A well-fed pet will be a happier animal than a pet who is eating a diet that either isn’t appropriate for their age or their overall condition. Nutrition for pets matters. Unfortunately, many pet foods are loaded with fillers and other unhealthy products that can lead to severe allergic reactions and general misery.
You can increase your pet’s coat’s shine by adding fat, but this can also be hard on their heart. If you notice that your pet’s coat looks dry or your dog is scratching a lot, several problems could be causing the issue.
Pests and fleas can lead to lots of scratching, and many pets are at risk of mites that can cause them to scratch, particularly around their ears. Pets can also be under stress and suffering increased allergic responses to their environment. Finally, pets can struggle with dry skin when the furnace gets turned on.
Consider adding foods and supplements that offer meat-based omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, to your pet’s diet during the winter months to see if that reduces itching.
Allergies and digestion
Pets can develop allergies to foods. Their digestive tracts may become sensitive to certain foods over time, or a higher stress level can increase the risk of an allergic response. If you notice that your pet is suffering from constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting, it may be time to consider a slight food change.
To effectively switch your pet’s food, it’s seldom a good idea to make a sudden and complete change unless they’re in severe distress. Instead, mix in a new food as recommended by your vet in small batches with their regular food and continue to monitor their output.
Healthy ears and eyes
Carefully monitor the condition of your pet’s ears and eyes. If you notice a lot of leaking around the eyes or scratching at their ears, keep them clean and dry.
Discuss the best ways to trim the hair around your pet’s ears and eyes, and like their nails; if you aren’t comfortable attempting this sort of grooming, take them to a professional.
Keeping your pet’s diet as free of fillers as possible is a simple way to reduce scratching and rubbing. Scratching and rubbing at ears and eyes increases the risk of introducing dirt and bacteria into the environment, leading to severe and sometimes chronic infection.
Happy and healthy aging
If we’re lucky, our pets will be with us for many years. However, many who enjoy pets will eventually have to struggle with how to deal with the loss of a pet. The aging process often isn’t kind. If you notice that your pet is slowing down or struggling with stairs, make adjustments so they can still enjoy their lives and their time with you.
Changing to a low-residue, easy to digest food may make life easier for your aging pet. Avoid giving too many treats, as this can lead to excess weight, which can cause joint pain. Keep your dog active, and do your best to find modified ways for your pet to enjoy physical activity.
Be aware of changes as your dog ages. If your dog used to love to chase the ball but now struggles to run at their previous speed, find an open area where they can lope along at their own pace. If a trip to the dog park included hopping up in your vehicle, but they now struggle to make the jump, invest in some stairs to it easier to get into the car.
Should you notice that your pet is in chronic pain or is growing confused, irritable, and losing the ability to take care of their elimination as they did previously, it’s time to have a conversation with your family and your vet. Once your pet no longer has joy in life, you need to act and free them from their misery. A healthy diet can prolong their life, but eventually, they may need your assistance to end any suffering.
Find the best nutrition for pets
Puppies and kittens have different nutritional needs, as do adult pets. If you breed females, you will need to meet their dietary needs. Finally, our older pets may need a gentle switch to foods that are easier to digest.
McKenzie Jones is your typical Midwestern gal. When she is not writing or reading, she can be found training for her next half-marathon, baking something sweet, playing her guitar, or cuddled up with her golden retriever, Cooper. She loves watching football, fall weather, and long road trips.