Pet Nutrition and Feeding

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The Causeway Veterinary Clinic
103 McLennan Street
Victoria 3629

03 5825 3911

Pet Nutrition & Feeding:

Like us, a good diet is extremely important throughout your dog’s life. The old thought that you can feed a dog anything and a cat only eats fish is simply not true! At a bare minimum your pet’s diet should be nutritionally adequate as well as having the physical qualities that help to control plaque and maintain general oral health.

When first introducing a new pet into your family, ask the animal’s previous owner what they had been feeding. This diet should be maintained for at least 2 weeks before SLOWLY introducing the diet that you wish to feed long term. Your pet’s new diet should be given careful consideration rather than just selecting what is on special or cheap at the supermarket. The wrong selection can, under some circumstances, lead to long term health issues which can be difficult and expensive to treat!

Puppies and kittens have quite different dietary needs compared to their adult counterparts. A puppy or kitten should always be fed a puppy and kitten food respectfully. Young dogs and cats grow at an extremely rapid rate over a relatively short period of time and therefore can require up to 15 times more calcium than a child requires during its growing phase. The length of time that puppy or kitten food will need to be fed will vary depending on the breed of your pet. Generally a puppy and kitten should be fed puppy/kitten food until they are 12 months of age or 24 months of age in the case of giant dog breeds.

Pets are like human babies with very sensitive gastrointestinal tracts so all new foods should be introduced slowly. Your new pet should be fed three times a day from eight weeks of age to four months of age. At four months of age this should be reduced to twice daily and continued until six months of age. Once your pet reaches six months of age one meal a day is sufficient.

How to select the best food for your pet:

Feeding a dry, canned or semi moist form of food is acceptable and all have advantages and disadvantages. Dry food is definitely the most inexpensive form of pet food and is convenient staying fresh for weeks after opening. It also has obvious oral health benefits. While most pets love canned food most supermarket varieties contain about 75% water and a high percentage of fat compared to the 10% water content found in dry food meaning that you will generally need to feed more of it and it will be less nutritionally beneficial for your pet.

Premium brands of dry food are more nutritious than canned food and are highly digestible. Premium dry foods can be purchased from The Causeway Veterinary Clinic BUT NOT supermarkets. These Premium products contain animal protein like chicken or meat as their first ingredient, are balanced with whole grain and fibre in the form of beet pulp and are low in artificial colours and preservatives.

If you wish to feed canned food or have a particular reason why your pet must eat canned food, it is always advised that your feed a premium food brand.

If soft food (including canned food) forms the basis of your pets diet, regular RAW bones may need to be fed to improve your pet’s dental health, these may include chicken necks and wings (but should always be fed under supervision). Regular dental care such as brushing of the teeth, adding breathalyser to your pet’s water and feeding specially designed dental treats may also be required.

It is always important to remember that there are things that we can DEFINITELY NOT FEED OUR PETS. Chocolate (no matter how small the amount), cooked bones and onions are BIG NO NOs!!!

To select the right food and design an individualised feeding program for your pet please contact one of caring team at The Causeway Veterinary Clinic.