Research indicates that diet plays an important role in animals’ well-being and longevity. Feeding a controlled diet with properly balanced nutrition supports your pets’ overall health as they age from early years to adulthood.
While maximum lifespan appears to be predetermined by genetics, how much of that potential lifespan is survived can be influenced by numerous factors, including environment and nutrition. Much progress has been made in extending the average lifespan over the past century by attempting to modulate these factors. Data suggests that the percent of cats aged 10 years or older increased from about 10% in 1983 to about 40% in 1995. Research is in full swing to continue this progress.
IMPACT OF EARLY NUTRITION ON LATE-LIFE DISEASE
Classical nutritional deficiencies result in poor growth and development, depressed immune function, decreased cognitive function, and other problems. There is now an emerging recognition that nutrient imbalances early in life can alter physiological function and induce disease later in life.
IMPACT OF NUTRITION ON OSTEOARTHRITIS
Controlling body weight can decrease the prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) in a pet’s joints. In addition to reducing the prevalence and severity of OA through food restriction, correction of obesity can reduce lameness and improve mobility. It is recommended that pets maintain lean body conformation (Body Condition Score of 4 or 5 on Purina’s 9-point BCS system) to minimize the development of OA with advancing age.
IMPACT OF NUTRITION ON MANAGEMENT OF AGE-RELATED DISEASES
The most common “age-related” diseases of dogs and cats include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic renal failure, and thyroid disorders. These diseases also occur in human beings, with typical age of onset similar between species when adjusted for “physiologic age.”
The process of choosing an appropriate diet for an animal, especially one with chronic disease, involves examining the patient, the diet and the owner’s feeding practices, and considering all the issues at hand. It is important to assess a number of different factors to determine which diet or diets might best suit a particular patient.
NUTRITION AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
In general, the nutrients of concern in cardiac patients are calories, sodium and chloride, protein, potassium, and magnesium. However, patients with cardiac disease vary tremendously in terms of clinical signs, laboratory parameters and food preferences, and these all affect diet selection.
Explore our nutrition to find the formula of Purina® Pro Plan® that will help your cat live an extraordinary life.