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Feeding Drs. Foster & Smith Foods for Special Conditions FAQs

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Tomlyn Nutri-Stat
Tomlyn Nutri-Stat
As low as $5.99
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Special 33 Cat Food
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Special 33 Cat Food
As low as $15.29
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Food
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Food
As low as $16.14
FAQs on Foods for Health Problems If my cat has a health problem, what should I feed?
If your cat has a medical condition that could be managed with diet, discuss the option of using one of the Drs. Foster & Smith formulas with your veterinarian. We will be happy to send you a complete analysis of any of the foods. If your cat has any health or medical problems, you should consult your veterinarian before changing your cat's diet. Various disease processes may require dietary changes to lessen the effects or progression of the disease. These are some general guidelines:

  • Cats with colitis, constipation, or anal gland disease may benefit from diets with increased dietary fiber.

  • Cats with diabetes mellitus may benefit from a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

  • Cats with inflammatory bowel disease and colitis can benefit from diets which have highly digestible sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

  • Cats with heart disease may require a special diet with decreased amounts of sodium and increased amounts of the amino acid taurine.

  • Cats with chronic kidney failure should be on diets with low phosphorus and highly digestible protein so there are fewer breakdown products, which the kidneys are responsible for eliminating in the urine.

  • Cats with dental and oral disease, who experience pain while eating hard food, may need to switch to canned food until the oral problem can be treated.

  • Cats with cancer have special dietary needs; many veterinarians recommend increasing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
Your veterinarian can make the best recommendations for your cat's particular health problem.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems Are any of your cat foods recommended for cats with urinary tract disease?
There are many types of urinary tract disease (FLUTD, bladder infections, bladder stones, etc). There is no one food that is recommended for all cats with urinary tract disease. If you need a cat food with a certain pH level, ask your veterinarian if Drs. Foster & Smith Adult Cat Dry Chicken & Brown Rice Food (with a urine pH of 6.42) or Drs. Foster & Smith Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Lite Dry Cat Food (with a urine pH of 6.3) may be appropriate. For questions about other urinary tract disease concerns, we recommend you also consult your cat's veterinarian.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems Are your foods appropriate for pets with allergies?
Drs. Foster & Smith pet foods contain natural ingredients, natural preservatives, natural colors, and natural flavors which typically agree with pets' dietary and digestive needs. If your pet is highly sensitive to an ingredient, you should find a food that does not contain that ingredient. If your pet has allergies and you're not sure which food to feed, seek professional veterinary advice.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems How does a veterinarian test for food allergies?
A veterinarian will test for food allergies by placing your dog in a food trial. A food trial consists of feeding an animal a novel food source of protein and carbohydrate for up to 12 weeks. A novel food source would be a protein and carbohydrate that the animal had never eaten before, such as rabbit and potato or venison and oats. These are available as commercial diets from your veterinarian. Special homemade trial diets can also be made under supervision from your veterinarian. For puppies or kittens undergoing a food trial, a balanced commercial diet is recommended.

Regardless of the diet used, it must be the only thing the animal eats for the length of the food trial. This means no rawhides or other treats (including flavored medications); absolutely nothing but the special food and water.

The food trial lasts until improvement is seen for at least 2 weeks, or for a total length of 12 weeks (unless he accidentally eats a food or treat he shouldn't - then it starts all over again.) Therefore, it is very important to keep the pet on the food trial diet, with no other foods or treats for the duration, or until your veterinarian and you agree that continued improvement has been shown. If the pet shows a marked reduction or elimination of the symptoms, then the animal is placed back on the original food. This is called "provocative testing" and is essential to confirm the diagnosis. If the symptoms return after going back on the original diet, the diagnosis of a food allergy is confirmed. If there has been no change in symptoms, but a food allergy is still strongly suspected, then another food trial, using a different novel food source, could be tried. Lamb and rice diets are not considered novel food sources because so many animals have eaten foods that contain them. Most commercial lamb and rice diets also contain wheat, egg, corn, or other ingredients that can cause food allergies.

Once you determine a positive diagnosis of a food allergy, it is simple to eliminate that food from your pet's diet. You can choose from a special, commercially prepared diet or have a veterinary nutritionist create a homemade diet of your own. You will also need to monitor any treats that are given to your pet to ensure they do not contain the offensive ingredient
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems What is the urine pH of cats fed your cat food?
The recommended urine pH in adult and senior cats to reduce the risk of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) and struvite bladder stones is 6.2-6.5. Drs. Foster & Smith Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Dry Cat Food has an average urine pH of 6.4. Drs. Foster & Smith Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Lite Dry Cat Food has an average urine pH of 6.3. Both foods have an average urine pH well within the recommended range.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems How does the fiber in your new Hairball Control Adult Cat Food help to remove hair?
Our Hairball Control Cat Food contains a mixture of fibers that help to gently move hair through the digestive tract so that it is eliminated before it can build up and cause a problem.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems Should I expect my cat to drink more water if he's eating your Hairball Control or Lite formula foods?
While we would not expect a cat to drink excessive quantities of water while on these foods, your cat must continue to drink an adequate amount of water to prevent constipation which can be associated with a high-fiber food and inadequate water intake.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems My pet has done well on the food I currently feed; should I try your food to see if my pet fares better?
If your pet seems to be in overall good health with a healthy energy level, bright eyes, shiny coat, and soft skin, the food you're feeding may be adequate to maintain good health. However, your pet may be missing some nutritional elements available in our foods - even though you may not be able to see the effects of what may be lacking in your pet's diet. You may want to try a small bag of one of our foods to see if your pet appears to benefit from our healthy ingredients. Be sure to switch your pet's food gradually to avoid stomach upset.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems Could Drs. Foster and Smith food be causing my pet's excess gas?
Your pet's excess gas could be due to diet-related factors such as eating too quickly, eating too much, switching to a new diet too quickly, or changing the diet frequently. Minor amounts of gas are a normal part of your pet's digestive processes, and are to be expected. Major amounts of gas, however, are not typical, are unpleasant for you and your pet, and can often be remedied.

Be sure that your pet doesn't eat too quickly, that he doesn't eat more food than he needs, and that you're not changing his food frequently without allowing enough time to gradually change from the old food to the new. If adapting your pet's diet doesn't seem to help your pet's flatulence, consult your veterinarian.
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FAQs on Foods for Health Problems Could Drs. Foster and Smith food be causing my pet's loose stools?
Loose stools (diarrhea) can be caused by a pet's diet. However, diet is not the only cause. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if your pet is experiencing loose stools, as they could be an indication of illness.

If your pet has consistently loose stools that are not related to a physical illness, first check your pet's food to be sure it is not expired or spoiled. If the food is indeed spoiled or past its expiration date, replace it immediately. If this does not alleviate the problem try feeding less of the food; sometimes inadvertent overfeeding can cause loose stools because pet foods are typically very nutrient-rich and easy to digest. You may also choose to try feeding several small meals throughout the day, rather than 1 or 2 large ones.

If feeding less food or feeding several smaller meals does not eliminate the problem of loose stools, your dog may have an intolerance to one or more ingredients in the food. You may wish to try a different food.

Remember, periods of loose stools can quickly cause dehydration and deprive your dog's body of necessary nutrients, so be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
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