New Puppies and what to feed them the first year

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large breed puppies

large breed puppies

Spring time is here and it seems everyone is getting a new puppy!  There are always a lot of questions regarding a new puppy but one of the most important is what to feed your puppy during the first year of its life.  If you have a large breed dog i.e. Great Dane or German Shepherd , or a small breed  Dachshund they each have  different nutritional needs, not just more food.  Too many calories for a large breed dog can put on excess weight and cause skeletal problems in overfed puppies.  If puppies are under four months of age they can eat whatever they want.  But as they age they require fewer calories per pound.  At that junction it is appropriate to limit the food intake.

Puppies that grow slower will still reach the same size as there over fed counterparts, just a bit later, and healthier.

 Too much calcium in the food is just as bad as too much.  Too much calcium can cause the bones to reshape as excess calcium is deposited on bone tissue, causing abnormalities.

Protein is important for your dog as well.  However  the needs for a large breed dog vary from the needs of a small dog.  For example, for a large breed dog  the food should contain about 26% protein. Because of these variations  It is best that you purchase food that is either breed or  size specific.

Following these guidelines are  very important, by doing this you do NOT have to provide any supplements to your puppy, but rather the food itself will provide all that is needed – Again, this will  vary depending  on the size of your pup.

Good nutrition is important  for proper development of the bones and joints.  After your dog reaches one year of age, unfortunately it is not a puppy anymore.  At this time the food will again need to be changed and transitioned to age/breed and size specific food.

Kidney Disease

Have you noticed your cat drinking more than usual?

Chronic kidney disease in cats is the most common disease process of middle age and elderly cats.  Did you know that kidney disease can be genetic?  This disease runs in certain lines or families of cats and as such has a strong genetic predisposition.   Although there is no cure per se , if diagnosed early, we can help slow the progression of the disease .  Cats compensate for this disease very well. They will typically not show significant signs of illness in the early stages.   Wondering how you can tell if your kitty has the beginning of kidney disease?   You are the one that can help make a difference.   Some of the signs to look for are:

  • Increase in water consumption
  • Increase in urination
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Lethargy
  • vomiting

Early detection is the best defense.  As your pets owner it is critical role determining if your pets behavior has changed.  The daily interaction that you have allows you to notice the subtle sign before they turn into a larger problem.  If you notice any of the above it is a good idea to have your pet screened  by the veterinarian.   We recommended: a complete blood count (CBC), a serum biochemical profile, and a urinalysis.

Unfortunately, once we see a rise in waste products in the blood there is an indication that the filtering mechanism of the kidney has been damaged.   In the urinalysis we test for pH, specific gravity, the presence of blood, protein, glucose, bilirubin, and ketones, and microscopically look for cells, bacteria, crystals, and casts.  These give us an understanding what is happening within the body.

There are multiple treatment options that we can use to delay the further damage to the kidneys.  The mainstay for therapy has been renal (kidney) diets. These diets are modified protein diets. If you pet has excessive protein consumption that can increase  nitrogenous waste in the body, which in turn, increases the burden on the kidney to remove it.

The best plan of action would be to be alert in changes that your pet may be exhibiting.  This will allow us to help you give you more quality time with your loved one.