Why Purchase Pet Food from my Veterinarian?
Our role, like that of any profession, is changing. At one point we focused almost exclusively on the treatment of disease. Now, we have expanded our services and have also become committed to helping our clients prevent disease in their pets, improve the quality of pet's lives, and increase your best friend's life span. The diets we choose to sell are extensively researched and monitored, incorporate unique ingredients, and are of exceptional quality. We see tremendous differences/improvements in pets fed these foods. Admittedly, there are hundreds of diets on the market and we can't know about them all. However, companies whose products we sell provide us with a wealth of nutritional information, and are accountable for the performance of their diets. The regular interactions you have with our hospital staff permit us to monitor and ensure your pet's optimal health and enables you to ask questions of animal health professionals. We believe nutrition can play a vital role in everything from improving skin and coat quality to managing kidney, liver and heart disease. Based on extensive work in the human field, we know that nutrition also plays a tremendous role in disease prevention and contributes to a longer, better quality life.
Regrettably, many companies and pet food retailers have relied on numerous common myths and appealing (albeit erroneous) marketing tactics to position their products as "... the same or better than, but much less expensive!". We want you to have better information upon which you can make informed choices regarding feeding your pet. Many of our clients are realizing that feeding their pets diets we recommend is a most effective and cost-efficient way to ensure their pet's optimal quality of life
Helpful Suggestions for Feeding your Puppy
Good feeding habits start as soon as you get your puppy! Your puppy's diet will influence his or her health status, development, appearance and attitude. How you feed your puppy will influence many behavior aspects, from house-training to begging. It is also important to prevent your puppy from gaining too much weight, which can predispose them to obesity later in life, and it's associated health problems. Following are some tips to get you off to a good start:
1. Choose your puppy's diet carefully!
There is excessive misinformation in the market regarding puppy foods. We know it's confusing, particularly with all the advertising and marketing efforts by competing companies. The old adage, "you get what you pay for", probably applies more to pet foods than in many other instances. We encourage you not to compare diets using the 'Guaranteed Analysis" on the label - it is a chemical analysis only that measures gross quantities of ingredient types - it tells you nothing about the quality or digestibility of the ingredients.
2. Do not "free choice feed" your pup.
Free choice feeding is essentially feeding your puppy as much as he/she wants to eat. Free choice feeding can contribute to digestive upset (vomiting and diarrhea), bloat, (difficulties in house training), and obesity. The best approach is to feed your puppy's daily allotment of food in two or three measured meals a day. If your puppy hasn't eaten his measured amount of food within 15 minutes, remove it. Continue on with the same measured proportion at the next meal. If you find your puppy consistently isn't finishing his meal but is otherwise doing well, cut back on the total daily allotment. On the other hand, even if your puppy devours his meal in a few minutes, do not give more food. Watch his/her body condition and review this with us at each visit.
3. Avoid feeding your puppy "human food".
Establishing right from the start that "human food' is 'off-limits' will reduce begging and an increased opportunity for obesity. It also helps minimize the chance of dogs becoming very picky eaters. If you must feed some "human food', stick to small amounts of low calorie options such as vegetables, rice etc., but always put them in your puppy's bowl! Never feed your puppy from the table.
4. Familiarize yourself with- healthy treats.
We all like to treat our puppies. It helps us in socializing, training and just plain loving them. There are several healthy treat options now on the market. Ask us
about home and packaged treats that would be suitable! Remember, many treats on the market have more calories than you would find in a 1/2 cup of puppy food!
5. Use meals as a house training opportunity!
Puppies normally eliminate 5 to 15 minutes after eating a meal. Therefore, after you feed your puppy, take him or her outside to the appropriate place in your yard where you would like them to eliminate and wait for the magic moment. Praise your puppy for a job well done! Puppies also need to eliminate after naps and play sessions. Use this to your advantage in training and avoiding 'accidents'!
6. Food is an excellent training tool!
Talk to us about training your puppy with regards to food rewards. It makes training easier and more positive for you and your puppy!
7. Feed your puppy in a quiet place & avoid feeding prior to / just after exercise.
This helps establish consistency, reduces excitement around a meal, and reduces the incidence of GI (gastro-intestinal) upset.
8. Change diets slowly
If you are changing your puppy's diet, mix the new food with the previous diet in small amounts the first day or two. Then the proportion of new diet can be gradually increased over a week or so until your puppy is completely on the new diet. This will reduce the likelihood of vomiting and diarrhea. Your puppy should make a formed stool that is easy to pick up. Please inform us if this is not the case. Also let us know how many times a day your puppy has a bowel movement. This information will help us assess the health status of your puppy, the quality of the food he/she is eating, and will help you in your house training efforts.
Bones and Milk
Please do not feed your puppy any bones. Digestive disturbances, bone fragments and their damage can result in medication and possible surgery for your puppy that can be avoided. We would be happy to provide you with suggestions for appropriate chew toys. Many puppies cannot digest milk, and it ends up giving them diarrhea. This can also interfere with the absorption of nutrients from the intestinal tract.