Special Health Issues
- If I feed only canned food, what precautions should I take to protect my pet's teeth?
- Could your food be causing my pet's excess gas?
- Could your food be causing my pet's loose stools?
If I feed only canned food, what precautions should I take to protect my pet's teeth?
If your pet eats only canned food, you'll need to take extra precautions to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Brush your pet's teeth regularly, take your pet to the vet for regular dental exams, and provide your pet with plenty of chew toys and treats (such as rawhide bones) to remove the plaque and tartar that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Could your 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.
Could your 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 cat 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 cat's body of necessary nutrients, so be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.