Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ask Dr Mark: Pet Nutrition

Home cooked meals for your pets.  Do you do it? Do you have the time to do it?  Can you afford to do it?


Nutrition is definitely one of the key factors that determines your pet's health no matter where you live, and providing a nutritious diet is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.

A growing number of dog owners are pushing manufactured pet food to the back of the pantry and are opting to prepare home cooked meals for their four-legged friends.  Why? Because knowing exactly what your pet is consuming can give you added peace of mind and reassurance that their getting what they need to maintain optimal health; and it's super tasty and cheaper too!

Additionally it also gives many pet owners a good feeling inside to know that they are doing something extra for their beloved pets. By preparing food we have control over the quality of ingredients that we feed our animals. Many people make a conscience effort to reduce the amounts of preservatives, artificial colouring and flavours in their own food and would like to for their pets also.

I asked Dr Mark, VetShopMax's resident vet, how to go about preparing a home cooked meal for your pet and these are his TOP FIVE TIPS:
  • Research diet recipes online.
  • Talk to your vet. He or she will be able to make specific recommendations for your pet. They may recommend adding supplements such as Omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids, calcium and vitamins if required.
  • Know what not to feed your pets. Many common human foods are harmful to our pets. For example chocolate, onions, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocado and coffee.
  • Feed some raw. Try feeding some of the meat raw. Consider raw bones such as chicken necks and brisket bones. Also raw fruits and vegetables such as apple and carrot.
  • Mix it up. Don’t stick to the same diet day in and day out. Try cooking many different foods for your pets. By giving variety we minimise the chance of missing any essential nutrients in our pet’s diet.

Here are a couple of recipes that you can use to get started:

Rover’s Rissoles:
1 cup hamburger meat stir-fried in 1 tbsp canola oil
2 boiled eggs chopped
½ cup cooked plain oatmeal
1 jar baby food green beans
1 jar baby food carrots
2 Tbsp cottage cheese. 
Combine all ingredients and serve at room temperature.

Canine’s Casserole:
1 cup boiled poultry chopped
½ cup cooked brown rice
½ cup boiled mixed vegetables
3 to 4 Tbsp unsalted chicken broth.
Stir together and serve at room temperature.

 

If you have any favorite recipes that you are currently feeding your pets I invite you to send them in to me at info@vetshopmax.com. I will check each recipe and post the best ones on our website.

Until next time,

Naomi




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pet Quote


"The Best Way to get a puppy is to beg for a baby brother - and they'll settle for a puppy every time"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ask Dr Mark: Doggy Diets

Hi animal lovers.  Naomi here, VetShopMax’s Marketing Manager.  Did you know that our resident vet Dr Mark (a.k.a the Leader of the Pack) is also PETS Magazine’s resident vet; answering reader questions on all types of pet problems and peculiarities? 

PETS Magazine is Australia’s highest selling pet publication and over the next few months I’m going to be posting the most popular questions posed by Australian pet owners; and by most pet owners worldwide. 

So sit back, relax and enjoy the first of many blog posts by Dr Mark.

Q: Hi Dr Mark, I’ve got a pet Staffy, Harley, and she’s four. I want to change her diet to something else as sometimes her poo is runny, but I was wondering do I have to introduce new food slowly? And is there any brand or product you’d recommend? Mia.

A: Hi Mia and thanks for your question. It’s always better to introduce a new diet slowly over about two weeks. Start adding a small amount of the new food, increasing the proportion given each day until after two weeks only the new diet is given.

I recommend the premium type dried food for most adult dogs. Brands such as Hills Science Diet, Eukanuba or Royal Canin are all good. Premium brands may appear more expensive when first bought, but as they are more nutritionally dense, less is fed each day. A premium commercial food is convenient and suits most pet owners. As well as dried food, don’t forget to give Harley some fresh uncooked bones to keep his teeth healthy.

Alternatively you may like feed Harley a home cooked meal. Home cooked/prepared meals can be economical and allow for different nutritional needs our pets may have. Before preparing food at home it is recommended you research recipes online, learn what can and can’t be fed to dogs and discuss with your vet any specific requirements your pet may have.

Thanks Dr Mark and thanks Mia.  Nutrition is definitely one of the key factors that determines your pet's health, no matter where you live, and providing a nutritious diet is an important part of being a responsible pet owner.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few coming weeks as we delve a little deeper in pet nutrition and take at look at homemade pet food recipes.  Knowing exactly what your pet is consuming can give you added peace of mind and reassurance that their getting what they need to maintain optimal health; and it's super tasty and cheaper too!

Until next time, take care.

Naomi

Wednesday, October 1, 2014