How to support your pet’s health through their diet
A balanced, healthy diet, especially when combined with regular exercise, can maintain your pet’s health from puppyhood through to old age. Changes to your ill pet’s diet can also help alleviate the symptoms of some diseases and health conditions. In fact, many common health problems, including heart disease and arthritis, are exacerbated by obesity and an unbalanced diet.
Since obesity can set your pet up for future illnesses, the best thing you can do is prevent it, after all, prevention is better than cure. The best way to prevent your dog or cat from gaining too much weight is to feed them a distinct daily portion over two or more meals per day. Do not leave food out at all times because, like people, having food constantly available may encourage your pet to overeat from boredom.
But portioning is only part of the solution. A healthy, balanced meal means a meal that provides your pet with the appropriate nutrients they need, in the right amount. A pet that doesn’t get the balanced meals they need can be ‘malnourished’; even obese pets can be malnourished since they don’t get the vitamins or minerals they need.
Being overweight or obese often heightens the symptoms of diseases, and can lead to dogs developing chronic conditions such as:
Hip dysplasia: Rapid weight gain or obesity can make the condition worse since excessive weight translates into more pain when walking.
Heart disease: The heart must work harder in overweight dogs. When your dog is overweight hypertension can be an issue, which makes the heart work harder to do its job. Diet generally has a role in treatment.
Diabetes: Overweight dogs can develop insulin resistance similar to metabolic syndrome in people. This can lead to diabetes in dogs.
Arthritis: Extra weight on a dog places pressure on their joints and cartilage, which can cause arthritis to start early and reduce mobility.
Skin Conditions & Food Allergies: Dogs with food allergies or food intolerance can have gastrointestinal issues (like vomiting and diarrhoea) or may develop skin conditions.
Cats, too, can suffer from illness that can be addressed by an adjustment in their diet. A poor diet can lead to:
Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing the flow of digestive enzymes to be released into the abdominal area, affecting the organs.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): FLUTD is a set of diseases that cause similar symptoms, including inappropriate urination (urinating outside of the litter box), repeated attempts to urinate, difficulty urinating, painful urination, bloody urine, lack of appetite, and irritation. A risk factor for FLUTD is excess weight and a poor diet.
Heart disease: Cats often have issues with heart disease like we do, especially if their diet isn’t properly balanced.
Canned foods for dogs and cats can be beneficial to their health. Canned food has more protein, and is therefore better suited to your pets natural diet. A cat that eats dry food may be more exposed to developing a few medical conditions, including:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Cystitis and urinary crystals
Wet food is more recommended to avoid the occurrence of these diseases.
Petley’s® offers a range of specially formulated pet foods to help keep your furry family member in great health throughout their life. Petley’s® pet food contains real meat, vitamins and minerals, with zero artificial colourants or flavourants.
Vet and pet recommended Petley’s for your pet.