Good nutrition is fundamental for any animal companion. When your pet receives the right combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats on a daily basis, they stay healthy—it’s that simple. But what specifically does proper nutrition do for our pets? How does it benefit them? Let’s take a closer look at some of the important benefits of nutrition for your pet, as shared by a seasoned Rapid City vet.
Skin and Fur Health
Did you know that a smooth, shiny coat of fur is a sign of good health? In fact, a pet’s coat is one of the best indicators of their nutrition! Fatty acids play a big role here, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. When a companion animal receives these nutrients in the right amounts, the skin stays healthy and moisturized. Fatty acids also provide anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate itchy skin. That leads to a coat with a smooth, healthy sheen and minimal shedding.
Another reason that nutrition is so important for pets is because it helps prevent dangerous diseases. Vitamins and minerals, in particular, are the nutrients that protect your pet from conditions like distemper, parvovirus, leukemia, and many more. Vitamins reduce damage to the body’s cells, while minerals keep cells functioning properly. It’s important that your pet’s diet supplies him or her with the proper vitamins and minerals.
(Keep in mind that vaccination is also essential for helping your pet to avoid disease. Talk to your Rapid City vet right away if your pet needs vaccines or booster shots.)
Your pet’s general body condition is another thing that’s impacted heavily by nutrition. For instance, if a pet doesn’t receive enough protein, he or she won’t be able to build or maintain strong, healthy muscles. Protein is also essential for repairing damaged cells, making new cells, and developing hair, skin, and other body tissues. That’s why your companion’s food should always include a good protein source, like chicken or beef.
None of the nutrients listed above would do any good if your pet’s body wasn’t able to digest and absorb them. That’s where carbohydrates come into play—they provide fiber that helps with digestion and elimination. They’re essential for allowing your pet’s body to use the nutrients received through food and eliminate the waste that’s left behind.
To learn more about your pet’s nutrition, call your Rapid City vet’s office. We’re here for you!