Nutrition is an important part of your pet’s life. Without adequate proteins, minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, your pet’s health can suffer. It has also been found that providing the proper balance of nutrients can also help in certain disease processes.
Prescription diets are specially formulated diets to help in the treatment and care of pets with certain ailments or diseases. Some of these diets are only intended as a temporary change in food, while others are recommended for the duration of the pet’s life. Since these diets are intended for particular disorders, they may have extra amounts of some nutrients and may be deficient in others. This makes the diet inappropriate, and sometimes even harmful, for healthy dogs, so they are available by prescription only.
Some of the more common disorders that benefit from a specific diet include food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, urinary tract disorders, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease and even some forms of cancer. By altering the nutrients, diets can aid in recovery or slow down the progression of disease.
For example, diets formulated for heart disease have lower protein and lower sodium than is recommended for health adult pets. Diets for food allergies have novel proteins that the pet has not been exposed to such as kangaroo, duck, potato or venison. Diets for diabetes control have a higher fiber and may have a higher protein than what is considered appropriate for health adults.
There are currently several pet food companies that research and produce various prescription type diets. Iams, Purina, Hills, IVD and Waltham all have special lines of prescription type diets.