As pet parents, we are faced with several different varieties of dog food options. “Vet recommended” dog foods have been steadily growing in popularity, and for a good reason. We know that food is one of the most important parts of our dogs’ lives, and a food that is vet recommended must represent the best that we can provide for our pets.
Freshpet realizes that, despite the popularity of vet recommended options, many pet parents are not fully clear on what constitutes a vet recommended dog food. After all, there are several reasons that a dog may be recommended a change in diet to keep them happy and healthy throughout their life stages. Here, Freshpet examines a few reasons why a dog may require a vet recommended dog food.
Similar to how our doctors may recommend a change in diet if we have a certain health condition, veterinarians may recommend a switch for your dog if any complications arise as well. For example, there are many health conditions out there that may necessitate a vet recommended dog food diet. A few of these include digestive track problems, dental issues, or different metabolic needs.
Dogs may also be recommended certain foods for complications that could develop into further health problems. Dogs with urinary track issues, bladder stones, or blockages may be recommended a new diet because it can help pet parents better monitor their health. This is because certain diets or ingredients may make the issue worse or allow it to develop into more serious complications over time.
Not Getting the Nutrients Required for Proper Health
Within the past few years, specific ingredients in the pet food space have been put under a microscope. As many of us have become more cognizant of what our dogs need to remain healthy, there has been a large focus on the source and quality of ingredients.
Nutrient content within food is meant to be well rounded and give our dogs all of the essentials for maintaining their health. To this point, veterinarians will recommend dog foods that has a ratio of fats, proteins, water, carbs, vitamins, and minerals that best suit the dietary needs of your dog.
Vets can be helpful for ensuring dogs get the nutrient requirements they need because there are many different factors that can influence how a dog metabolizes certain foods. As dogs grow and age, they will likely have different dietary needs, especially if they happen to develop any health conditions along the way. Dogs of different breeds, sizes, and lifestyles will also naturally have different nutrient needs that may also begin to change in different stages of their lives.
Dogs that are not getting the nutrients they need may experience a drop in energy levels
Allergies or Intolerances (Especially Towards Artificial and Filler Ingredients)
We all know that not all dog foods are created equal. While some will have well sourced, quality ingredients, there are certainly some out there that will contain added flavors, colors, and preservatives that are not necessary for pets.
One of the dangers of certain artificial ingredients is that they can contribute to health issues our dogs may develop. While it is important to try to avoid artificial ingredients and fillers because they do not have inherent health benefits, they can also cause allergic reactions in some dogs as well.
Allergies and intolerances towards certain dog foods can cause a wide range of symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, and itchy skin are all common signs of a food allergy. Allergies can also be sneakier, causing subtle changes such as weight loss, hyperactivity, sluggishness, or aggression.
Remember that food allergies do not need to be triggered by artificial ingredients, fillers, or products that are naturally unhealthy. Dogs can develop an allergy or intolerance towards simple, healthy foods that other dogs may be able to process with no issue. For this reason, do not put off checking in with a professional just because you know you are offering your dog a high-quality food option.
Don’t Be Afraid to Check In
We love our dogs, but it can be hard to tell exactly what they are thinking. If you realize that your dog may not be quite themselves, consider that their diet may be one of the contributing factors. The above list covers a few of the more common reasons that your pet may need a vet recommended diet, but it is important to know that there are many factors that may lead to a change in your pet’s needs as well.
Starting a dialogue about your dog’s diet with your vet can be a great first step towards helping them stay happy and healthy. Not only will your veterinarian assist with making food choices that properly take care of your dog’s needs, but they will also be able to check up on them to find any hidden reasons why a switch is necessary.