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Your dog or cat seems so happy to gobble up anything you feed him that it's easy to feed him the wrong things, or too much of the right thing, without realizing that you're doing any harm. But as a result, a large percentage of pets in this country suffer from obesity and the life-threatening conditions it can provoke. Fortunately, you and your pet have knowledgeable, caring friends here at Family Pet Hospital of Stone Oak. Either San Antonio 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.
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.
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.
Your San Antonio veterinarian can weight your pet during routine wellness exams, taking note of any deviations out of the normal range. We will discuss your pet's activity level and current diet with you, providing 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.
Let Family Pet Hospital of Stone Oak help your dog or cat enjoy healthy, happy eating habits for life. Call (210) 495-2722 today to learn more and schedule a consultation!
Dr. Woolley has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years.
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