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A therapeutic diet or prescription diet is a diet for dogs that targets certain congenital or hereditary health issues. Commercial dog foods are created to suit the average dog, one without considerable health problems.
Some of these issues could include minor concerns such as obesity and more severe ones like heart and kidney problems. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a therapeutic diet for dogs.There is no denying that the food we eat has an impact on our health, energy, and overall wellbeing. The same goes for our pets. Keep reading to learn more about therapeutic food plans for your dog! Click To Tweet
Diseases that can be Treated Through Nutrition
There are a few common dog issues where a therapeutic diet will be the recommended solution by vets.
One of the most common issues that call for dietary treatment is gastrointestinal problems.
Some dog breeds can’t process certain foods in commercial diets. A high fiber diet can help firm up runny poops for dogs that continuously have diarrhea. Once you consult a vet, there is a chance he or she will suggest a therapeutic diet.
Royal Canin is a dog food brand that has therapeutic foods and treats. You can visit the website for more information.
Kidney problems are chronic, and a great way to give your pup a relatively normal life is through a therapeutic diet. You may not be able to treat the issue permanently, but dietary adjustments are vital in managing and preventing further deterioration of the kidney.
Due to slowing down the disease, your beloved fur baby will live a longer and healthier life. Most diets that target kidney disease have lower phosphorus and protein levels to lessen the kidneys’ strain.
Unfortunately, heart disease is another common but more serious issue we see in many breeds. You can purchase dog foods with a lower level of sodium and higher levels of helpful nutrients such as taurine. Still, it’s challenging to help alleviate the issue with a therapeutic diet alone.
For pets with heart issues, we would recommend consulting your vet first before putting your pooch on a new diet.
A grain-free diet can be considered a therapeutic diet, and that’s what we commonly see. Dogs with a grain allergy have many different well-known pet food brands to choose from with a line of grain-free meals.
Other than grain-free diets, tons of other helpful dog food can target issues such as sensitive skin and even hypoallergenic diets.
Old-Age and Dementia
As your dog ages, he may face neurological issues that a diet modification can aid. Dementia is a common one where the right diet can slow the progression, but we stress that these diets will not cure it.
Before implementing a new diet for dementia, make sure you consult your vet.
Obesity and Malnutrition
There are also dog foods both dogs that are both overfed and underfed. Your vet will determine if your dog needs to go on a therapeutic diet to address weight issues.
Not only is it about how heavy your dog is, but it’s also about the right nutrition and exercise. Sometimes your vet will recommend increasing the length of walks over reducing calorie intake.
If your vet does deem your pooch to be unhealthily overweight, there are weight loss diets that can target the issue. Like malnourished dogs, there are supplements and high-calorie and energy diets that can help these dogs.
Don’t Forget to Consult Your Vet
We stress the importance of having your vet oversee therapeutic diets because those without proper knowledge may not understand if a therapeutic diet is necessary or good for their dog. Your vet will have a clearer idea of your dog’s needs and let you know if a prescription diet is needed.
It’s vital to understand that these diets are not preventative measures. For example, feeding your healthy weight pup diet dog food to prevent him from gaining weight will actually result in a lack of nutrition.
We will also say dog food that targets different life stages are not considered therapeutic diets. Puppy and senior dog food are needed in those life stages because they cater to their various needs. Puppy food is usually higher in calorie and protein content, which are essential to your fur baby’s healthy development. As he ages, the calorie content is decreased because senior dogs are not as active. An adult dog that still consumes puppy food for a significant period will more likely be overweight.
Considerations for Therapeutic Diets
You need to be more careful with your dog’s diet if he is on prescription meals. This means no food toppers or additional treats without the approval of your vet. With mix and matching, you run the risk of ruining all your previous efforts and the diet’s efficacy.
It’s very likely that your pup may not like the bland taste of the new diet, but sometimes it just takes them time to get used to it. If the problem persists, consult your vet if adding some organic ingredients is allowed or if there are other ways to remedy the situation.
Another consideration you must-have when it comes to therapeutic diets is the cost. Prescription dog food will set you back further than regular commercial dog kibble. This is because there is a great deal of research that went into the development, and therapeutic dog food is made with better and higher quality ingredients.
You may not find therapeutic dog foods widely available in stores, and you may need to purchase some directly from the vet.
Therapeutic diets are a scientific breakthrough that has helped manage congenital and hereditary diseases found in dogs. They have proved to give your dog a happier and healthier life by keeping the disease in check and slowing the progression.
Make sure to check with your vet before switching your dog onto a new therapeutic recipe, and remember not to add additional unapproved treats or toppers.
Has your dog ever been on a special diet?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.