Lacey, Washington

Pet Nutrition

Pet Nutrition Guidance in Lacey, WA

Pets change over time, and so do their nutritional needs. Whether you're dealing with life stages, pet illnesses, or weight management, it can be challenging to determine the appropriate diet for your dog or cat. At Rainier West Veterinary Hospital, we offer nutritional guidance to ensure your precious pet thrives. 

Nutrition for Life Stages - An Overview

Frisky little puppies and kittens become adults, and adults become seniors. Here's a look at the different life stages and their unique needs:

Puppy/Kitten Diets: Kitten and puppy food needs to be rich in proteins, fat, calcium, and phosphorus and usually has a higher calorie count per serving to meet the rapid growth requirements. Growth requirements for your puppy may differ with breed and size as well. 

Adult Diets: Dogs and cats from ages 1 to 7, or younger with larger breeds, need to consume complete and balanced adult diets to maintain optimal weight and promote dental health. Adult-appropriate cat and dog diets usually come with a balance of animal-based protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates. If your pet has a specific medical condition, we may recommend additional supplements or special diets.

Senior Diets: As the years go by, your furry friend will become a senior, and medical issues, mobility, and obesity may become a concern. Older dogs and cats often require a reduced calorie count to meet their energy requirements and keep their weight under control. They may also need foods with glucosamine and DHA or EPA to promote joint health.

Other Dietary Needs
Nutritional requirements may change based on factors other than life stages. These include pets with acute or chronic health conditions, obesity, weakness, lethargy, or digestive problems. Dr. Doyle will evaluate your pet's unique needs and recommend dietary choices to promote a healthy, active life. We're pleased to offer prescription diets through our online pharmacy to meet specific nutrient requirements.

How Should You Transition Your Pet to a New Food?

As pet parents, it's essential to make any diet changes gradually to give your cat or dog's system time to adjust. Abrupt food changes may leave your pet with digestive upset, diarrhea, vomiting, and decreased appetite.

When planning a diet transition, follow a seven-day schedule. On the first day, offer a mix of mostly the current food with a tiny taste of the new food. On each of the following days, add more of the new food and less of the old until, by day 7, the transition is complete. However, it's important to be patient and flexible. If you feel your cat or dog needs more time, add an extra day or two to the transition schedule.

Why Avoid Grain-Free Diets?

At Rainier West Veterinary Hospital, we recommend avoiding grain-free diets for dogs. Even though it has become quite the trend, ongoing research has linked boutique, exotic, and grain-free diets to an increase in heart disease, specifically a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. We invite you to talk to Dr. Doyle about any pet food concerns.

Pet Nutrition Guidance Near Me in Lacey, WA

Contact Rainier West Veterinary Hospital to determine the best food for your furry friend. Dr. Doyle will evaluate your pet's health and make a recommendation based on life stage, health concerns, and unique needs. We invite you to call our office to schedule your pet's appointment or request one online today!