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Pet Care

Pet Tip provided by provide expert advice on pet care and nutrition to pet owners, veterinarians, bredders and researchers. We have chosen a quote from the site that discusses the nutritional requirements of dogs.

"More recently, interest has focused on the concept of "functional foods" and "positive nutrition" in which certain foods or food components, when consumed as part of a normal balanced diet, may confer physiological benefits beyond simply the provision of nutrients in adequate amounts. Such foods therefore have the potential to enhance the health of individual animals through a variety of mechanisms that may help to reduce the risk of development of disease.

Every year, WALTHAM continues to invest millions of pounds in research aimed at improving the health and longevity of companion animals. Recent research has led to the development of dietary products that embrace the concept of positive nutrition. These diets are designed to support the body's natural defence mechanisms that help to maintain the individual's resistance to disease. This is achieved through the careful selection of ingredients that support physical barriers to disease (such as the skin and gastrointestinal tract) promote oral health enhance antioxidant levels in the body, which can help to combat the oxidative stress that may be involved in the pathogenesis of a number of disease processes.

The nutritional requirements of a dog vary throughout its life and are governed by factors such as age, reproductive status, level of activity, state of health and environmental conditions. In meeting the particular needs of an individual animal, the owner must provide the required amount and correct balance of energy and essential nutrients in a quantity of food (or combination of foods) that the animal will actually consume. Since animals eat to satisfy their requirement for energy, all essential nutrients must be present in the correct amounts relative to the energy content of the diet.

General recommendations may be given for feeding dogs at various lifestages, but these are usually aimed at the average healthy dog that is kept indoors in a temperate environment. These recommendations, which are reflected by the feeding guides found on the packaging of commercially available pet foods, are intended only as a guidance to obtain an approximate estimate of a pet's needs. By observation of the animal, the owner can then decide whether to feed more or less and, by substitution of one food for another, will arrive at a suitable regimen."