Why your pet needs a good diet
A good diet is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Poor eating habits in pets can cause a number of
major medical problems. We will go over a few of the here:

Low cost or 'cheap foods' are NOT a good choice for your pet. Although they taste good to your pet ("but
my pet really likes it") they are not well designed for your pets dietary needs. Lets face it, junk food always
tastes good but we all know it's not good for us. They are full of fillers to make your pet feel full. The result is
a large amount of waist (poop) produced by your pet and may cause gas. They may also cause urinary track
infections due to a high urine PH. We will go over this issue a little later.

Kittens & Puppies:  Kittens and Puppies need foods made for them. The percentages of fat, protein &
fiber are specially designed for growing bodies. There have been studies on the effects of good diets verses
bad diets on puppies and kittens. The studies showed that pets given the correct food while growing up were
smarter and healthier than the ones that were not. There are also foods designed for Large Breed Puppies
that may be a better choice if your puppy is a breed that will be 60 pounds or larger. Pets should remain on
puppy or kitten food at least until the age of 1 year.

Obesity:  Just as with humans, our pets are becoming over weight. The health risks are the same for your
pet as they are for you. Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes & Joint problems, just to name a few. If your
pet is over weight, you need to be feeding a low calorie food designed for weight control. The trick with
weight control food is to feed the proper amount. When looking at the feeding guideline on the food you
choose, make sure you are feeding for the weight your pet should be, not the weight they currently are.
Weight control foods are well designed to help your pet feel full while lowering the amount of calories.

One cause of Obesity in our pets is sharing our food with them. The amount of calories in a single potato chip
or small piece of meat from your plate may not seem like much, but if you figure the portion size for an adult
humane and then break it down to the weight or size of your pet, that small 'treat' now becomes a major
calorie source. 'People treats' can also cause PH issues as we will cover next.

Urinary PH:   In some pets, the effects of poor diet or 'people snacks' can cause the PH of the urine to
become off balance. The result is a development of crystals in the urine. (pictured on the left) These crystals
develop because the urine is not acidic enough to break down the minerals the pet ingests. The results of this
can be Urinary Tract Infection, Bladder Stones or a blocked Urethra.

Urinary Tract Infections are usually discovered when a pet suddenly starts urinating around the house. A
Urinalysis (test of the Urine) can usually find the cause of the problem. Urinary Tract Infections can be
caused by the formation of Crystals causing irritation and infection as they pass through the Urethra or from
Bacteria. Only a Urinalysis can tell what the cause is and how to treat it.

Bladder Stones (pictured on the right) are formed in the bladder when the crystals stick together. Stones may
be small like grains of sand or as large as golf balls. X-Rays may be needed to discover small stones. This
condition may be treated with medication or may require Surgery. Stones are usually accompanied by both
Crystals and Infection.

Blocked Urethra happens most often in Male Cats. The cause is the same as with the formation of Stones.
Either a Stone becomes lodged or the Crystals collect until they completely block the Urethra. The result is
the inability to urinate. The signs most owners will notice is a hovering in the litter box or straining to urinate
with little or no output. This condition needs immediate medical attention! Without treatment, this condition
can be fatal in as little as 48 hours.

Although quality pet foods are expensive, the benefits are worth the expense. Generally, the amount of food
per serving is less than with cheaper brands, do to the high quality of the ingredients and lack of fillers. The
amount of waist (poop) is considerably less and your pet will be healthier, have a shinier coat and be smarter.
The cost of medical care for pets fed poor diets and people food far out weigh the cost of a good quality pet
food. Make the right choice for your pet.
To help you protect
your Pet, we have added
information pages.

Topics can be found in
the links below:
Bladder Stones
Urinary Crystals
Perry Animal Clinic