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A Vet reveals: Diet, Allergies and more

May 25, 2021

Today, all Perro Learning Center readers are in for a REAL treat! We have specially worked together with a vet, Dr Rachel Tong from Spring Veterinary Care, to answer some of your burning questions that we've gotten! First and foremost, a short introduction about Dr Tong. She is a graduate from Murdoch University, holding a Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Science and runs Spring vet located at 123 Hougang Ave 1, Block 123, 530123. Answers by Dr Rachel Tong BSc BVMS (Murdoch)

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What are the perfect diet for my adult and active dog or cat to get all the nutrition he needs?

I think it is almost impossible to achieve 'the perfect diet' for your pets as all dogs and cats will require different nutritional needs and caloric intake, depending on its stage of life, activity level, the type of lifestyle it leads and pre-existing health problems. Young active adults would usually require more nutritional needs for growth and higher caloric intake as compared to the older and less active adults. It is advisable to discuss the appropriate diet for your dogs & cats with a Veterinarian.

When should I get my dog or cat tested regarding allergies?

Allergies in pets may present differently from and the symptoms may range from persistent skin problem to gastric problems and these can sometimes be very vague and non-specific. It is recommended to bring your pet to a Vet if you suspect your pet has an allergy and he/she can further advise on the appropriate tests.

What are the most common ingredients that cause allergies for dogs and cats?

In some studies, reactions to beef, dairy products and wheat have accounted for the majority of the reported cases in dogs and cats but this does not mean your dog will have an allergy to them too. Your dog will still need a vet check and tests eg. food trial, allergy testing etc. in order to find out what it is allergic to.

How should I accommodate to my dog's diet when he/she gets older?

As your dog gets older, the amount of calories and nutritional needs eg vitamins and minerals may differ, depending on its level of activity and pre-existing health problems. For example, older dogs with joint problems may be less active, thus requiring fewer calories but with sufficient supplements to help with joint problems.

What should my puppy eat to make sure that he/she has the right nutrients for growth?

Your puppy will require a well-balanced diet with sufficient vitamins and minerals for good bone and muscle growth while the amount of caloric intake will depend on its activity level and type of lifestyle it has.

What symptoms should I look out, for common dog diseases?

A visit to the vet is advisable if your dog shows symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, increased water intake, more frequent urination, coughing, sneezing etc. Any abnormality to skin ears eyes faces limbs etc should also be a cause for concern. Sometimes symptoms do not appear until the later stage of the disease so an annual health check is always recommended to detect any early signs of illnesses. In conclusion, a visit to the vet for a checkup is recommended. For puppies below 1 year, you would need to pay a visit to the vet more often as they would need to get their vaccination done. For adults from 1-7 years, a yearly checkup would be recommended. Don't forget to bring a stool sample in order to check for intestinal parasites. Vaccines against illnesses like kennel cough are ideal too. A senior dog from 7 to 10 years should get a checkup twice a year. Your dog will get vaccines if needed and a physical check-up. Please inform your Vet of any changes in the behaviour of your dog.

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