Smart Nutrition for Pet Owners

We've asked a veterinary expert's opinion to help pet owners make smart nutrition choices for their dogs and cats.

| October/November 1998

  • smart nutrition, pet owners - four cats at feeding tray
    Pet owners should know that for cats prone to forming urinary crystals, smart nutrition might entail providing low-ash acidifying foods.
    PHOTO: WALTER CHANDOHA
  • smart nutrition, pet owners - puppy pack at feeding time
    Puppies can become quite rambunctious at feeding time.
    WALTER CHANDOHA

  • smart nutrition, pet owners - four cats at feeding tray
  • smart nutrition, pet owners - puppy pack at feeding time
Like their owners, pets depend on a balanced diet for their general health and well-being. But these days, with store shelves brimming with dog and cat foods specially formulated for every size, shape, and age, figuring out what's best for your pet can be daunting. To help you sort out what's healthful and what's hype, MOTHER EARTH NEWS sought out small animal veterinarian and emergency-clinic owner Dr. Andrew Martin to get his advice on smart nutrition for pet owners.

MOTHER: What is the most common nutrition-related problem that you encounter in your practice?

Dr. Andrew Martin: Obesity. Most household pets are, like most Americans, overweight. And the things that contribute to added weight in people are usually responsible for the same problem in their pets: snacking and insufficient activity. Very rarely do we see a pet with a gland problem causing increased weight.

MOTHER: Is there a good way to judge if a pet is overweight?

A.M.: In every household pet, we should be able to easily feel the rib cage — not just know that there are ribs there. In deep-chested breeds of dogs, such as greyhounds, German shepherds, and setters, we should also be able to see the individual ribs. In cats, the main site of fat accumulation is the underbelly, which should never get to the point where it sways as the cat walks. In either case, the flatter the back of the animal gets, the closer to true obesity the pet is approaching.



MOTHER: What health risks are associated with pet obesity?

A.M.: The major health risks attributable to excess weight in pets are the same as those seen in people: heart disease and arthritis. The leading causes of death in larger dogs are heart failure and euthanasia due to arthritic pain. In overweight cats, there is also a very severe liver disease that is quite common and often fatal.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}