The Benefits of Good Nutrition
At Holistic Veterinary Care, we place great emphasis on the importance of excellent nutrition. We recognize that modern medicine procedures can be helpful in managing certain disease processes, however, we know that nutrition is the foundation of quality patient care. Whole food nutrition not only serves to prevent diseases, but also to cure certain disease processes, help to enhance the body’s responses to medications, reduce the adverse effects of some medications, and speed healing time after surgeries.
Having an understanding and appreciation in the value of fresh, whole, cooked or raw foods that rely on natural sources of naturally-occurring substances to feed the body according to design is critical to overall health. We recognize the immense chemical complexity inherent in foods and the complexity of the body’s functions and responses to foods. Currently, there is limited understanding of food/nutrition. Our nutritional recommendations utilize fresh foods and numerous nutritional supplements, rather than commercial prescription diets.
We also believe in variety. We know that humans thrive on whole, minimally processed foods, and that a varied diet is a healthy diet. Many of us were told, at one time or another, that we can pick a kibbled diet that is considered complete and balanced, and we can feed our dogs and cats that same food for their entire lives. It is hard to imagine eating the same food for every meal, even if it is deemed nutritionally balanced. It is much easier to imagine the advantages to varied proteins, vegetables, fruits, and even grains for us and our dog and cat companions.
Supplements and Nutrition
There are many options out there for commercially prepared raw or minimally processed foods. There are now an array of frozen, dehydrated, and freeze-dried raw or lightly cooked diets that all meet or exceed nutritional standards for a complete and balanced diet through AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). In addition, there are resources, such as BalanceIt.com, which was created by a board certified veterinary nutritionist, that can help make a home prepared diet a well balanced diet.
Supplementation can be another way to improve the overall health of your pet. There are many high quality, whole food and natural supplements that can enhance your pet's nutrition and improve their overall health.
In addition to acknowledging the importance of whole food and quality supplements, at Holistic Veterinary Care we also know that our pets can have food sensitivities and intolerances. Food intolerance is the third most common sensitivity condition in dogs and cats, and is often remedied with a change in diet. (W. Jean Dodds, DVM) If a food intolerance is suspected in your pet, we recommend a non-invasive diagnostic test called NutriScan. It can detect the twenty-four most common foods ingested by dogs and cats. For more information on the NutriScan test, click here.