The five main benefits of a complete and balanced diet tailored to your pet’s life-stage
Your dog is what you feed him
You know food is an essential part of your dog’s life, and you can see it on his face every time you feed him!
Aside from being a highlight of his day, nutritious food can play an important role in helping maintain his health, vitality and well-being. It can also help to address some of the most common problems vets tend to see in dogs.
In fact, there are at least five main benefits you could look for when choosing a food for your dog, as well as some additional benefits to consider based on your dog’s breed, life-stage and lifestyle.
- Healthy Digestion
A complete and balanced diet tailored to your pet’s life-stage may also be formulated with prebiotics, which promote healthy microbiota and also aid in digestion.
Microbiota is composed of thousands of different species of microorganisms. It is specific to each individual and evolves over the course of life. Therefore, a puppy doesn’t have the same microbiota it will have as an adult or senior dog; it changes over time.
A healthy microbiota is essential for your dog; it helps create his ecological balance. Among other things it allows the synthesis of many different molecules and helps to support gut health.
Prebiotics are carbohydrates, which are resistant when passing through the stomach and small intestine. They represent a selective source of food for your dog’s intestinal good bacteria. By ingesting prebiotics, your dog can rebalance his microbiota by promoting the growth of good bacteria.
Thus, it can be a good idea to feed your dog a food with prebiotics, particularly when he is young. This will help him to establish a healthy gut microbiota early, though a healthy microbiota balance is important to dogs of any age. Perfect Fit dog foods all include chicory extract, an ingredient that contains prebiotics. It will help to promote a healthy microbiota for your dog. For more information please see the Perfect Fit product page.
- Strong Natural Defences
A complete and balanced diet tailored to your dog’s life-stage can also help to boost another very important element for him: his natural defences. Natural defences are a complex system that protects your dog against foreign elements like bacteria and viruses. They help keep him strong and healthy as he goes out into the world.
Perfect Fit dog foods contain added Vitamin E, Manganese and zinc to support your dog’s natural defences. These three nutrients act as antioxidants, which have been shown to protect cells from damage that can be caused by free radicals.
Choosing a food with functional ingredients that aid natural defences is particularly important at a few key moments in a dog’s life, such as:
- Until your dog is an adult, to support his healthy growth and development,
- In times of change or stress,
- If your dog’s immune system has been challenged by illness or disease,
- And as your dog gets older.
- Healthy Skin & Coat
Your dog’s skin and coat are his first natural barriers against the external world. When they are healthy they help to regulate your dog’s body temperature, while also providing him with a strong, physical resistance to potentially harmful environmental aggressions (sun, air pollution, abrasions etc.)
Perfect Fit dog foods include added zinc and sunflower oil - a natural source of Omega 6 fatty acids - which help to nourish your dog’s skin and coat and can help to keep it strong and healthy.
To learn more about the natural defences of your dog, please see our article: How food can support your dog’s natural defences
- Optimal Weight Management & Body Condition
Maintaining your dog’s ideal body weight and condition goes a long way to keeping him fit, healthy and full of vitality.
Complete and balanced dog foods are formulated to provide dogs with all the nutrients and energy they need, while promoting optimum weight management and good body condition.
Times to be vigilant in regards to your dog’s weight and body condition include:
- After neutering,
- During periods of inactivity, after an injury for example, or if your dog has a fairly sedentary lifestyle,
- And as your dog ages, because as his activity level decreases.
How do you assess the body condition of your dog? Weigh and physically inspect him frequently to make sure his normal weight is being maintained. If you want to be doubly sure, the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition has developed an easy size and weight evaluation you can do at home, it’s called The WALTHAM® S.H.A.P.E GuideTM’
Of course, diet is not the whole story when it comes to weight management and body condition; physical activity also plays a large part.
- Good Oral Health
In order for your dog to live life to the fullest for as long as possible, it’s important to monitor his oral health and establish a daily oral care regime at home in order to prevent gum disease.
When naturally occurring bacteria in your dog’s saliva collect on the surface of the teeth, they produce various substances that form a film covering the teeth. This is known as dental plaque. If dental plaque is not cleaned off the tooth, it will harden and become tartar within just a few days.
Perfect Fit dog food includes an active ingredient that reduces tartar build up, to help maintain clean teeth and healthy gums. This is particularly important once your dog is over four months old, as this in when his puppy teeth are being replaced by adult teeth. The oral hygiene of your dog is essential for the health of his teeth and gums, but also for his whole system, and essential to his well-being.