No matter how many times this is emphasized upon, it will be less- nutrition plays the most important role in a dog’s well-being. The same has been highlighted by AAHA ( American Animal Hospital Association) in its 2021 guideline on nutrition and weight management of canines and felines. For a full version of the report, click here. And now we go on to the summary of what you need to know about the guidelines.
1. A dog should get a nutrition assessment at every examination
The report gives a complete method on how this examination can be conducted i.e. the criteria to measure different things according to the breed, age, and other factors involved. It also emphasizes that this examination should be done regularly.
2. The assessment does not need any additional equipment
The report gives a detailed guideline on how the assessment can be done with a little more time and cost. There is no specialized equipment needed for the same. By following these guidelines the healthcare providers can make sure that nutrition forms the foundation of a canine’s good health.
3. Unlike genetic and other factors, nutrition is something that can be controlled
Things like the genetic history or the home environment of a dog (or any animal for that matter) cannot be controlled. However, we can have full control over what we feed them. And this will make a huge difference in their growth and development.
4. An individualized nutrition plan should be recommended to each dog
Once the assessment is done, each dog should be recommended a specific diagnosis, treatment, a nutrition plan for specific health conditions as well as under or overweight management. The pet-parents too need to understand the importance of sticking to this plan.
5. It also talks about the various forms of diet that can be considered
Some major diets talked about in the report are (1) home-cooked meals and the importance of keeping them balanced, (2) inclusion of microbiomes, prebiotics, and postbiotics for the dog’s gut health, (3) age and breed-specific diet, (4) non-suitability of a RAW diet.