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Nutrition

Keeping Pets Fit & Healthy with Proper Nutrition

Any sudden change in your cat or dog’s eating habits or a sudden increase or decrease in weight could be symptomatic of many underlying diseases. A good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is essential for maintaining your pet’s overall health.

The nutritional needs of our animal family members vary depending on their age, weight, and activity level. At Odyssey Veterinary Care, we are happy to answer your questions about the dietary needs of your canine and feline friends and regularly include nutritional counseling as part of our pet wellness exams. Our veterinarians can recommend a diet that fits your companion critter’s nutritional needs—or feel free to bring in the nutritional content of your existing diet for them to review during your wellness exam.

Pet obesity is also a growing problem that puts the health of your canine comrade or feline friend at risk. Obesity contributes to a host of pet health conditions including osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney and heart disease, and a life expectancy shortened by up to 20%.

How do you Know if Your Critter Companion is Overweight

During his or her wellness exam, your veterinarian or technician will review your pet’s body condition scale (BCS), which ranges from one (extremely underweight) to nine (obese). Your pet will be scaled during each wellness exam to assist you with maintaining or making adjustments to help your critter reach his or her ideal body weight.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention offers the following body condition score cards to help you determine if there is just a little too much of your pampered pooch or cuddly kitty to love. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your pet’s diet.

Dog Body Condition Scoring
Cat Body Condition Scoring

Life Stage Nutrition

As your pet grows and changes, so do his or her nutritional needs. Puppies and kittens need food to support their growing bodies and high activity levels. Different breeds of dogs may benefit from size-specific diets designed for toy, giant, working, or obesity-prone breeds. The dietary needs of senior pets may require special foods for health issues, weight management, or slowing activity levels. At Odyssey Veterinary Care, we also carry a full line of prescription foods designed to treat conditions such as kidney and bladder disease, obesity, diabetes, joint, and heart disease.

VPI Pet Insurance offers an informative article on the changing nutritional needs of dogs and cats: Pet Nutrition: Life Stages.

We can recommend a specialized prescription food for your pet if needed.