Your Pet's Optimal Diet

posted: by: Animal & Bird Clinic Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Recent studies have shown that high quality diets and preventative medical care can extend a dog's life by 3 to 6 years and a cat's life by up to 10 years.

Our goal at the Animal & Bird Clinic of Mission Viejo is to keep your best friend happy and healthy for as long as possible.  Optimal health for our pets begins with a wholesome and healthy diet.

For Dogs:
Phase out old diet:
Gradually eliminate chemical-filled processed food and replace with a natural diet over a period of one or two months.

Natural diet:
The new diet should consist of 33% finely chopped cooked vegetables and fruit and 33% cooked brown rice and/or oatmeal.  The remaining third should be ocean fish, cheese, eggs, tofu, turkey, chicken or red meat, yogurt or cottage cheese.  The meat and fish should be lightly steamed or cooked for 20 seconds in the microwave.  To maintain a balanced diet, each food group must be consumed by your pet.

Dogs with cancer need diets with low carbohydrates, high fats and moderate protein.  They should have 50% ocean fish, turkey or tofu and 50% non-starchy vegetables.  Red meat and chicken should be totally eliminated for pets with cancer or arthritis and perhaps gradually added back to the diet as the animal improves.

Pet’s with dermatological disorders will benefit from diets consisting of ocean fish, tofu, eggs, carrots, sweet potatoes, melons and salad greens.

Amount:
Begin with one cup for every ten pounds of your dog’s weight.  The portion may be divided into morning and evening feedings.  Portions should be adjusted to maintain healthy weight.

Supplementation:
For a thirty-pound dog, based on two meals a day:  brewers yeast: 2 teaspoons per meal; kelp: 1 teaspoon or 3 tablets per meal; vitamin C: 1,500 mg per day; vitamin E: 200 IU per day; bone meal or eggshell: 1 tablet per meal; fish oils (EPA, DPA) or flax seed oil.  As the animal improves, these dosages can be adjusted downward to minimum daily maintenance dosages.  Most of this supplementation can be gotten from only one or two products.  See our article on recommended supplements for more information.  (In the "Custom Articles" section of this website)

For Cats:
Meat:
75% of the daily food ration should be meat, raw is preferable.  Approximately one-sixth of the weekly meat portion should be organ meats– heart, kidney, gizzard and tripe.   Provide fish perhaps twice weekly and chicken or turkey often.  Do not give any types of bones.  Lightly steam the meat or cook for 20 seconds.

Vegetables, Fruits, Grains:
Most of the remainder of the daily ration should be cooked brown rice or cereal, cut-up raw fruits and cooked green vegetables.

Milk Products:
Yogurt or milk should be given several times weekly.

Eggs:
One or two eggs a week can be fed to your cat.

Amount:
Feed one cup for every ten pounds of your cat’s weight.  The feeding may be divided into morning and evening feedings.

For All Pets:
Water:
Plenty of water should always be made freely available for your pet.  Filtered, bottled or distilled water can be used if in doubt of the quality of your city tap water.  Pure water helps to remove undesirable mineral salts from the joints.

Alternatives:
While not as desirable, if you are not able to cook for your pet, a high quality, ultra premium commercial diet may be used.  There are numerous healthier diets available from manufactures such as Fromm, Nature’s Variety, Innova or Solid Gold.  Coco’s Canine Cuisine and Sojourner’s Farm are two products available that make it easier to prepare your pet’s food, requiring only that you add the meat source.  We recommend that you avoid most grocery store brands.

NOTE:
These guidelines are provided as a starting point and for a comparison to the diet your pet is currently on.  Your pet's health and attitude are the most important factors in choosing a diet.  If your pet is not thriving on their diet, please consult your veterinarian.