Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Proper Diet is essential to maintaining your pet's health. Currently, more than 50% of pets in the United States are obese! It is one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions among animals at our practice. Obesity can lead to many health problems and discomforts, but it can be avoided.
Certain breeds and lifestyles require different care plans, so make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian.
You certainly don't have to spend a fortune to give your pet a healthy diet. In general, foods that carry an AAFCO statement (Association of American Feed Control Officials) meet specific dietary needs for pets, and are nutritionally complete.
Diets that claim to be "all life stages" are probably not the best. Puppies and kittens, Adults, pregnant and nursing pets and senior pets have different requirements. Make sure to choose a diet based on your pet's phase of life. Remember- they are seniors at seven years old!
Most pet food packages have a guide on the back that will tell you how much to feed for your pet's ideal weight. Sometimes we find that pet food manufacturers are a little too generous with these portions. You may need to actually calculate your pet's calorie requirements, figure out the calorie per cup in your pet's food, and feed them accordingly.
Not sure if your pet is overweight? Just like in people, you should be able to see narrowing at the waist and be able to feel their ribs easily. See this body condition scoring chart.
Grain Free and Raw Diets
Our Veterinarians do not recommend Grain-Free or Raw Diets for pets. They are frequently nutritionally incomplete, and can actually do more harm than good. Please do not start a grain-free or raw diet for your pet without consulting your veterinarian.