You would be amazed how nutrition can play a big role in your pet’s overall physical and mental health, from joints, skin, coat and even their behaviour!
Because our pets can’t talk to us about how they are feeling we need to use our perception to recognise the signs of poor nutrition, and here are the top five!
SKIN & COAT
Probably one of the most obvious signs of poor health, the skin and coat can appear dry, flaky, dull and there can be inflammation in the skin that presents as redness and ultimately allergies and itching. Allergies in the skin are often a sign that your pet cannot tolerate ingredients in their diet. Certain pet foods are formulated specifically to combat these intolerences, such as Royal Canin Anallergenic, Hypoallergenic and Sensitivity Control. A healthy diet promotes a lustrous and shiny coat without obvious body odour and dandruff.
Well-formed and firm faeces passed without too much effort is a sign of good health. Toileting times should mimic the amount of times you feed your pet per day. Sloppy and wet faeces with possible signs of mucous and blood is definitely not good and can also result in chronic anal gland problems. Persistent scooting, licking and chewing at the tale base is a sign that there is discomfort there. If your pet has unusual faeces for more than a couple of days consider a trip to your Vet to discern the problem as it often indicates an issue with their diet.
Bad breath in dogs and cats is not normal and shouldn’t be ignored. It is usually a sign of poor nutrition and oral health. Plaque, tartar and gingivitis may seem harmless, but they cause literally a swarm of millions of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Without treatment the bacteria can spread into the bloodstream and start secondary infections in other organs, like the kidney and heart. Why not consider a well-balanced dental diet instead such as Hill's Prescription t/d or Advance Dental Diet?
For dogs and cats that eat an appropriate diet containing high levels of red meat there tends to be a more acidic output of urine, which is good. For those that have a poorer quality diet which is higher in carbohydrate and vegetable matter and lower in meat protein the output is more alkaline, promoting the formation of crystals and stones. This can result in blood in the urine as well as painful and increased frequency of urination. There are specific prescription diets specifically designed for pets that are prone to urinary problems, like these.
A WET NOSE & WAGGING TAIL
One of the most common signs that all is right in the world of your dog is a wet nose and a happy tail. Many signs of poor health can be indicated by a dry nose, including organ issues, dehydration and mineral deficiencies. If your pet generally looks unhappy, has lost some of his zest for life and doesn’t seem himself then it may be time to take him to the vet for a complete checkup.