WEIGHING UP THE FACTS: The benefits of a science-based diet:

WEIGHING UP THE FACTS: The benefits of a science-based diet:

Good eating for longevity:

Today, I am visiting Dr. Bianca Betros from Bundanoon Veterinary Hospital in NSW’s Southern Highlands.

Dr Betros is a graduate of the University of Queensland and practised in the United Kingdom along with several leading Sydney veterinary clinics before co-establishing the popular, Your Vets Plus country veterinary hospitals in the Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands.

With us is Arnie, a gorgeous nine-year-old English bulldog owned by a Bundanoon resident. Our topic of discussion is the importance of providing dogs with a science-based pet diet and weight management program.

Q & A:

Olga: Bianca, Arnie appears to be in exceptional health. 

Bianca: Yes, he is, Olga. Arnie is nine years old and is in amazing condition. He’s very fit for his age and aside from his skin allergies, which is typical for his breed, he has incredible stamina for a mature Bulldog. 

Olga: A dog’s diet is very important, isn’t it?

Bianca: Yes it is. Arnie’s good health is largely attributed to the dedicated care he receives from his owner as well as his diet.  This is because a nutritious diet not only supports a healthy weight but having one high in vitamins and nutrients also helps reduce a multitude of diseases such as heart conditions and cancer.

Olga: I have noticed that you stock a variety of science-based dog food such as  Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food, which is very important for nutrition and weight management. Does Arnie have a special food management program tailored to his age and breed?

Bianca: Yes. Arnie is on a hypoallergenic diet, which is for his skin. There are a number of diets on the market that we really like including Hill’s and Royal Canin.

Olga: So are there specific foods for mature dogs?

Bianca: Yes. Particularly for animals who are overweight. As with us, it’s very important for owners to maintain the recommended weight suited to their dog’s breed so they can lead a long and healthy life.

Olga: I know Bulldogs have specific issues with their skin. What type of skin problems has Arnie experienced in the past?

Bianca: Arnie has had quite a few nasty skin allergies and he often licks his paws, which become inflamed and sore. So he’s at our surgery today having a medicated bath. This will help reduce skin irritations and provide Arnie with relief.

Olga: Now for the big weigh-in!

As seen above — Believing that an elevated limb would lighten the load on the scales, Arnie continually lifted his paw before stepping on the scales. Despite his avoidance tactics, he passed the big weigh in with flying colours and remains a picture of health.

Thank you to Ricky, Arnie’s wonderful owner for granting DogSmart Australia permission to feature him in this blog.

Dr. Betros and her team are located at Bundanoon Veterinary Clinic [Your Vet Plus] on Railway Avenue, Bundanoon. Also, join in the conversation on Google+, Twitter YouTube Instagram, and Facebook and view our blog on Parasites.

About the Bulldog:

Weight‎: a muscular 20-24 kg 

Life Span‎: ‎8 to 12 years

Characteristics: The bulldog is distinguished by its loose skin around the head, neck, and shoulders as well as its enormous skull. Its face also has a pushed-in appearance.           

Disposition:  Bulldogs require regular exercise as they prefer to spend their time snoring away on the couch or in their bed. However, they are sweet-natured dogs but are slightly reserved with strangers. They also make a great family pet.       

Health Issues: The breed is susceptible to sustaining dermal conditions due to the multiple folds of its skin. They are also susceptible to respiratory and cardiac issues, hip dysplasia and overheating, especially during the long hot Australian summers.                                         

Origins: The bulldog is an ancient breed originating from Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. Bred to defend villagers from wild animal attacks the bulldog later became a popular breed in Teutonic and Celtic societies. During the 13th century in England, the bulldog was specially trained as a bull-baiter for the popular royal sport. With its massive jaw, the bulldog would pin a bull down by clasping his strong teeth into the bull’s snout.