Nutrition Articles - PawNation

Nutrition .

Senior Cats Need More Calories

Anybody out there have an old, skinny cat? Veterinarians see them on a daily basis. Sometimes we reach a causative diagnosis - kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders are all common culprits. At other times, however, a cat may lose weight but appear to be normal in all other regards. What's going on in these cases? Credit: Shutterstock Of course it's always possible that a health work-up missed something. For example, a cancer may be too small to find, GI disease will often go undiagnosed without biopsies, or kidney function may be declining but not yet reached the point where blood work and/or a urinalysis are abnormal. Putting those...

Hourglass figures aren't only for Marilyn Monroe and a goal for women everywhere: Your pet should have an hourglass figure too. Credit: Getty Creative Most pets these days are overweight, even if many of their owners are in denial about it. "I don't think pet owners truly appreciate how important it is to have their pet at a healthy weight," says Ashley Gallagher, DVM, a veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC. "I think people don't believe me or think I'm exaggerating when I tell them an animal's obese." But pet owners should listen, since being overweight puts your dog or cat at risk of many diseases, not least of them diabetes, cardiovascular disease and...

I often hear owners and veterinarians (myself included) say that canned food is generally better than dry for cats because the former is higher in protein. Well... I was doing some research for a previous post on feline nutrition and stumbled upon something interesting. In some cases, dry food has more protein than canned, even when comparing similar products made by the same manufacturer. Credit: Thinkstock The first case I found involved a prescription, gastrointestinal diet made by a major manufacturer. Their canned variety contains 43.2% protein on a dry matter basis (meaning after the water has been removed, a necessary calculation when comparing dry and canned foods). Their dry...

How Your Dog's Food Affects His Mood

Nutrition has an enormous impact on the health of our pets. But have you considered how it may affect their behavior as well? Here are three ways diet can directly impact your pet's behavior. Credit: Getty Creative 1. FEEDING TIMES It's no longer considered standard regimen to feed your pet once a day or leave food out all day - also known as free-feeding - unless recommended by your veterinarian due to a medical reason. "Just think about how you would feel (and look) if you were only able to eat once every 24 hours, or kept nibbling on a high-calorie food all day long," says Nan Arthur, dog behavior expert and owner of Whole Dog Training. Arthur recommends asking your veterinarian if...

The importance of diet in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats is well established, but what is often overlooked is the fact that a cat's nutritional needs will change as the disease progresses. Credit: Thinkstock Phosphorous restriction is vital in any diet designed for cats with chronic kidney disease. The reason for this is simple. Phosphorous is excreted from the body through the urine, and when kidney function is impaired levels within the body begin to rise. The easiest way to keep blood phosphorous down is to restrict the amount that a cat takes in. RELATED: Foods for Cats with Chronic Diarrhea Early in the course of the disease, dietary phosphorous levels may...