Does your pet's food affect their life expectancy!!
Ageing process in dogs and cats are much faster than humans. One year for a human is approximately five to seven years for a dog or cat. The life expectancy of our pets can be affected by the quality and amount of nutrition, genetic makeup, vaccinations and breed size. We can improve our pet’s health and possibly reduce their medical bills by feeding appropriate excellent quality pet food in the required amounts.
The Kealy et al. 2002 study shows that the median life span of dogs was increased by diet restriction, ie. Portion control. Lean body mass was significantly higher among dogs with restricted feeding compared to the ones fed free choice food. Food-restricted dogs weighed less and had lower triglycerides, insulin and glucose concentration and controlled levels of thyroid hormone.
Another study showed that Lifetime maintenance of 25% diet restriction delayed onset and reduced severity of hip joint osteoarthritis, thus favourably affecting both duration and quality of life.
In regards to obesity, it is now recognized to be an important major medical disease, which can reduce quality of life and increase the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and joint disease. Still, pets suffering from obesity do have the opportunity to revert the risks and increase their quality of life by losing weight.
In another study from German et al. 2010, pet owners completed a follow-up questionnaire after their dog had successfully completed a weight loss program, and had reached their target weight. Most owners do report that their dog's Quality Of Life improved, and this corresponded to significant improvements in vitality, emotional well-being, and a significant decrease in pain score.
In a study from Hall et al. 2015, supplementation with fish oil, lipoic acid, fruits, vegetables and high quality protein can temporarily reverse the age-associated decline in kidney function and total protein in the body.
While it is not possible to predict the lifespan of our pets, we can alter their lifestyle with optimum nutrition to avoid /delay the onset of chronic life limiting conditions.