Listen to your veterinarian before putting your dog on a diet
Special diets for dogs are not only prescribed by veterinarians for the obese animal, but also for various health reasons.
For example, if your dog suffers from congestive heart failure, due to heartworm or other heart diseases, your veterinarian may want to put him on a low-sodium diet, along with the proper medications, which combined, may literally save your pet’s life. There used to be an old saying: “You are what you eat,” but your dog has no choice, “He is what you feed him” and his welfare is always in your hands.
A veterinarian once told me that over half of mature dogs alive have kidney disease. Your pet’s doctor may suggest that he be given a special diet that will not put a strain on his kidneys. This will often correct many problems and keep an animal from becoming seriously ill. All of the prescribed dietary foods must be given according to your veterinarian’s strict instructions.
Do puppies and pregnant dogs need diet food?
This too is a question which must be left up to your veterinarian. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, depending upon the physical condition of the animal. Physical and mental stress is sometimes a determining factor in the prescribing of a diet program for puppies or the mother dog.
Diarrhea & loose stools
If your dog has diarrhea, he may need a bland diet. The intestinal tract of a dog is similar to that of a human and when it is irritated, a change of food can sometimes correct the problem.
Allergies & skin problems
Does your dog have an allergy or dermatosis? It may be that he is being fed the wrong food. Many times the well-meaning dog owner will spray, bathe, or put ointments on their pet, when what the dog really needs is a special diet food. Your veterinarian is the person who can determine the cause of your dog’s itch, so don’t try to diagnose it yourself.
Take responsibility for your dog
Animal nutrition has made giant strides during the past 30 years. Today it is said that most dogs who are fed regular commercial dog food have a better diet than an American child. However, I’m sure this is a debatable statement and a hot topic. But the day is long past when we threw the family dog a bone from the table and expected him to grow just fine on any scraps left over.
Whenever your dog is not eating properly or is overweight, consult your veterinarian. He may suggest that you put your dog on a diet and if he does, be sure to stick with it. Try not to overfeed your pet. If he gets more calories than his body size needs, based on how much he weighs and physical activity, you may become a fat pup. Our pets have a way of becoming part of the family circle, but we must remember that their dietary needs are not the same as that of the rest of the family.