Everybody loves a biscuit, right? Phew, glad it isn’t just me! Sometimes though, I raid the biscuit tin a bit too vigorously and no-one else gets a look in – sorry (not sorry) team, my bad! Anyhow, it would seem as though Fido is also rather partial to his biccies and they have their own recognised day of celebration, Dog Biscuit Day, which is on February 23rd 2020.
Not all dog biscuits are created equal though and it’s very often a case of ‘you get what you pay for’ ingredients wise. A lot of the cheaper brands are lower in quality protein content, using lesser bio-available vegetable protein or relying instead on cereal grains to provide (literally) the bulk of their product. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a pop at saving pennies (we all like a bargain after all) but I would just say to really scrutinise the nutrition content of budget brands and make sure that you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck, as they say.
So let’s say you’ve found a brand of Fido food that is at a purse-friendly price point; do you just pop it straight into your pooch’s food bowl at the next meal-time? I am hoping that you’re all saying ‘no’ to yourselves as you’re reading this! Ideally, any change to your dogs’ diet should be done over the space of approximately a week. Every couple of days, decrease the amount of the original foodstuff by 25%, replacing it with the new brand and monitoring your dogs excretory habits to see if it is being tolerated. Trust me; you’ll know if it isn’t by the ‘nasty niffs’ that will be floating up to your nostrils!
If you are thinking of changing your fur babies’ diet and have any queries at all then please don’t hesitate to call up and speak to one of the Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre team – we are always more than happy to help and advise. Oooooh, and in an absolutely shameless plug (which I make no apology for!), let me just say that you can now make an appointment to see one of the fantastic team ONLINE(!) if you want a more in-depth discussion about your pets’ health and diet. As you can possibly tell, I am just a little bit excited (and proud) about our new online booking system ☺.
Just as we humans have our favourite biscuits (mine is a chocolate hobnob, although I’d never say no to a jammie dodger either), your canine companion will also lean towards flavours he or she prefers. Thankfully there is now a massive range of choice out there; as well as traditional trusty’s such as Chicken, Lamb or Beef, pooch can now be chowing down on Duck, Turkey or Rabbit. These are often enhanced with Liver or Kidney, or in combination with each other to really get doggo drooling over his dinner. There is no particular reason that you need to stick to a single variety, unless Fido refuses to eat anything except one sort (!) so feel free to pick and choose different varieties to keep your dogs’ senses stimulated.
Recently at SLVC we have begun stocking a new range of foodstuffs for dogs (and cats) from Virbac. Virbac Veterinary HPM feed is high in protein – specifically animal protein which is readily bio-available (digested), and is low in carbohydrates. This is more suited to the carnivore in your canine and is highly palatable to them. There are ranges for all sizes of dog as well as puppy and neutered dog varieties in its standard range. Specialist products for weight loss and diabetes, joint and mobility, and digestive support for those dogs that need it are also available. If you want more information, just pop in and ask one of our team, or if you’ve got a routine appointment anyway, simply mention it to us.
We have got a competition to win a bag of Virbac HPM on our Facebook site currently; the closing date is Monday, March 2nd 2020, so why not enter? As they say: ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’! Good Luck ☺.
Just an interesting random fact to finish with (you all know I’m a bit of a fact geek!); did you know that dogs are, in fact, omnivorous? They are primarily carnivorous, but can digest plant material too. Dogs have sharp teeth designed to pierce through flesh, but their bodies also produce Amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, and this enzyme isn’t present in true carnivores. So now you know! You’ll be thanking me if this comes up as a question in a pub quiz, trust me!
Until next time; stay safe, stay well, and be happy ☺.