Veterinary diet food for dogs

Veterinary medicine has advanced hugely over the years, and it is becoming increasingly recognised that nutrition can play a valuable role in the management of various illnesses and disease. The first prescription diet was developed in 1948 in the USA by a veterinary surgeon called Dr Mark Morris. Since then, a number of pet food companies have launched ‘prescription’ foods, or veterinary diets. If your veterinary surgeon has discussed a therapeutic diet for your dog, but you are unsure about the whys, hows, and whens, read on for more information. Once you know what you need, order it online through our store for fast delivery and free returns!



What is a veterinary diet food?

Veterinary diets, or dog prescription diets, are specially formulated foods that are designed to support dogs with various health conditions. Different medical conditions require varying nutritional needs which can be quite specific, so each diet is scientifically tailored to suit their requirements. There are low protein dog foods, hypoallergenic dog foods, and weight loss dog foods, among others.



Are veterinary diets wet or dry?

Most veterinary diets are available in both wet and dry form. There are some medical conditions where wet food may be better if good hydration is important, such as with urinary or kidney problems. In others, dry kibble may be more appropriate. However, the priority is usually to get the optimal nutrition into your dog in whichever form they will tolerate best. Read more about the advantages of wet food and dry food.



What conditions can a veterinary diet for dogs be used for?

Your vet might recommend a prescription diet for: 

  • Urinary health – crystals in the urine leading to urinary stones can be painful for your dog, and dangerous to health. Urinary diets are designed to keep your dog’s urine at the correct acidity to prevent formation of stones. 


  • Kidney care – kidney disease can be difficult to manage, and the correct balance of protein, nutrients and hydration can provide support. 


  •  Allergies – diets for food allergies and environmental allergies can reduce reactions and improve skin health. 


  • Digestive problems – digestive diets are gentle on the stomach and guts and may have easy-to-digest ingredients. 


  • Weight management – prescription weight-loss diets change your dog’s metabolism to support weight loss.  


  • Joint care – dogs who suffer from joint disease, or who have had joint surgery, may benefit from a diet containing various supplements, whilst also preventing excess weight gain. 


  • Other conditions – there are various other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and some cancers which may benefit from specific nutritional support. 



How do I switch onto a veterinary diet for my dog?

With any new diet, it is important to change over foods gradually – this is to prevent a sudden shock to the gastric system causing a tummy upset. Switch over to your new food over the course of several days, gradually increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the old. Most veterinary diets are designed to be fed as a sole food source. Do not supplement the diet with table scraps or treats as this could cause the diet to become ineffective.



Where can I buy a veterinary diet for my dog?

Prescription diets are designed to be fed under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon. Your vet will be able to advise on a suitable food for your dog dependent on its specific health conditions and nutritional needs, so it’s important that a vet is involved when using a veterinary diet. Veterinary diets are available through your veterinary surgeon. They are also available online, with authorisation from a vet.

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FirstVet provides on-demand, expert advice from licensed vets and a selection of vet-recommended products all in one place. All products in our assortment are carefully selected and continuously reviewed by our vets. We offer fast home delivery and free shipping on orders over £49. If you have any questions, please contact our fantastic customer support team and we will be happy to help you.