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Nutrition

  • The goal of feeding growing kittens is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Portion feeding is recommended to maintain a good body condition. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of kittens, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. An optimal growth rate in kittens is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the kitten to achieve an ideal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity. Growing kittens need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult cats, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Preventing obesity must begin during the weaning stage and continue through to adulthood and old age. Together with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team, you can help your kitten grow into as healthy of an adult cat as possible.

  • The goal of feeding growing puppies is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of puppies, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. An optimal growth rate in puppies is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the puppy to achieve an ideal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity. Growing puppies need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult dogs, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Together with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team, you can help your puppy grow into as healthy of an adult dog as possible.

  • The preferred basic diet for guinea pigs is unlimited amounts of Timothy or other low-calcium hay, supplemented with smaller amounts of a commercial, high-fiber, Timothy-hay based guinea pig pellets. The diet should be supplemented with a variety of fresh, well-washed, leafy greens or colored vegetables; especially those high in vitamin C. Guinea pigs cannot manufacture their own vitamin C, therefore it is important that guinea pigs receive a vitamin C tablet or liquid vitamin C directly by mouth every day. Provide fresh clean water in a sipper bottle and check the tube for blockages each day.

  • Over 60% of cats in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important. Nutrient formulation and portion control are the two most important aspects of weight control. Once you have chosen a formula and have calculated a reasonable daily portion based on calorie density, the best way to stay on track and prevent unwanted weight gain is to combine portion control with regular, formal weigh-ins.

  • Lories and lorikeets are also known as "brush tongued parrots" due to their unique tongues that are adapted for their highly specialized dietary needs. Lories and lorikeets eat a high moisture-containing diet and have relatively short digestive tracts when compared with other parrots. This combination makes for a very quick transit time of food through the gastrointestinal tract which is why lories and lorikeets eat often and produce frequent and very loose droppings. Lories and lorikeets eat nectar and pollens in the wild. They also consume soft foods like fruits, berries, blossoms, and buds. There are a number of excellent commercially available nectar and pollen substitutes available for feeding lories and lorikeets. Feeding these diets can be complicated, as their high-sugar content makes them susceptible to rapid spoilage once mixed with water. If lories and lorikeets eat spoiled food, they can be prone to developing gastrointestinal tract infections with yeast and bacteria. Lories and lorikeets can also be successfully maintained on several commercially available brands of pelleted diets and tend to have firmer stools when fed pellets. A large variety of diced fruits should be cut up in pieces and offered every day along with nectar substitute or pellets. Lories and lorikeets often use their water dishes to bathe in. Water dishes must be refilled often to keep them clean. Junk food, including chocolate, caffeinated products, alcoholic beverages, and foods high in salt or fat should not be offered. In general, birds eating 75-80% of their diet in the form of nectar, pollen, or pellets do not need supplements.

  • Diet changes need to be considered for senior dogs due to their changing energy requirements and medical conditions. Senior diets vary widely in nutrient profiles as there are no established standards. Recommendations for senior dog diets need to be based on clinical examination and discussion between veterinarian and owner. It is very important to ensure adequate water intake.

  • Mature, senior, and geriatric cats often require different nutrition than adult cats due to their changing ability to digest nutrients and underlying medical conditions. Senior diets vary widely in nutrient profiles as there are yet no established standards. Recommendations for senior cat diets need to be based on clinical examination and discussion between veterinarian and owner. It is very important to ensure adequate water intake for senior cats.

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Different species of birds often require different foods.

  • Orphaned kittens will need extra care for survival to compensate for the loss of their mother. Kittens must be kept warm, very clean, and fed frequently using an appropriate amount and type of formula by bottle or less often tube feeding. To ensure nutrition is adequate, daily weight checks should be performed for the first 4 weeks, then weekly thereafter. Kittens must be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Environment, feeding instruments, and the kitten must be kept meticulously clean as they are more susceptible to infection than kittens cared for by their mother.

  • Orphaned puppies will need extra care for survival to compensate for the loss of their mother. Puppies must be kept warm, very clean, and fed frequently using an appropriate amount and type of formula by bottle or less often tube feeding. To ensure nutrition is adequate, daily weight checks should be performed for the first 4 weeks, then weekly thereafter. Puppies must be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Environment, feeding instruments and the puppy must be kept meticulously clean as they are more susceptible to infection than puppies cared for by their mother.