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Health Support: These Overlooked Issues are Vital to Proper Pet Care

By Pet Age Staff//October 1, 2023//

Health Support: These Overlooked Issues are Vital to Proper Pet Care

By: Pet Age Staff//October 1, 2023//

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The moment they enter this world, newborn companion animals have specific needs. In addition, their health care support changes as they age into adolescent, adult and senior pets. Pet Age recently spoke with Lee Scoville, owner of Midor LTD and president of LIFELINE, to discuss several overlooked aspects of health support.

How would you describe the importance of milk replacers for companion animals? 

Feeding milk replacers to young and newborn companion animals can be important in certain situations. Milk replacers are formulated as a complete feed and others as a supplemental feed. Both will provide essential nutrients for young animals who are unable to nurse from their mother or require supplemental nutrition. For orphaned animals or those separated from their mother early, milk replacers will provide vital nourishment for their growth and development. Similarly, sick or convalescing animals may benefit from milk replacers to support their nutritional needs when they have difficulty eating solid food. It’s important to note that feeding instructions should be followed for milk replacers to ensure they are appropriate for the specific needs of the individual animal. 


What is colostrum and how does it relate to an animal’s immune system? 

Colostrum is a specialized form of milk that is produced by mammals, including humans, during the initial days after giving birth. It is rich in antibodies, growth factors and immune cells, making it essential for the newborn’s immune system. Colostrum plays a crucial role in providing passive immunity to the newborn animal. It contains high levels of immunoglobulins, particularly IgG, which are transferred from the mother’s bloodstream to the offspring. These antibodies help protect the newborn against common pathogens until its own immune system is fully developed. 

The antibodies present in colostrum provide specific immune protection against the pathogens the mother or the newborn has encountered, serving as a natural defense. Additionally, colostrum contains other components like lactoferrin, cytokines, and growth factors that contribute to the development and maturation of the newborn’s immune system. 

In summary, colostrum is the first milk produced after birth, containing antibodies and other immune components that provide passive immunity to newborn animals, helping to protect them from infections and supporting the development of their own immune system. 


What are the latest health and nutritional trends among Omega fatty acids? 

Omega fatty acids have been extensively studied for their health benefits in animals and humans. Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentoenoic acid) is one of the fatty acids that contribute to cell health, respiratory health, good circulation, brain health and more. It is fed as part of a therapeutic diet to support good overall health. The brain is partially made up of DHA (docsahexaenoic acid and helps improve brain health. Adequate consumption of DHA is also linked to better endurance, improved cardiovascular, reduced inflammation and better skin and coat condition in all animals. 

The importance of the balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio. This is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Many animal diets tend to be high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation if not balanced with sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids. Achieving a balanced ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids, ideally around 4:1 or lower, is generally recommended for animals. 

The source and quality of omega fatty acids in animal diets are important considerations. Fish oil, algae oil and flaxseed oil are common sources of Omega-3 fatty acids for animals. It’s important to ensure that these oils are sourced from reputable and sustainable sources to avoid potential contaminants. 

Omega fatty acids have shown promising effects in managing skin allergies and specific health conditions in animals such as joint health in dogs with arthritis while promoting brain development in puppies. 


Why is sea kelp becoming a popular ingredient for its health benefits? 

Clinical trials have shown that sea kelp helps reduce plaque and tartar build up. A side benefit from this is improved breath when used as directed. Sea kelp is gaining popularity as a health supplement for animals, primary canines, due to its numerous potential benefits. Sea kelp is rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants. These nutrients support overall health, promote a shiny coat, aid digestion and provide immune system support for all animals. Additionally, sea kelp contains iodine, which is crucial for proper thyroid function. As awareness grows about the importance of nutrition in animal health, sea kelp has become recognized for its potential to enhance the well-being of canines and other animals.