Pet Nutrition

Maintaining proper nutrition for a dog or cat remains a pet owner’s primary responsibility. A good diet contains a balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, protein, and other substances, while a poor mixture of these ingredients can lead to skin diseases and other serious problems. At Elmhurst Animal Care Center, located in Elmhurst, Illinois, we work with dog and cat owners to determine the type of food and how much works best for a pet’s physical and mental well-being.

A dog or cat’s first year of life remains one of the most significant in establishing a proficient diet. Pet owners should discuss with their veterinarians exactly what their animals need. Puppies and kittens in particular require extra protein, calcium, and phosphorus to encourage the proper development of bones, muscles, and teeth. Of the three types of commercially produced foods–dry, semi-moist, and moist (canned)–it remains necessary to examine the different brands and purchase one created with high-quality ingredients to encourage better digestion.

For adult and senior pets, maintaining good health remains just as vital as for young animals. An adult dog or cat requires a diet tailored to its lifestyle. Adult pets need food that builds up their immune systems, reducing the threat of various illnesses. Once a pet reaches its senior years–seven years and older–it requires even more special attention regarding nutrition in order to prevent weight gain and encourage proper digestion.

Using a qualified vet nutritionist at each stage of the dog or cat’s life may lead to a longer, happier existence for the animal. At Elmhurst Animal Care Center, veterinarians work with pet owners at annual checkups to determine if the diet and exercise they are providing their dog or cat works or not. At each examination, Elmhurst Animal Care Center’s vets and technicians take into account the dog or cat’s age, lifestyle, and overall health when working with its owner.

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Pet Dentistry

A trip to the dentist remains just as important–and likely just as unbearable–for cats and dogs as for humans. Maintaining good oral health, however, is vital for pets and relatively easy to do. At Elmhurst Animal Care Center, veterinarians and trained technicians show dog and cat owners how to brush their animals’ teeth and what kinds of special food and chew bones reduce the risk of gum disease.

While dogs and cats prove less susceptible to conditions such as cavities and root decay, they remain vulnerable to periodontitis or infection of the gums. The result may mean painful, inflamed gums or loss of teeth for a pet if left untreated. In some cases, bacteria from the infection may enter the animal’s bloodstream, causing organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys to suffer and create an even greater problem. Common symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, red or swollen gums, crusty and yellowish tarter buildup along the gum line, missing teeth, and difficulty in eating. Other common dental injuries among pets include broken teeth, particularly for dogs that regularly chew on hard bones or other objects, and resorptive lesions for cats, a dental disease that roughly 28 percent of felines experience once in their lives.

Eliminating the dangers of periodontal disease and other gum and teeth infections and injuries requires just a few simple precautions. First, puppies and kittens should undergo a complete dental exam with a qualified veterinarian by the time they reach one year of age. The visit should include an ultrasonic scaling, tooth polishing, and fluoride treatment. Annual vet cleanings should take place afterward, while daily brushing can be done at home. Ask a veterinarian how to brush a cat or dog’s teeth and discuss what kinds of food, chew toys, and bones the animal should receive. For more information, log on to Elmhurstanimalcarecenter.com or watch the following video: