Nutritional Diseases of Puppies and Kittens

It is important to feed puppies and kittens a good high quality commercial pet food designed for optimal growth and stick to feeding guide lines, especially with large breed dogs, to help prevent orthopaedic problems.

Growth diets are high in protein and fat to support growth and provide optimal amounts of calcium, phosphorous, upper and essential fatty acids necessary for bone formation and maturation and cartilage maturation.

Kittens and puppies are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances. Feeding a kitten or puppy an all red meat diet can cause them to develop calcium deficiency. This bad diet is difficult to correct by adding a calcium supplement. Calcium is the most misunderstood component of puppy diets and calcium homeostasis is poor in puppies until about 10 months of age. Too much calcium can cause osteochondrosis and hip dysplasia. This is especially important in large breed dogs. Feeding your kitten or puppy to maintain optimal body condition, not maximum growth, promotes optimal bone development. Multiple meals throughout the day best prevents low blood sugar in kittens and puppies.

Free feeding (ad lib) can be problematic especially for large breed dogs and can bring about the development of orthopaedic diseases e.g. Hip or elbow dysplasia. Restricted feeding (strict meal times) will enable your dog to live an average of 2 years longer.

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Kohimarama Vets

325 Kohimarama Road
St Heliers, Auckland 1071