Petfood can do more than just keep your pet full. Did you know that your pet’s food can also be used to prevent and/or treat some medical issues too?
These are called therapeutic pet diets. These have been formulated to meet the specific needs of your pet when suffering from particular conditions or diseases. These diets are scientifically designed with ingredients and composition which is beneficial in specific conditions your pet may be suffering from.
What is the difference between a therapeutic (prescription diet) food and food with similar claims on the bag?
True therapeutic foods are those scientifically developed and tested to produce the effects needed by the diet on the medical condition being treated. This compares to loosely performed clinical trials done by pet food companies, that generally focus mainly on taste and digestibility.
Therapeutic diets contain specific ingredients and can support their claims specific to the dietary formula. Quality control is much better than in your average commercial diet found in the pet food aisle.
Is a therapeutic diet right for your pet?
You may consider the following:
- Has your pet struggled with weight?
- Are they dealing with bladder stones or urinary tract issues?
- Have they been diagnosed with kidney, liver, or any other systemic diseases?
- Is your pet considered senior?
- Have they had digestive issues?
- Are they dealing with allergies?
Any one of these problems may signal a need for a specialized diet as part of their treatment and your veterinarian should be the first point of contact for in-depth recommendations.
Common Diseases That Can Be Helped Through Nutrition
Balanced nutrition is vital to all pets, but there are some conditions and diseases that can be helped through veterinary diets. Some of these include:
Allergies – these diets are formulated with hypoallergenic ingredients, or a process of hydrolysation of proteins so as to minimise the chance of allergic reactions if solely fed these diets
Kidney disease – these diets have reduced phosphorous and sodium, and increased L-carnitine for fat utilisation, antioxidants, B vitamins, appetite stimulants and EFA’s (fish oil)
Orthopaedic conditions – contain increased Omega 3 FA’s, EPA and ALA which are substances that interrupt the genetic code that produces the enzyme which degenerates cartilage.
Endocrine disease, such as diabetes – lower carbohydrates especially for diabetes mellitus, and increased protein to maintain muscle mass.
Skin and coat health – contain added EFA’s especially Omega 3’s for coat health.
Gastrointestinal issues – low in fat, added prebiotics and fibre, antioxidants, and Omega 3 FA’s to reduce inflammation.
Cystitis/urinary tract disease – reduced magnesium, phosphorous, and protein. Target urinary pH around 6 to dissolve struvite crystals. Vit E and B-carotene to combat urolithiasis.
Weight control – Low fat and higher fibre to assist with weight loss.
Liver disease – Highly digestible protein at reduced levels. Vit K and Zinc as become deficient with liver disease. Reduced sodium, increase potassium, and reduced copper all which are issues with liver disease.
Dental care – complete balanced diet with vertically aligned fibres and larger kibble to mimic tooth brushing when chewed. Also, they may contain substances which help to dissolve plaque.
For further information and advice, please consult your Anexa Vet.