What You Need to Know:
Today, I am visiting Dr. Celia Gaches from Marulan Veterinary Hospital near Goulburn, NSW. American-born Celia studied at Kansas State University where she pursued a Bachelor of Animal Science in Agriculture degree before completing a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. A staunch animal advocate, she is the owner of an adopted rescue dog, Lily.
Our topic for discussion is dog nutrition for canines who are sensitive to a number of food-related skin allergies, such as Lily.
Q & A:
Olga: Celia, could you tell us a little bit about Lily’s general well-being; her diet as well as her oral care.
Celia: Lily is a four-year-old Boxer cross and she’s fed a premium, science-based diet. Because of her food-related skin allergies especially with rice, she has a grain-free diet.
Olga: What kind of raw bones do you give Lily?
Celia: She is fed kangaroo femur and large pork bones. Unfortunately, beef bones do not agree with her.
Olga: As a dog trainer, I see the difference in the dog’s behaviour when it’s fed a science-based diet.
Celia: Yes, it’s all about the proper balance of nutrients that your dog requires on a daily basis. There are a lot of pet foods that have low-quality fillers in the meat; some of which can lead to a variety of skin allergies, heart disease and so on. Lily is a prime example of a dog that’s sensitive to any type of grain.
Without the right diet, a dog will also struggle to maintain their digestion and waste, as well as their muscle tone, teeth, growth, and brain function. So it’s vital that you provide the right level of protein, as well as vitamins, minerals, fat, and carbohydrates in your dog’s diet based on his breed, size, and age.
Olga: I always state that it’s very important to develop a relationship with a vet and be consistent with their check-ups.
Celia: Absolutely, especially if the dog does have a weight issue or suffers from allergies and other immune-related problems. We’ll assess their body condition, muscle tone, and their general well-being, and make any recommendations based on what we find.
Olga: Celia, do you focus on a particular diet for colder climates such as ours in the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands?
Celia: We always recommend that dog owners include foods with adequate omega-3 fatty acids, especially if their dog suffers from arthritis. They not only have an anti-inflammatory effect but they also help maintain the condition of a dog’s coat, which is essential in the colder regions.
Olga: Dog owners often forget about the importance of brushing their dog’s teeth. How do you manage Lily’s oral care?
Celia: For oral care, she gets her teeth brushed every couple of days though ideally, it should be daily. Unfortunately, my schedule makes this impossible at times. As such, she gets raw bones to chew on as well as dental treats, which also works very well.
Olga: I’m of the belief that a healthy dog is a happy one.
Celia: Exactly Olga. Lily is a great example of a dog who requires a special diet but at the same time thrives because the focus is on her general well-being and happiness.
Dr Celia Gaches is one of the senior veterinarians at Marulan Veterinary Hospital and Bundanoon Veterinary Hospital.
Please view our blog on Weighing Up The Facts featuring Dr. Biana Betros from Bundanoon Veterinary Hospital | Your Vets Plus. Also join in the conversation on Google+, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.