Choosing a pet's food can be a confusing process owing to the options available.
Many pet owners tend to stick to the same food for their dog's lifetime. However, it is vital to realize that your pet's dietary needs can and will change over time.
Several factors contribute to changing dietary needs. The factors include the pet's age or life stage, activity level, and overall health. Your pet's diet will need to change as he grows older.
When to Change Your Pet's Food
There are three main life stages during which you should consider changing your pet's diet. The first stage is when your pet is a puppy. At this stage, your pet will need food that is necessary for growth. There is pet food made for puppies and kittens.
The second stage is the adult stage. This is the stage when your pet has a high likelihood of developing obesity. You need to talk to the veterinarian about the best food for adult maintenance. The other stage is when your pet is a senior. A senior pet may have health issues that require a special diet.
When to Consult Your Pet's Veterinarian
It is important to consult your vet about the best diet for your pet. The vet will be able to advise you about your pet's dietary needs depending on his health, age, and other factors. If your pet has health issues, the vet will recommend the pet food that contains essential nutrients.
A special diet can manage conditions such as chronic heart and kidney disease. In some cases, changing the diet can help treat various medical issues. Make sure that you read the labels when buying pet food.
Signs That You Need to Change Your Pet's Food
Nutrition plays an important role in your pet's overall health. Some signs can indicate that you need to change your pet's food. Some signs to look out for include a dull, flaky coat, weakness or lethargy, and obesity or a hefty midsection.
Other signs include allergies, chronic flatulence, a rumbling stomach, and loose stool. Gastric intestinal problems are often caused by low-quality food or food intolerances. If you notice any of the signs, consult the veterinarian and find out the right diet for your pet.
When a Pet is Considered Senior
You might be wondering at what age your pet becomes a senior. The answer is that it depends on the animal's breed and size or body weight. Pets that are overweight age faster than pets of normal weight.
On average, dogs are senior when they have passed the halfway mark of their life expectancy. Senior and geriatric pets generally require a low-calorie diet to prevent obesity. They also need high-fiber foods to enhance gastrointestinal health.
Choosing the Right Food
A healthy diet is one of the most important ways to ensure that your pet enjoys long-term good health. If you think your pet may benefit from a new diet, consult your veterinarian. The vet can recommend diet changes that will ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life. It is, however, vital to remember that a new diet is not a substitute for good medical care.
If your pet is getting slower and older, you may be worried about his weight. You may also have noticed that your pet is not as enthusiastic about meals as he used to be. He may have lost all interest in food, a good sign that something needs to change. Feeding a senior pet is very different from feeding a puppy.
For more on if you should change pet food, visit Goose Creek Veterinary Hospital at our office in Ashburn, VA. You can call (571) 291-9110 today to schedule an appointment. In the event of an emergency, you can visit The LifeCentre in Leesburg, Virginia, or call 703-777-5755.