SOLOMONS, Md., Feb. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Solomons veterinarian wishes to stress the need for pet owners to provide their animals with the proper nutrients, in the proper amounts, for sustained health and wellness. "January is the month for resolutions and fresh starts, and we want people to know that their pets can benefit from eating right and losing weight just as humans can," says Dr. Nancy E. Ball of Solomons Veterinary Medical Center in Solomons, Maryland. "Our animal hospital counts pet nutrition as a huge factor in preventative wellness and are dedicating January as Pet Nutrition Month to help further educate pet owners."
One of the first things owners of both dogs and cats need to understand, says Dr. Ball, is the fact that these species require different nutritional mixes. She points out that cats, as carnivores, have a higher protein requirement that can really only be satisfied by meat products. They also have specific dietary needs such as taurine, arachidonic acid, and relatively high levels of B vitamins. Dogs are omnivores and get their nutrients from a wider range of foods, and they do not need supplemental taurine. Puppies may actually develop skeletal problems if they consume the acidified diets formulated for kittens. "Our animal hospital can recommend the right products for your pet's specific needs," the veterinarian says.
Dr. Ball and the team of veterinarians also warn pet owners not to feed their animals from the table. They note that many of the foods prepared for humans contain too much fat, sodium and sugar to support pet health, and may in fact lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other disorders associated with such a diet. Some human foods are toxic to pets, including chocolate, onions, garlic, rhubarb, yeast dough and certain fruits. Xylitol, a sweetener often used in place of sugar, can also poison pets, requiring an emergency visit to a vet medical center.
The Solomons veterinarian also advises pet owners to have their pets evaluated over time at a vet medical center to determine whether the animals are in need of dietary modifications. The simple act of growing older, Dr. Ball says, may force the need for such modifications. "Puppies and kittens typically get high-protein formulas because of their enormous energy demands, but this need tapers off in adulthood," she says.
Another shift occurs as the pet approaches old age. A reduced level of activity, for instance, may mean that the pet needs to eat smaller portions to avoid obesity. "Our animal hospital may also recommend certain nutritional supplements to help with joint mobility or other age-related issues," Dr. Ball adds.
The vet medical center provides Solomons, St. Mary's and Lusby residents with preventative wellness care and dietary information for a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits and pocket pets. Pet owners can visit their website or Facebook for more information and office updates.
CONTACT: Solomons Veterinary Medical Center 888-667-5235Source:Solomons Veterinary Medical Center