Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

Dog & Cat -Nutrition

-What brands of food should I feed my pet?

We recommend feeding a balanced commercial diet such as Science Diet, Royal Canin, or Purina. These brands have a long history in pet nutrition and their recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists and well tested. We do not recommend feeding “boutique” brands of pet food. Boutique brands are manufactured by small companies that are unlikely to have done the research that is required, have their recipes formulated by veterinary nutritionists or have safe manufacturing and handling procedures. In the event of a recall it is unlikely you would be made aware unless you are feeding a national brand.

Should I feed my dog a grain free diet?

The answer is No. Grain free diets are a somewhat recent fad. There appears to be a link between dogs being fed a grain-free diet and a serious and sometimes fatal heart condition called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Many of the cases reported are in breeds that do not have a genetic predisposition to the disease. More research is needed and the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network are investigating. It is always safest to feed your pet a balanced diet, removing an entire food group can have unknown and potentially severe consequences.

-My dog loves meat. Is it healthy to make that the main part of his diet?
While pet´s love meat, that should not be the total diet. By feeding only meat, or even meat with rice and vegetables, she would be missing out on important other nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The best choice would be to feed a balanced commercial food. If you would like to feed your dog a home-cooked diet, ask your veterinarians office for recipes. They can provide you with balanced, home-cooked diet options that will be healthy for your pet.

– My cat loves fish. Is it healthy to feed only fish?
Cats love fish, but fish alone is not a balanced diet. By feeding only fish, or even fish with vegetables, he would be missing out on important other nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Cats will seem to do just fine on a incomplete diet for awhile, but will eventually end up with serious illnesses. The dietary requirements of cats is very complex. Much more so than humans or dogs. It is quite complicated to balance a diet for cats and requires a significant amount of supplements. The flavor of home-made diets can be off-putting to cats due to the amount of supplements that are required. The best choice would be to feed a balanced commercial food. If you would like to attempt a home-cooked diet, ask your veterinarians office for recipes or referral to a veterinary nutritionist.

– Will my pet eat as much as I give him or does he know when he is full?
Some pets, like humans, will eat more than they need. This will quickly cause obesity. Unless your pet is eating a prescription diet, there is a feeding guide on the label of your pet’s food. Keep in mind, the feeding guide is based on a very active pet. You will need to adjust the amount fed based on your pet’s activity level. You would divide the recommended amount into two or three meals per day. Keep an eye on your pets weight and adjust accordingly.

– Should cats be given milk?
People wonder if cats in general need milk. The answer is no. Many pets have an intolerance to milk, which can cause diarrhea. Some cats tolerate milk well. If your cat loves milk and has no ill effects from drinking it, it’s fine to give in small quantities. Keep an eye on your cat’s weight, milk contains a lot of unnecessary calories for our furry friends.

– Is it safe to give my pet bones?
Do not give your pet bones. A hard rubber chew toy is a much better bet. Feeding bones, whether raw or cooked, poses the risk of gastrointestinal obstruction or tooth fracture. The broken edges of bones are very sharp. The shards can pierce anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, from the tongue or mouth, into the intestines. Round bones can become lodged on the lower jaw and have to be cut off while the dog is sedated.

– Does my kitten or puppy need to be on a special diet?
When buying food for your kitten or puppy, look for commercial pet foods that offer special formulas that are made especially for kittens or puppies less than one year old.

– How often does my puppy or kitten need to be fed?
A feeding schedule for puppies and kittens is very individual. Variables such as exact age, breed and other pets in the household all need to be taken into consideration. Your veterinarian can discuss feeding with you at your first puppy or kitten visit.

– Is being overweight a serious health problem in pets?
Obesity is a very serious problem for animals. Being overweight can cause liver disease, pancreatitis, arthritis, back, and heart problems among many others. He may become overheated more easily, putting him at risk for heat stroke. Difficulty in breathing is also apparent in overweight animals. If your pet is overweight there are many options depending on your and your pet’s situation and preferences. You can increase exercise, decrease treats, decrease food, feed a lower calorie diet, there are even prescription diets designed to fill your pet up faster and for longer.

latest news

What Does Being AAHA Accredited Mean?

Who is AAHA? The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the ...