Nutrition plays a pivotal role in your pet’s overall health and well-being. Not only is proper nutrition important, but it also varies depending upon your pet’s age, weight and activity level.
We can provide you with a nutritional plan that is appropriate for your pet’s age, weight, lifestyle, and breed. By also looking at your pet’s current health condition and past history, we can help you with a plan to keep them happy, healthy, and active.
Puppies and Kittens
Proper nutrition is essential as young puppies and kittens grow and develop. Of course, a Large breed puppy will mature at a much different pace than a Toy breed will. It’s important to choose a food that will address the specific needs of your pet.
Once your cat or dog has finished growing, it’s time to transition to adult food. Keeping pets on high-calorie growth formulas too long can lead to excess weight gain, which can introduce a host of other health problems.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of all cats and dogs in the United States are overweight, and more than 20% are obese. Carrying around those extra pounds can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, or muscular-skeletal pain such as arthritis. If you are unable to feel your pet’s ribs, or their waist has disappeared, chances are a change in diet is in order.
Our veterinarians will examine your pet to determine whether he or she is overweight, and if so, why. Sometimes weight gain can be caused by an underlying health condition, such as hypothyroidism. In other cases, free feeding, using the wrong pet food formula, or giving too many treats can result in putting on the pounds.
Diet and Exercise Evaluation
During a nutritional counseling evaluation we will perform a thorough exam to determine your pet’s current nutritional health. This is typically measured using the body condition scale (BCS), ranging from 1 (extremely underweight) to 9 (obese). Using this scale, we will then work with you to determine the best diet and exercise plan to bring your pet to a healthy weight.
Taking into account any special considerations, such as your pet’s breed, age, gender, temperament and any other pre-existing health conditions, our veterinary staff will also discuss how your pet’s nutritional needs are unique and may change over time.
At the Plaistow-Kingston Animal Medical Center, we carry a full line of prescription pet food specially designed to treat pet conditions such as joint and heart disease, obesity, diabetes and kidney and bladder disease (Hill’s, Royal Canin, Purina).