Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nutrition and Your Pet

With this blog series I hope to bring a little bit of clarity to the confusing world of pet food and nutrition.  Nutrition is a relatively complicated topic and there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Combine that with expert marketing departments and it is no wonder many pet owners are confused about what food they should feed their pet.

 So let’s dive right in and answer some of those frequently asked questions.

 What is the difference between the foods we sell at the clinic and the foods you buy at the pet store?

The diets we sell in the clinic are veterinary prescription diets and are only available through a veterinary clinic. They are formulated specifically to treat and prevent medical conditions. Think of them like a prescription for a medication without any associated side effects! These foods have undergone extensive research to ensure they have a significant positive impact on the medical condition they target. Studies of the foods last for months or even years to assess their effects. Grocery store foods on the other hand only need to undergo a 6 week feeding trial and often do not have any research done beyond that point.

Let’s look at a side by side comparison: Pet store dental diets have a larger kibble size to try to help mechanically break tartar off the teeth. The veterinary prescription diet has this feature but also includes ingredients to bind calcium and prevent plaque from becoming tartar. We have studies looking at exactly how effective they are at tartar prevention. In addition there is a small dog option that is formulated to prevent bladder stones, a common problem in smaller breeds. Your pet store dental diet may help with tartar build up, however the company does not have research to show how effective their diet is. Your veterinary diet has the research to back it up along with several other added benefits.

Research shows that our veterinary diets are highly digestible ie: most of the ingredients are absorbed and used by the animal rather than being passed out as waste.  Pet store brands may add ingredients that sound very beneficial but no study has been done to assess whether the pet is actually able to absorb these extra ingredients. 


So you can see why there is a price difference between that veterinary diet and your pet store food. That being said our aim is to prevent or treat medical problems so you don’t have to spend more money on costly treatments.

Stay tuned to more answers to FAQs on pet foods.
Thanks for reading!
Dr Ingrid