Diseases: When Special Medical Diets Help and When They Don’t
There is no question that the foundation of a good wellness program for your dog is well-formulated dog food. Advances in dog nutrition have also identified dog food formulations that assist in the management of chronic disease. That does not mean that all diseases can be helped by diet changes. It is also mistaken to think that merely changing your dog’s diet is all that is necessary to manage your dog’s chronic disease. Diet is only one tool for disease management and all conditions need a comprehensive veterinary treatment program.
Unfortunately, many dogs find commercial medical diets, particularly kibble, unappealing. When that is the case, homemade dog food can make a big difference. We offer Healthier Homemade Custom Recipes so that dog parents can purchase wholesome ingredients from the grocery store and use our Well Dog Nutrients to make sure that the meals are complete and balanced. The best dog food is the dog food your dog will eat!
So which diseases benefit from medical diets?
Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease (chronic enteropathy), lymphangiectasia, chronic pancreatitis, and short bowel syndrome all benefit from low-fat diets. This doesn’t mean that canned food with a guaranteed analysis of 0.5-1% fat or dry food with a guaranteed analysis of 9-10% fat are low-fat diets. In fact, you cannot use the guaranteed label analysis to determine the fat quantity. There are only 3 commercially available dog foods that have low enough fat to help manage the above diseases. Most owners of these dogs rely on special veterinary diets. Specially formulated homemade dog food diets provide the largest variety of protein for these diets. The Well Dog Place features Healthier Homemade recipes with the right amount of fat to help manage these conditions. Healthier Homemade recipes for short bowel disease also include the higher levels of water-soluble fiber that improves stool quality for these patients.
Dogs with chronic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, liver shunts, cystine stones, struvite stones, urate stones benefit from low protein diets. The label guaranteed analysis percentage of protein does not reflect the actual protein content of the food. There is only 1 commercial diet that meets the demands of most of these conditions. Again, most owners of dogs with these conditions rely on expensive, poor-quality veterinary diets. Healthier Homemade dog food recipes offer the best choice for helping manage these conditions.
Dogs with cancer, diabetes, and seizures benefit from ketogenic, ultra-high protein diets. Fortunately, there are many commercially available dog foods. The Well Dog Place can help you make the best choice for these commercial diets. We also offer a large variety of ultra-high protein to all protein Healthier Homemade dog food recipes
So, what conditions don’t benefit from special diets? Dogs with most kinds of liver diseases, heart disease, hormonal conditions (Cushing’s, Hypothyroidism, Addison’s), gallbladder disease, immune-mediated diseases (blood, joint, lung, brain), or infectious diseases will not benefit from special diets, commercial, veterinary or homemade.
If your dog is diagnosed with a condition and your veterinarian only offers a special veterinary diet as the sole treatment and no monitoring schedule for assessing the diet, be skeptical. Diet can only do so much. Consider a second opinion about your dog’s care.