Have you ever wondered whether your pet needs to change his/her diet? More often than not, we tend to ignore a change in diet as a possible solution to illness, infection, and inflammation. They say, you are what you eat, and this couldn’t be more true with pets! As our pets go about their everyday, physical and mental changes affect their dietary habits, thereby manifesting as an infection, inflammation, or illness.
That said, change is sometimes good. Long one is the age-old belief that pets must stay on the same diet for their entire lives. In fact, dietary requirements can change and should change based on factors such as life stage, weight, activity level, and general health.
Why do pets need a change in diet?
Nobody enjoys accepting the fact that their pet is growing old. And, most often, a change to senior diets reiterates the fact that your pet is, well, old. With age, come a host of health problems that are often irreversible and lifelong, because of which, our pets lose their lives almost too early. Senior pet diets are tailored to support joint health, boost immunity, improve cognitive function, and maintain a healthy weight - all of which help your pet age gracefully.
If you feed your pet more or less than what he/she requires as per their activity level, it can result in life-threatening diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypothyroidism - all of which stem from being obese/overweight. Contrarily, deficiency diseases such as anaemia, osteoporosis, malnutrition and so on stem from feeding your pet less or in inadequate nutritional proportion. Activity levels are determined by how active your pet is during the day, and this tremendously influences how much he/she must eat.
Put simply, a dog that isn’t within his/her breed’s standard weight needs to be on a diet that helps bring them back to a healthy weight. Pets who weigh less than their breed standard need a diet that is rich is calories and protein, whereas, pets that weigh more than breed standard weight need diets with fear calories and more fibre.
Oftentimes, pets need diets that help manage symptoms of short-term and/or long-term diseases such as renal disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism etc.
What are the signs I need to look out for?
Healthy poop looks like a sausage - firm yet soft. Anything besides that in texture or colour is considered on different levels of being unhealthy. Since poop is the remains of what your pet eats, it is a perfect indicator of your pet’s health. That said, when poop ain’t a brown sausage, it’s time to head to the veterinarian.
A pet who is obese despite exercising as per their breed requirement may require a specific diet - one that helps their exercising translate to healthy weight loss.
Poor Skin & Coat
A coat that lacks shine and isn’t soft to touch are a reflection of what your pet eats. Diets that lack essential fatty acids can make a pet’s coat appear dull, dry, and unhealthy. For pets that require extra nutrition for their coat, diets fortified with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are most beneficial.
The older the pet, the more necessary it is to pay attention to his/her diet. With age, come a host of health problems that are often irreversible and lifelong, because of which, our pets lose their lives almost too early. Senior pet diets are tailored to support joint health, boost immunity, improve cognitive function, and maintain a healthy weight - all of which help your pet age gracefully.
Lethargy and weakness can stem from illness, surgery, infection, inflammation, or just from being worn out. High-antioxidant diets are made to boost the immune system’s response to fight infection and accelerate recovery. In such cases, veterinarians often recommended recovery diets or diets that are specific to healing the part of the body that requires care.
On one day your pet devours the food in front of him and the next day is filled with him/her throwing up? GI problems, like other inflammations, can be a sudden onset or prolonged Infection. Either way, it requires medical attention and a change in diet. GI diets are developed for sensitive stomachs - they contain very few addictives and are often made with simple, hypoallergenic ingredients.
So, do you think your pet needs a diet change?