It’s long been known that in animals and humans, diet makesa vital contribution to health. The food we eat is the fuel that allows us to survive, grow, and prosper, providing essential nutrients and vitamins. A healthy diet promotes good health generally, while an unhealthy diet can be a contributing factor towards severe conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
For pets as well as people, diet can also be used to manage and alleviate an existing condition, whether that condition was initially caused by a poor diet or by other means. In some cases, a prescription diet may be used alongside medication, while in others,it may reduce or remove the need for medication altogether. A prescription diet can improve your ailing pet’s quality of life, help them recover faster, and may give them a greater life expectancy than they would enjoy without the diet.
What are prescription foods?
Prescription foods are pet foods that are only available with a vet’s prescription and are generally only sold by them, rather than being available at general stores. Each type of prescription food is specially formulated to manage a specific condition in an animal, such as a dog, cat, rabbit, or horse. As you can imagine, there are many kinds of prescription foods, both for different conditions and species. Prescription diets may be further divided according to the animal’s age and size and the varying formulations created by different manufacturers.
Why are prescription foods necessary?
Aside from being used to treat specific conditions, knowing a pet is on a strict prescription diet allows vets to monitor their progress closely. Green Cross Vets, Australia’s leading vet clinic, use prescription foods as part of a comprehensive healthcare service that includes a wide range of treatment options from fully qualified professionals. Knowing precisely what is being consumedgives them a better idea of what is causing your pet problems, and the diet can then be adjusted or supplemented as needed.
How are prescription foods different?
Prescription foods are different from regular pet foods in that they often include an active ingredient intended to help your pet with a specific problem. For this reason, prescription diets should not be given to a pet without the express advice of a vet, and indeed an actual prescription.They could cause a healthy animal to become sick or aggravate a condition other than the one that diet was intended to combat.
Prescription foods may also have a balance of nutrients, vitamins, and other additives such as antioxidants or electrolytes that will help to manage a condition. Prescription foods intended to help with hypoallergenic illnesses may include a novel protein source that your pet is less likely to have an allergic reaction to. Because they require extensive testing and diagnostics before going on the market, prescription foods are often more expensive than regular pet foods.
What conditions can be helped by prescription foods?
Heart problems, obesity, kidney disease, urinary problems, diabetes, gastrointestinal illnesses, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and dental disease can all potentially be helped through a prescription diet. A low sodium, high taurine diet can help alleviate heart disease, while urinary stones can be dissolved through a diet that makes the urine more acidic. Kidney disease is often sadly incurable, but a diet low in phosphorous and sodium and high in fiber can improve your pet’s quality of life.
A high fiber diet with no added sugar can help with diabetes, with gastrointestinal problems including pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. They can be treated with hypoallergenic, easily digestible foods that are low in fat and high in fiber. A high fiber diet that is low in protein, copper, and sodium can be used to treat liver disease.
Are prescription foods the best choice for my pet?
In any situation regarding your pet’s health, the first step should be to consult your vet. It may be that they will prescribe a prescription diet, at least as a first step towards confirming and managing the problem. The next step may involve medication or other treatmentbut, in some cases, keeping your pet on a prescription diet may be all that’s needed to alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life. In some cases, the prescription diet may be a temporary measure, and they may be able to return to a regular balanced diet in time. You can also learn more at this link.
Whatever your pet’s problems, there’s a good chance that a prescription diet may be the first step towards an effective solution.