“Diet is one of the keys to your pet's good health and mobility, says nutritionist Susan Davis. It's not only a critical factor in terms of the nutrients that are provided but also in managing weight. Many pets with arthritis are overweight. Excess weight increases stress on the joints and exacerbates arthritis pain.
“Pets with arthritis need a diet that is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, especially Omega 3s enzymes and quality whole foods. When choosing a diet, try to give them as many fresh whole food ingredients as possible.
"Be sure to look closely at labels on all treats and foods. Many pet food manufacturers add preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin, food colorings and artificial flavorings to keep the product fresh for long-term consumption. These additives cause additional wear and tear on your pet's health and arthritic condition.
“Ideally, a homemade diet made with fresh whole foods is best. Give your animal plenty of fresh vegetables rich with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants and consider integrating some raw foods into the diet. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage associated with arthritis. Essential fatty acids such as fish oil and flax oil are vital to healthy joints and help reduce inflammation. Use lean, natural sources of protein such as wild salmon and meats free of hormones and antibiotics.”
Susan Davis is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist who teaches people how to prepare balanced, homemade diets for their animals. For more information, visit Ask Ariel Your Pet Nutritionist at www.askariel.com