Dogs and cats, just like humans, have different nutritional, exercise and enrichment requirements as they grow and mature. Kittens and puppies, adolescent pets, adult, pregnant, lactating and senior pets all have different needs. It is our responsibility as their guardians to ensure they have all they need to be strong, healthy and happy. As they progress through life we need to assess their needs and change their diet and exercise levels as required. The purpose of the lifestage package is to provide you and your pet with the advice and therapies they need to maintain health.
Puppies and Kittens
When you bring a new puppy or kitten home you have the best intentions of doing everything possible to give it a good start to life including buying it a new bed, crate, carrier, bowls, leads, toys and food. Kittens and cats have different nutritional needs to puppies and dogs. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they must eat meat in their diet as they derive essential amino acids from meat.
As you know, adolescents have hormones coursing through their veins which changes their behaviour that can result in them challenging you and forgetting any training they have already received. During this time they may also experience growth spurts. It is important to ensure they receive the correct balance of nutrients so they grow at the correct rate, as too much calcium in their diet can negatively affect development of their bones causing chronic illness later in life.
When your pet has reached adulthood, its nutrient levels change again. There are no more growth spurts and your dog has all its adult teeth and you may find your pets activity level and behaviour changes. Your pets exercise levels will determine his calorie intake and the amount of food he should be eating. If your pet is at its optimal weight it should be on a maintenance diet. However if your pet is obese, a weight reduction diet is advised.
When your pet starts to get older you notice a change in them, they have less energy than they use to, they sleep more, they maybe grumpy, show signs of stiffness and be diagnosed with arthritis or other age related conditions. At this stage of life, their nutrient requirements change again and they may require the addition of supplements to their diet. A senior pets metabolism may slow down and they may not be able to adequately absorb the nutrients in their diet. Annual health checks with a veterinarian are essential to monitor their health, thyroid activity and blood results for signs of any degenerative diseases. The results of blood tests help to devise a health and treatment plan specific to your pet.
Pregnant and Lactating Dogs and Cats
Pregnant and lactating pets have unique nutritional needs to maintain their health and that of their babies. Puppies and kittens will absorb all the nutrients they need to grow which can leave the mother nutritionally depleted, resulting in her getting thin, lethargic and eventually unable to maintain feeding her babies properly. This will result in long term health problems for the mother and the puppies/kittens. If the mother has a weak immune system, her babies will also have a weak immune system leaving them susceptible to conditions like demodex mange. It is therefore important to ensure that the mother is healthy prior to getting pregnant in order for her to have a healthy pregnancy, birth and be able to wean her babies.
Regardless of your pets lifestage, we can help you and your pet with two in-home consults which includes discussing:
What your pet should be eating for optimum health at their stage of life
Quantities to feed your pet, as these change from puppy to senior and when pregnant
Herbal supplements specific to your pet and how they benefit your pet, especially recommended for senior pets
An individual, customised food plan unique to your pet
Enrichment ideas, especially recommend for puppies and adolescent dogs
Strategies for dealing with storms, fireworks, stress and anxiety
Emotional and/or behaviour problems your pet is displaying
A Lifestage package includes two in-home consults one month apart. Each of the two in-home visits includes a massage and laser treatment (if required) for your pet.
The follow up consult:
Monitor the progress of your pet
Adjust the feeding plan (if required)
If your pet requires a herbal remedy and/or a flower essence specifically formulated for your pet's individual needs, these are available for purchase separately.
To purchase a Lifestage Package, click here to go to our store