The Basics Of Pet Health

Small but healthy Jack RusselDog diet, cat diet, diet and diet again!

It can’t be said enough - “Diet is the key to health!”  We say it over and over again here on Pet Health Problems.

Lets deal with the marketing hype first.

Do older people buy special food? No! They eat less of the same!

Then why should we have food for older dogs or cats?

If you look closely at the analysis of food for older dogs and  cats you will see that the protein and fat level is lower than the adult foods. You may also see some supplements added for healthy joints or a herb for urinary problems and the only reason these products are in there is to sell the product – to appeal to your sense of what you think is right. The reality is common sense.

We have puppy foods and puppy foods for large breed dogs. Let me tell you how the large breed puppy food came about.

Originally we had the puppy foods which were high in protein and fat, This acted like a fertiliser on a young plant – it forced growth of the muscle mass beyond the capability of the skeletal system. In other words problems like hip dysplasia became very prominent, especially in large breed dogs.

The pet food companies recognized this dilemma and the marketers, being good at what they do, turned a negative into a positive.

A light bulb went off in someone’s head and they said – “lets have a puppy food for large breed dogs – it will have lower protein and fat and hey presto – we can market the new food as avoiding problems like hip dysplasia”. Problem solved folks. The concept was then applied throughout the industry and across the pet food range.

Just imagine Mrs. Jones, walking through the supermarket with her 4 year old son sat high up in the trolley and she meets Mrs. Smith  who has her 5 year old daughter standing in the trolley. The conversation begins. “Oh hi Dorothy, I am in here looking for a lower protein and fat food for our Jimmy here, he is getting a bit on the big side and I need to slow down his growth”.   Absolute garbage – Is it not? Lets get real here!!

Of course we now have the breed specific and those poor souls who have bought into that will no doubt buy into the new dog food coming on the market in a bout 5 years time – the “Curly Coated Dog Food” or the “Curly tailed dog food”. Made specifically for your dog with a curly coat. Maybe they will match it with a food for men with hairy chests!

Lets get back to basics – puppies need higher levels of protein and fat for growth but they eat more food per body weight than adult dogs so they naturally get more protein and fat.

Let me show you this simple truth.

An adult dog, 2 years old and not spayed or neutered, weighing 20 kg, fed a high quality diet, should thrive on around 200 grams of food per day. That is 10 grams per kilogram of body weight is enough. The protein level is 20% and the fat level is 10%.

Now the puppy at 4 months weighs 12 kgs but eats 140 grams of food. The puppy takes in 28grams of protein and 14grams of fat. The adult dog takes in 20grams of protein and 10grams of fat.

It is as simple as that – don’t be fooled. Read about the problems associated with the long term use of high levels of protein and you will see the dangers.

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