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Dogs + Nutrition

  • Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body can no longer appropriately manage the use of glucose for its energy requirements. It is a life changing condition that can be partly brought on by poor nutritional health. It is critical to work closely with your veterinarian to choose the most appropriate nutrient profile to achieve weight normalization. Insulin therapy in dogs with DM demands that dogs eat at or near the time of insulin injection. Once a dog is diagnosed with DM it is not realistic to expect that insulin injections can cease. The nutrient profile a diabetic dog eats plays a critical role in achieving glycemic control. There are several therapeutic foods that have been developed to facilitate this effect.

  • Heart disease in general, and congestive heart failure (CHF) in particular, are fairly common diseases in dogs. Chronic valvular disease and dilated cardiomyopathy are the two most common causes of congestive heart failure. Hypertension may be a contributor to heart disease and CHF. The first step toward determining the best nutrient profile to feed your dog with CHF is to work with your veterinarian to determine what, if any, other medical conditions might be present in your dog. For heart failure patients, there are some key nutritional factors to consider. Work with your veterinarian to choose the most appropriate food for your dog.

  • The liver is the second largest organ in the body and provides about 1500 critical biomechanical functions. The goals of nutritional management of liver disease focus on controlling the clinical signs as opposed to targeting the underlying cause.

  • Over 50% of dogs in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important.

  • The first inclination of some people when feeding a home-prepared diet to their pet is to simply feed the animal leftovers of what they are eating. It should be realized, however, that the nutritional needs of dogs, cats and humans differ.

  • As a modern society, we understand the importance of food quality in maintaining or improving our health. We know that we need to eat good quality food in the appropriate quantity and balance for optimal health.

  • As far back as 1953, veterinarians recognized the relationship between nutrition and the state of health of the skin and haircoat. Approximately 25% of dog visits to the veterinarian involve problems with the skin and haircoat.

  • Bladder stones can be a significant problem for dogs and finding out what type of stone is present will help determine if it can be dissolved, as well as make a plan to prevent recurrence. Bladder stones set the stage for chronic urinary tract infection, and some bladder stones (struvites) grow more quickly if the dog already has a urinary tract infection. Diet selection play a large role in this and it is important to follow veterinarian recommended nutrient profiles to prevent recurrence.

  • It is important to understand the unique nutritional needs of your performance dog. Here are some guidelines for determining how to develop a nutrition plan for performance dogs in a variety of categories.

  • Obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs affecting up to 45% of the North American dog population. Obesity contributes to disease including diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, and cancer eventually causing a decreased lifespan. Obesity can be controlled with diet and exercise plans. Regular visits to the veterinarian for body condition assessment and weight checks are crucial to weight loss as is maintaining the recommended dietary intake.