Pet owners sometimes find it difficult to know which foods are necessary for good health and which foods may work against that goal. Here at Century Veterinary Group we help Los Angeles pets get the balanced pet nutrition they need at all stages of life. We can also determine whether a pet requires a specialized diet to compensate for food allergies or specific health conditions.

Different types of animals require different balances of pet nutrition to preserve optimal health and wellness. For instance, canines can get their essential nutrients from a wide range of foods, including vegetables and grains, while felines are strict carnivores who must derive their sustenance from meat. Additionally, while both animals need a wide range of essential amino acids for good health, cats must receive one such amino acid, taurine, from their food, while dogs’ bodies can produce their own taurine.

The protein and fat balances of canine and feline diets also differ substantially, and cats typically require a higher water content in their diets (though water is critical for all pets). For all these reasons it is important not to feed commercially prepared cat food to a dog, or vice versa. Even within a species, however, dietary and nutritional needs change over time as puppies or kittens mature into adults. Senior pets in particular may need fewer calories to sustain their more sedentary lifestyles; they may also need supplementation or specialized pet nutrition to address age-related health problems. We can prescribe a customized pet diet for such animals.

Pet Food Allergy Counseling and Care from Our Los Angeles Veterinarian

Allergies can be a serious health problem for pets, just as they can for humans — including food allergies, a histamine reaction to certain ingredients or additives. More often than not, the allergen in question is a source of protein. Many pets test positive for allergies to beef, soy, corn, chicken, wheat, rice, eggs or other common animal or vegetable proteins. Owners should be able to recognize the sings of a possible food allergy. Typically these allergies present themselves as skin disorders such as dermatitis. Itchy skin compels the pet to rub or lick at the area until hair loss, redness and skin damage are apparent; untended broken skin can also make the animal vulnerable to secondary bacterial infections. Some pets also experience gastrointestinal upset as well.

Our Los Angeles veterinarian’s can help pets suffering from food allergies. We perform extensive food elimination testing to determine exactly what item or items an animal is allergic to, a process that may take several weeks to deliver clear results. Once we understand which foods or additives a pet cannot have, we can then create and prescribe a customized pet diet that offers a full range of allergen-free pet nutrition. We urge Los Angeles pet owners to contact Century Veterinary Group to schedule a consultation and learn more about the healthy pet diets.