A major aspect of any patient’s health is its diet. Whether it’s a dog that refuses to eat or a tapir that chows down bamboo like there’s no tomorrow, nutrition is so very important and possibly overlooked much of the time. Shifting trends in human diets can lead to crossover into the animal world, for better or worse. Unfortunately, the raw food diet craze has infiltrated pet-owners’ psyche, and the proposed advantages can become so entrenched that it may be difficult for even vets to convince owners to change their minds as to how to feed their pets.
No matter if an owner elects to use store-bought pet food or cook food for their pets, it is important to ensure that the animals receive a complete and balanced diet for their given life stage and to be aware of common food allergies among our furry friends. Puppies and kittens have different caloric requirements than those of adults, and it is important to take that into consideration when feeding them. Furthermore, not all pet foods are created equally, and it is preferable to purchase a product that has been through feeding trials and bears an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement on its label.
I have had to change my own eating habits since entering vet school. No longer a beneficiary of a college meal plan, I have had to get in the habit of cooking for myself. Though my cooking repertoire is by no means extensive, it gets the job done, and I try my best to get an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.