How to provide best nutrition to your beloved pets; a complete wellness guide - Hindustan Times

How to provide best nutrition to your beloved pets; a complete wellness guide for pet parents

By, New Delhi
Jun 11, 2023 11:18 AM IST

From balanced diet tailored as per their needs to regular exercise, here're tips to ensure a healthy and disease-free pet.

When it comes to overall wellness of your pet, one cannot rely on guesswork. Every pet has different nutritional needs and eating the right food can work wonders for their health and longevity. Feeding your cat and dog the same kind of food is as faulty as making different breeds of dogs eat a similar diet. A balanced diet for every pet should be crafted keeping in mind their specific needs in order to keep your beloved pets disease-free and energetic. Such diet can be tailored after thorough research and consultation with veterinary experts. Also, adequate hydration, regular exercise and spending quality time with your pets is equally important for their well-being. One cannot be expected to turn into a perfect pet parent in a matter of days, it requires time, effort, patience and a lot of bonding. (Also read: Top 3 reasons why dogs behave badly and how to resolve it)

As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to prioritise the health and well-being of our furry companions.(Pexels)
As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to prioritise the health and well-being of our furry companions.(Pexels)

Also Watch: How To Choose The Right Food For Your Dog | Shopping Haul | HT Lifestyle

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As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to prioritise the health and well-being of our furry companions. One of the key aspects of pet care is providing them with optimal nutrition. A balanced and nutritious diet plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health, preventing diseases, and promoting longevity, says Dr Vivek Srivastav - Senior Vice President - Innovation, Business Strategy & Scientific Affairs, Zeon Lifesciences.

In this comprehensive guide, Dr Srivastav discusses various factors involved in becoming responsible pet parents:

1. Balanced diet

Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health for pets. Just like humans, pets require essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to thrive. A balanced diet tailored to their specific needs ensures strong immunity, optimal growth and development, shiny coats, and healthy skin. It also reduces the risk of various diseases and helps maintain a healthy weight.

2. Understanding pet dietary requirements

To become a responsible pet parent, it is essential to understand the specific dietary requirements of your pet. Dogs and cats, for example, have different nutritional needs. Dogs are omnivores, requiring a mix of animal-based proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fibres. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, which means their diets must primarily consist of animal protein. Additionally, factors such as age, breed, size, and activity level influence the nutritional needs of your pet. Consultation with a veterinarian is crucial to determine the most appropriate diet for your furry companion.

3. Homemade diets and raw feeding

Some pet owners prefer homemade diets or raw feeding methods. While these approaches can provide certain benefits, they require careful planning and proper understanding.

4. Research and Consultation

Thoroughly research and consult with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist before transitioning to homemade or raw diets.

5. Balanced recipes

Ensure that homemade diets meet the necessary nutritional requirements, including essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

6. Food safety

Handle raw ingredients with caution to prevent contamination and the risk of bacterial infections.

7. Portion control and feeding schedule

Maintaining proper portion control and a consistent feeding schedule is essential to prevent obesity and promote healthy digestion. Overfeeding can lead to weight gain and associated health issues, while underfeeding can result in nutrient deficiencies. Consult your vet to determine the appropriate portion sizes and feeding frequency based on your pet's age, breed, size, and activity level.

8. Hydration and access to fresh water

Water is vital for your pet's overall health and well-being. Ensure a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Monitor your pet's water intake, especially during warmer months or if they have certain health conditions. Some pets may benefit from water fountains or using wet food to increase their water consumption.

9. Regular exercise

Our pets are bred to do specific jobs such as hunting and gardening, all those activities that would give them both a mental and physical workout. One should plan little changes in their daily routine that encourage them to stay active. Engage in activities that suit your pet's breed, age, and energy levels.

10. Consulting with a veterinarian

Regular visits to the veterinarian are essential for assessing your pet's overall health and nutritional requirements. Your veterinarian can provide personalized advice based on your pet's specific needs, conduct regular check-ups, and suggest appropriate dietary adjustments if required.

11. Addressing common nutritional concerns

Certain pets may have unique nutritional concerns that need to be addressed. For example, some breeds may be prone to food allergies or sensitivities, while others may require weight management due to their predisposition to obesity. Understanding and addressing these concerns through appropriate diet choices and professional advice is crucial for their well-being.

12. Be mindful of human foods

Some human foods can be toxic to pets. Avoid feeding them items such as chocolate, caffeine, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, alcohol, and products containing xylitol, as these can be harmful or even fatal. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian.

13. Consider age and life stage

Puppies, kittens, adult pets, and seniors have different nutritional requirements. Choose pet food that is appropriate for your pet's life stage to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for their growth, development, and overall health.

14. Understand their non-verbal communication

Pets use a combination of posture, expressions and other body languages to express their emotions. Such as a wagging tail of dog could mean that they are happy, but in case of cats it shows that they are annoyed and want some personal space. That is why it is important that we should understand the different ways of our pet to communicate with us.

"Being a responsible pet parent goes beyond just showing them affection, it’s everything you do to ensure they live a long and happy life. By understanding their nutritional needs, choosing high-quality pet food, considering homemade or raw feeding methods with caution, practicing portion control, ensuring hydration, seeking regular veterinary check-ups, and addressing individual nutritional concerns, you can enhance the overall health and longevity of your furry companions. Responsible pet parenting is an ongoing commitment, and staying informed about the latest research and recommendations is essential in providing the best nutrition for your pets," concludes Dr Srivastav.

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