A Guide to Dog Veterinary Diets

Dog veterinary diets are made up of specially formulated foods that help treat specific canine conditions. Veterinary diets are available by prescription only.

The Origin of Dog Veterinary Diets

In the 1940s, Mark Morris, a veterinarian, was a big believer in natural therapies for his patients. While treating a dog with kidney disease, he figured relief could be found for the dog through a specialized diet that would help the kidneys not have to work so hard. The special diet Dr. Morris made was a success and the animals he treated experienced an improved quality of life as a result.

What Dog Veterinary Diets Are

A veterinary diet for dogs is when a doctor prescribes specific foods to help a dog recover from an ailment or disease. These diets can also help slow down the progression of a disease and have therapeutic properties that are ideal for pairing with a dog's current medical treatment. Veterinary diet foods come in the form of canned or dry foods or biscuits, and help treat problems with a dog's heart, kidneys, liver, diabetes, obesity, urinary tract stones and other metabolic ailments.

Since the special diet foods are prescribed by a veterinarian,  the bag it comes in indicates you should use the foods per a veterinarian's instructions, or that only vets are allowed to sell the food products. As a result of the specialized ingredients within dog veterinary diet foods, these consumables can't be found in a grocery or pet store; they can only be found in veterinary clinics. Some of the diets formulated for dogs are meant to be consumed by a canine for a short period, while others are safe to be consumed over a long period of time.

The food is made with a special formula, with the intention of treating a specific health problem, just like prescription medications. The specialized diets will lead to a specific result a veterinarian desires. For example, one veterinary diet may be made to influence a dog's digestive tract, while another aids high blood pressure problems. If a dog has good glucose levels, there is no reason to give him food that will change his blood sugar balance. Feeding a dog a veterinary diet when he doesn't require one can dangerously alter the chemistry of his body without any necessity to do so.

Ingredients in Dog Veterinary Diets

The ingredients within a veterinary diet are specific to the health needs of a dog. Dogs with kidney problems are typically prescribed a diet product that has lower amounts of protein. A food formulated to help dogs with heart problems will have lower amounts of sodium and higher amounts of fiber and protein. Diets developed for dogs with food allergies will have novel proteins in them from non-traditional meat sources like duck, kangaroo or venison.

Dog veterinary diets are a great way to help a dog that is suffering from an illness. Pet owners should consult a veterinarian to see which diet might best help their dog.