many diseases and medical concerns that directly impact overall wellness and longevity. For this reason, the medical team at Doylestown Veterinary Hospital receives specialized training in pet nutrition and counseling. By helping you understand the nutritional needs of your pet based on age, weight and breed, a nutritional plan is created to maximize successful weight management.