What Type of Nutrition Is Best for My Pet? 

Pet vet

Just like their human families, pets need high-quality, nutritious diets to live healthy and active lives. At Rainier West Veterinary Hospital, we offer nutritional counseling to help you make informed decisions about your cat’s or dog’s diet based on breed, life stages, unique needs, and healthcare concerns. 

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy, Balanced Diet

A healthy diet can strengthen your pet’s immune system, promote proper growth and development, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent a host of health concerns, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It also helps prevent nutritional deficiencies and contributes to overall energy levels, vitality, and longevity. 

How to Pick the Right Food for Your Pet

With so many options available, choosing the right food for your furry companion can be quite the challenge. It’s important to take some factors into account, including the following: 

Choosing Quality Foods: It’s essential to select foods that contain high-quality ingredients, such as named animal sources, whole grains, and vegetables. If you’re unsure, our team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital is happy to offer guidance and recommendations on the best food choices for your canine or feline friend. 

Nutrition for Different Life Stages: Different life stages have different needs. Puppies and kittens need the proper nutrients to meet their rapid growth needs, while adult pets require balanced diets to promote overall health. When it comes to senior pets, obesity, and mobility are often concerns, requiring lower-calorie foods that are rich in essential nutrients and supplements such as glucosamine and DHA or EPA to help promote joint health. 

Weight Control: Obesity is a serious concern that impacts a pet’s health and quality of life. It is one of the main contributing factors to chronic health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart disease. Your pet may require a diet rich in essential nutrients but low in calories to achieve a healthier weight. 

Special Dietary Needs: Pets may need specialized diets to manage chronic health conditions, food allergies, or other health concerns. At Rainier West Veterinary Hospital, we make dietary recommendations to meet your pet’s unique needs. We are happy to offer prescription diets through our online pharmacy to address individual concerns. 

Deciphering Pet Food Labels

Always check pet food labels to ensure they contain a digestible, animal-based protein at the top of the list. They should also contain carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other key ingredients to provide a balanced diet for your pet. Choose foods with AAFCO or FDA logos to ensure the food is safe and nutritious for your furry companion.

Keep in mind that cats are carnivores, requiring foods primarily made up of animal-based proteins but also containing vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fats. Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, requiring a combination of animal and plant-based proteins. They also need a balance of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals for optimal health.   

Feeding Schedule, Treats, and Supplements

Aside from a regular diet, it’s essential to establish a feeding schedule based on age, size, and activity level. While most pet food packages have feeding recommendations, they are usually based on the average pet, so it’s important to get tailored guidance for your furry companion’s specific needs. No matter how often your pet feeds throughout the day, a schedule will help avoid overeating.

Treats should never be used as food but as rewards throughout the day. Like regular foods, it’s important to consider the ingredients. When it comes to supplements, consult with your trusted team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital to ensure your pet’s unique needs are met. 

Nutritional Counseling and Guidance for Pets Near Me in Lacey, WA

Your pet deserves the best foods, but what’s ideal depends on individual needs. Dr. Doyle and her team at Rainier West Veterinary Hospital are here to offer tailored guidance and counseling to ensure your pet maintains a healthy, balanced diet with all the nutrients needed for optimal health. We invite you to contact our office at (360) 339-8262 to schedule your pet’s appointment or request one online today!