Dietary needs

Having your pet on a well-balanced diet is a very important part of their health. Based on your pets life-stage, breed, age, size, lifestyle, and body condition/body composition score, our veterinarians can make a specific nutritional recommendation. There are three life stages that our pets go through – puppy/kitten, adult, and senior. It is important to be feeding the appropriate life stage food as each stage requires different nutritional needs. Choosing a healthy well-balanced food can be very over whelming. When choosing a nutritional formulation, be sure to look for a statement on the label that the food has met the requirements of the regulatory agency, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  The food should either have been formulated or fed in feeding trials to meet AAFCO requirements.  This means it has been analyzed in an independent laboratory and has been found to be in alignment with regulated levels of specific nutrients, or that it has been fed to live dogs in a feeding trial to determine palatability and bioavailability. Having an overweight pet can lead to other health issues (arthritis, joint damage, etc.), so maintaining a healthy body weight is also an important part of your pets health.

Some common pet food myths:

Myth: Chicken should be the first ingredient and chicken meal shouldn’t be on the ingredient list.

Truth: Ingredients must appear in descending order of their weight in the diet. The total weight of the ingredient includes the water content. And since chicken meal is chicken with water and fat removed, it weighs less than chicken but actually can contain a higher percentage of protein.


Myth: Grain and corn free diets are much healthier for my pet.

Truth: When processed properly, grains like corn can be a healthy part of any cat or dog’s diet. In fact, properly processed corn contains far more nutrients than ingredients commonly used as replacements for it in grain-free diets, such as potato and rice. If is not a filler! They provide essential nutrients such as fatty acids etc.


Myth: By-products are just a filler.

Truth: A by-product is any ingredient that is produced or left over when another product or ingredient is made. A few common by-products are; straw (left over from when wheat is harvested), paint brushes (horse or cow hair), bacon, salami, chicken wings, and Jell-O. By-products in pet foods that meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines come from clean animal parts other than meat, such as liver, kidneys and other organs. Common by-products in the high-quality diets we sell in clinic are hearts, liver, and lungs. They are an excellent source of quality protein, vitamins, and minerals and can help contribute to a balanced nutritional profile. By products for pet foods cannot be hair, feathers, hooves, or hide.


We carry many veterinary exclusive diets in our clinic. We have cat and dog foods to help maintain a healthy pet or diets to help with specific illnesses. If you have any questions regarding a healthy diet for your pet or about the diets we have here at Martindale Animal Clinic please give us a call at 905-682-5551.