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!
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.
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.
Your vet might recommend a prescription diet for:
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.
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.