Dear Kara: minced diet (Sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition)

Welcome to Dear Kara, a Hill's-sponsored Q&A series designed to answer your questions about important—and sometimes perplexing­—nutrition issues regarding your canine and feline patients. Through your astute questions and Kara's thoughtful answers, Hill's hopes to provide you with useful information to pass along to your clients for their pets' continued well-being.
Jun 01, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

I've heard that it's a good idea to feed cats wet food to encourage their water intake. Do you have any recommendations to increase water intake for cats that are on therapeutic foods?




Feeding canned food is a great way to increase water intake in cats. Increased water intake will help in the management of cats with feline lower urinary tract disease. Feeding moist food (>60% moisture) has been associated with a decreased recurrence of clinical signs in cats with feline idiopathic cystitis. Cats being fed a therapeutic food can be fed a canned food, either alone or in addition to the dry food. The special combination of nutrients will be disrupted if the owner changes the combination by feeding the cat a different brand of food. The canned formulas add variety to your cat's food without compromising your cat's health.

I took home an abandoned kitten that was left on our clinic doorstep. While she tested negative for everything in the book, she continues to have diarrhea. I'd like to feed her the new minced formula i/d®, but is it considered a "growth" food?


Food for Thought
Following a complete evaluation from your veterinarian, the logical nutritional choice may be Hill's® Prescription Diet® i/d® Feline pet food. The i/d® Feline food is useful as a nutritional aid for cats and growing kittens with gastrointestinal disorders, such as your kitten's diarrhea. The i/d Feline food is formulated with potassium and B-complex vitamins to help replace nutrients lost through diarrhea and is highly digestible to ensure easy assimilation by the gastrointestinal tract. The i/d Feline and i/d® Canine foods offer appropriate levels of protein, fat, and calories to meet the special nutritional needs of growing kittens and puppies respectively. When feeding i/d to puppies or kittens, feed three to six small meals per day.

Do you have any food suggestions for a Westie that has a severe food allergy? She has no teeth and trouble eating dry food.

A food allergy is best determined by a food elimination trail. If this Westie does not eat dry food consistently and the veterinarian's recommendation is for a canned food—Hill's® Prescription Diet® z/d® ULTRA Allergen-Free Canine pet food, found in a 13 oz or a 5.5 oz can, should be the recommendation. This product has a single, highly digestible carbohydrate source that is formulated for adverse reactions to food and has no intact animal protein. It is enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help manage inflammation and nourish the dog's skin and coat. Finally, added antioxidants helps maintain a healthy immune system and the skin barrier function.