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The Importance of Proper Pet Nutrition From your Alexandria Veterinarian

A major ingredient in every quality pet care formula is pet nutrition. Fort Hunt Animal Hospital, your Alexandria veterinarian, understands that each pet has his or her unique nutritional needs and that not all standard pet foods fit all those needs.

Pet Nutrition

A Pet Food Primer

Just as every food and diet are not right for every human, the same is true for our furry friends. For pets, the first step is to make sure the caloric intake is correct, and second, that the foods contain all necessary nutrients, including proteins, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. All of these things must be in proper proportion and ratio to qualify as “complete and balanced nutrition” for your pet.

Although there are both state and federal regulations for pet foods, that does not mean you don’t have to worry about the foods you feed your pet. That’s where your Alexandria Veterinarian can help.

Veterinary Nutrition Guidance and Planning

Our passion is pets, and that means ensuring they eat a wholesome, healthy and balanced diet. We understand your pet’s health needs and age-related requirements. Considering these, as well as your budget, food availability, and yours and your pet's specific preferences, we can recommend the optimal diet for your pet’s health needs.

Pet Nutrition Terms

Natural? Organic? Holistic? Premium? Human grade? What’s the difference among these pet nutrition terms and what do they mean?

The fast answer? Except for the term “natural,” there is no official meaning or guidelines for any of these terms describing pet food. Without guidelines, manufacturers are ascribing the human food values to the foods, which may, or may not, be appropriate.

However, if a pet food is labeled “natural,” according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, it is totally composed of “plant, animal, or mined sources.”

What About Raw Food Diets?

Raw food, prepared at home or commercially available, has become popular in recent years. These foods are free of additives and owners claim many health benefits. On the other hand, necessary components such as enzymes are destroyed or changed during preparation. Another issue is possible contamination by parasites or bacteria.

 Home Prepared Versus Commercial Foods

Simply put: commercially prepared pet foods are 99 percent safe. They are regulated to contain the proper proportions of ingredients and nutrients. You can certainly prepare safe, healthy food at home, but at a higher overall cost.

Foods to Avoid

A number of foods that we enjoy are dangerous, and even poisonous, for pets.  A few of these include:

  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions and garlic
  • Raw meat and eggs
  • Salt
  • Xylitol

Schedule an Appointment with Your Alexandria Veterinarian

Pet nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all prospect, and who better to develop a pet nutrition plan than the veterinarian who knows your pet’s health and physical needs?  Call our veterinary today at 703-360-6100 to make an appointment to put your furry friend on the road to healthy eating.

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Office Hours

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I have been using Ft. Hunt Animal Hospital for about 30 years and have always found the doctors and staff to be very caring. I appreciate the time spent explaining specific findings and answering questions. I never feel rushed.

Alexandria, VA

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