Educational Articles

  • This article reviews the benefits and disadvantages of semi-moist, dry, and canned dog foods. Semi-moist foods are not generally recommended as a sole diet due to their high sugar and sodium content, as well as the addition of artificial colors, preservatives and flavor enhancers. Dry food, or kibble, is easy to portion control and can be fed in puzzle toys. Canned food is a good option but more expensive than kibble and may contribute to periodontal disease.

  • Dog food has been made so palatable that it can easily create gluttonous behavior. Meal feeding and portion control are important to prevent obesity. Owners should not give in to begging behavior. Dogs that are still hungry after their meal can be supplemented with snacks such as green vegetables recommended by your veterinarian. Dogs that eat too quickly can be fed creatively to slow down eating.

  • Ferrets are true carnivores and cannot handle a diet containing more than 4% fiber. There are several good commercial ferret foods available that are dry foods. Ferrets have a very quick gut transit time (the time from eating to defecating) of three to four hours, so they appear to eat and defecate constantly. Fresh water should be available all the time.

  • The goal of feeding growing kittens is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Portion feeding is recommended to maintain a good body condition. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of kittens, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. An optimal growth rate in kittens is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the kitten to achieve an ideal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity. Growing kittens need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult cats, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Preventing obesity must begin during the weaning stage and continue through to adulthood and old age. Together with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team, you can help your kitten grow into as healthy of an adult cat as possible.

  • The goal of feeding growing puppies is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of puppies, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. An optimal growth rate in puppies is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the puppy to achieve an ideal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity. Growing puppies need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult dogs, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Together with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team, you can help your puppy grow into as healthy of an adult dog as possible.

  • The preferred basic diet for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low-calcium hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of a commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets. The diet should be supplemented with a variety of fresh, well-washed, leafy greens or colored vegetables; especially those high in vitamin C. Guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, therefore it is important that guinea pigs receive a vitamin C tablet or liquid vitamin C directly by mouth every day. Provide fresh clean water in a sipper bottle and check the tube for blockages each day.

  • Over 50% of cats in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important

  • Diet changes need to be considered for senior dogs due to their changing energy requirements and medical conditions. Senior diets vary widely in nutrient profiles as there are no established standards. Recommendations for senior dog diets need to be based on clinical examination and discussion between veterinarian and owner. It is very important to ensure adequate water intake.

  • Mature, senior, and geriatric cats often require different nutrition than adult cats due to their changing ability to digest nutrients and underlying medical conditions. Senior diets vary widely in nutrient profiles as there are yet no established standards. Recommendations for senior cat diets need to be based on clinical examination and discussion between veterinarian and owner. It is very important to ensure adequate water intake for senior cats.

  • Orphaned kittens will need extra care for survival to compensate for the loss of their mother. Kittens must be kept warm, very clean, and fed frequently using an appropriate amount and type of formula by bottle or less often tube feeding. To ensure nutrition is adequate, daily weight checks should be performed for the first 4 weeks, then weekly thereafter. Kittens must be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Environment, feeding instruments, and the kitten must be kept meticulously clean as they are more susceptible to infection than kittens cared for by their mother.