Nutrition is an inevitable aspect of pet care. So, here’s your own pet nutritionist, Geet Rao, answering your most frequently asked queries. She is a Clinical Pet Nutritionist certified by Academy of Natural Health Sciences, New Jersey, currently pursuing doctoral studies in Pet Nutrition.

She has been practising as a pet nutritionist since six years and has also designed foods for some leading pet food companies in India.

Feel free to send in your queries about your pet’s health and we will answer back your queries here in our Q&A column!

Looking forward to serve your pets for their better health!

What is the difference between therapeutic and regular diets?

    Therapeutic diets are diets specifically designed to address a specific condition. For example , an obesity diet will have lesser calories per gram of food. So while your pet might be having the same amount of grams of food, but the energy he will get on the obesity will be less. Therapeutic diets must be used only if your pet has been clinically diagnosed with a specific condition. They should not be fed on an intuitive basis .

    What supplements should we add to make homemade meals nutritionally balanced?

      What supplements should be added is always very subjective to the specific dog/cat. For a puppy /kitten, they will be different , for a senior they will be different. If there are any health issues, supplements will change accordingly. Also, they will change according to the diet (meats or vegetarian, with or without organs etc.) 

       Is brown rice better for dogs than white rice?

        Brown rice or white rice : both are equally good in their own ways. However it depends upon the individual dog as well. If your dog has digestion issues, white rice are better as they’re easier to digest. If your dog has renal or kidney issues then also white rice is better. While if your pet is a healthy adult with good digestion, you may rotate both the rides in the diet.

        Can a pet parent use supplements instead of protein sources?

          You can use food supplements to an extent. It is a common query especially for vegetarian pet parents. You can make use of pea protein powder in the meals. However , please ask the dosage of protein powders from a qualified nutritionist before adding them to your pet’s meals. Adding these would not mean that you should not add natural protein sources at all. If meat is a problem, you can use soy (well prepared), certain lentils, tofu and seeds along with the powder as protein sources.

           How to figure out guaranteed analysis of meals?

            Guaranteed analysis is a rather superficial way of understanding a food’s nutritional value. It only shared what is minimum or guaranteed. It need not be biologically available. Also it states the minimum values not actual values. How do we understand if the pack shows guaranteed analysis for protein to be 6%. The protein could be 10% / 25% or even just 6.5%.  I don’t recommend depending upon guaranteed analysis. The food should specify nutritional values in dry matter or by calories values.

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