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Pet Nutritional Counseling From Your San Antonio Veterinarians

pet nutrition information

What to feed your pets seems to be an ominous question these days. With so many options at your disposal using words such as grain free, holistic, human grade, natural and premium it’s hard to make a decision without becoming an animal nutritionist yourself. To add on top of this your pet will likely eat most of what you put in front of them. Which in turn causes one of them main problems facing pets today which is obesity. Fortunately, you and your pet have knowledgeable, caring friends here at Family Pet Hospital of Stone Oak that want to help educate you so you can make an informed decision on what’s best for your pet.  Either veterinarian at our clinic can monitor your pet's weight and health, advising you on proper pet food choices and quantities to ensure a longer, healthier life for your companion.

Why One Pet Food Does Not Fit All

You may wonder why you can't simply feed your pet table scraps instead of providing an entirely different menu altogether. But each animal has its own specific nutritional needs -- and the salty, sugary, fatty diet we humans tend to indulge in can prove disastrous to a dog or cat's health. In fact, many popular human foods are flat-out toxic to animals. To add to the complexity, you can't just let your dog and cat share the same bag of "chow," because these two types of animals have significantly different nutritional requirements. Dogs, for instance, are omnivores who can get their nutrients from a variety of plant and animal sources; by contrast, cats are carnivores who must get their sources of taurine and other key nutrients directly and solely from meat. Cats need taurine to survive and cannot produce it naturally like other animals or people.

Calorie count can vary widely from one stage of your pet's life to another. Puppies and kittens require extra energy to suit their growth and activity levels. During the first 12 weeks of life, for example, a puppy may need four meals a day, gradually decreasing to three and then two over the first year. Small adult dogs and average-sized cats may need only around 350 calories a day, while large dogs may need up to 2,000. Senior pets may need to decrease their food consumption to accommodate their sedentary lifestyle. Too many unburned calories leads to obesity, a serious condition that can predispose your pet to arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, organ failure and cancer. It was commonly believed that fat was metabolically inactive, but research has shown that fat is actually active and is a massive source of inflammation in the body.

Healthy Recommendations From Your San Antonio Veterinarian

Your San Antonio veterinarian can weight your pet during routine wellness exams, or your welcome to just stop in for a weight of your pet we can take note of any deviations out of the normal range. We will discuss your pet's activity level and current diet with you during an exam and provide nutritional counseling as needed to help you feed your pet the right foods in the right quantities. If your pet is overweight, we can prescribe special diets and recommend an exercise regimen to help him slim down safely. We can even offer specialized diets for animals suffering from specific medical conditions.

SOME NUTRITIONAL FACTS AND TRUTHS

AAFCO-The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has been around since September 1906.

AAFCO’s longstanding purpose has been to serve as a venue for feed regulators to explore the problems encountered in administering feed laws; to develop just and equitable standards, definitions and policies for the enforcement of feed laws; and to promote uniformity in laws, regulations and enforcement policies. AAFCO has created a large number of models providing guidance, definitions, terms and best-management practices in addition to the Model Bill and Model Feed Regulations (including Model Pet Food Regulations).

“The most important aspect of feed regulation is to provide protection for the consumer as well as the regulated industry. A major function of feed regulations is to safeguard the health of man and animals. Another important function of feed regulation is to provide a structure for orderly commerce."

We also use expert nutrition opinions to establish nutrient standards (profiles) for dogs and cats.

Here is a link to further research regarding pet foods

http://talkspetfood.aafco.org/

By products provide valuable nutrients for your pet:

  • AAFCO* defines by-products as suitable for animal food; they are the clean internal organs including liver, lungs, heart as well as cartilage, bone and muscle tissues
  • By-products are a valuable source of energy, vitamins and minerals for your pet
  • Quality by-products are safe and used by pet food companies that follow strict guidelines and standards

Grains provide valuable nutrients for your pet:

  • Grains such as corn and wheat are excellent sources of quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Many grains are more digestible sources of protein than meat.
  • No evidence to support claims that grains cause health problems excluding the rare dog with a true allergy1
  • Many “grain free” diets substitute with potato or tapioca (for the grains), which contribute fewer nutrients than grains1

Wheat gluten provides a valuable source of protein for your pet:

  • Wheat gluten is more than 80% protein, 99% digestible and has an amino acid profile similar to other proteins (meat)

Chicken Meal is an excellent source of protein for your pet:

  • Chicken meal is dehydrated and defatted chicken and provides a very digestible source of concentrated protein

Flax does NOT contain omega-3 fatty acids for your pet:

  • Most veterinary research supporting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids including benefits in dermatitis, arthritis pain, kidney inflammation, and heart disease2, have been done evaluating EPA and DHA (found only in certain marine plants and fish)
  • Flax requires conversion by your pet to achieve EPA and DHA, a conversion which is “uniformly poor”1

Food allergies – not all pet foods are created equally:

  • Food elimination trials are the only way to diagnose food allergies in dogs
  • One recent study showed that none of the over the counter (venison) diets tested were suitable for an elimination trial since they all were tainted with common pet food proteins3
  • Your veterinarian is the most reliable source for accurate information and management of your pet’s health

Organic

  • No official rules govern labeling of organic pet foods but they must comply with USDA National Organic Program regulations
  • No scientific data to back up the “claim” that organic is healthier for pets
  • Organic diets frequently use flax seed as source of fatty acids Flax seeds do NOT contain EPA/DHA
  • Is a description of process (under which plants/animals are grown/raised), does NOT refer to quality of the raw material

Raw

  • FDA: does not advocate a raw meat, poultry, or seafood diet for pets
  • No published, peer-reviewed articles supporting health “claims” for raw diets
  • Published reports exist of gastroenteritis and death in animals eating contaminated raw meat foods

Natural:

  • Solely from plant, animal, or mined sources not having produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process; exceptions include artificially sythesized vitamins, minerals, or other trace nutrients
  • All Royal Canin® diets contain ingredients (meat, cereals, fats) of natural origin

Human-grade & Holistic:

  • Not defined by AFFCO and therefore cannot be accurately used to describe a pet food

Schedule an Appointment with Your Stone Oak Veterinarian

Let Family Pet Hospital of Stone Oak help your dog or cat enjoy healthy, happy eating habits for life. Call 210-880-2478 today to learn more and schedule a consultation!

THIS ---->https://familypethospitalofstoneoak.net/services/pet-nutrition.html

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Testimonial

Dr. Woolley has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years.

John E.
San Antonio, TX

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