Nutrition is one of the most important factors in maintaining your pet’s good health. Proper nutrients are necessary for every organ system in the body to function properly. Maintaining your pet’s ideal body weight can improve his or her life expectancy. Many gastrointestinal ailments can be linked to inappropriate diets, and many skin problems have a nutritional component to them.
We will work with you to create a nutrition plan appropriate for your dog or cat’s age, weight, health, lifestyle and activity level. By assessing your pet’s history and current health conditions, we can assist you in keeping your pet healthy and active.
If you pet is overweight, there are many things you can do to help him get back into shape. Speaking with us is the first place to start. For some pets, feeding a diet formulated for weight loss and carefully selecting lower calories treats can help. Increasing exercise as appropriate for your pet may be helpful. Most often, simply learning the correct volume of food to offer works wonders.
Feeding Raw Diets
At Smith Veterinary Hospital, we do not endorse the feeding of raw diets to dogs and cats. There is no scientific basis to claims that raw diets are better than commercially available canned or dry food.
Raw diets are associated with risks. These are often the same risks people would face from eating raw meat and eggs. Harmful bacteria species such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Yersinia are often found on the surfaces of raw meat or in raw eggs. These bacteria can also be shed in the feces of animals fed raw diets. This is an often overlooked risk. Not only does one need to use caution when handling the meat, but also utensils, dog bowls, and when cleaning the litter box or the feces in the yard.
It is interesting to note that most of the bacteria are found on the surface of the meats. Some nutritionists have recommended searing the surface of the meat and only feeding whole meat (i.e. not ground) to decrease the risk. People may have the misconception that cats and dogs are more resistant to harmful bacteria for people because of differences in their GI tracts, but there is no scientific evidence to support this. Dogs and cats can exhibit all the same signs people can when exposed to contaminated meat or eggs.
With so many well balanced, high quality commercial foods available, why take the risk?
If you have questions about feeding your dog or cat, please call us at (952)736-8278.