When you’re trying to help a friend, a neighbor, or an animal, you’re probably thinking about the health of your own family.
And that’s a good thing, says Dr. Jill Gollnick, director of the Center for Animal Health and Behavior at the University of Arizona.
“It’s good to have family members around you, it’s good for the whole family to be healthy,” Gollick says.
“And that’s the most important thing that can be done to save the health and welfare of animals, because animals are more likely to be cared for and to live longer.”
Gollik says that animals are living longer than humans because they eat more, and have a longer lifespan than people.
“They’re more likely not to die because of infectious diseases, they’re more apt to get sick, they get sicker,” Gellick says, “so they’re going to live long, healthy lives.”
But the health effects of these diets, and how they affect a family’s pets, can also affect a whole animal population.
“That’s why we need to understand how this affects the whole animal community,” Gllick says about how animals are impacted by these diets.
“We need to look at all the ways that these diets affect a population and know what to do about it.”
For example, how does a pet diet affect their health?
The research is very clear on the impact of certain diets on dogs, cats, and even horses.
“Dogs, for example, have a lower rate of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, all of which are more common in people,” Gossick says of these animals.
But what does a diet that is low in fat, high in fiber, and low in sugar affect?
And what does that mean for animals in general?
It’s not just animals that are affected by certain diets, says Gollack.
“The whole population is affected,” she says.
A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found that dogs, a popular pet in the United States, have higher rates of chronic diarrhea, a type of diarrhea that occurs when food or water is contaminated with bacteria.
Dogs also have a higher incidence of urinary tract infections.
“People tend to assume that these are all the same issues, but they are not,” Gollsick says with a laugh.
“You need to have a much deeper understanding of how these diseases are being transmitted, and where they’re coming from.”
A recent study published online in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association found that pets with a higher dietary intake of fish and liver are more prone to developing liver cirrhosis, a condition that can cause liver damage and death.
But this is not always true.
“A lot of people think that because of the diets of these pets, they don’t have any of these conditions,” Grollick says and she believes that the diet is really important.
“So they have a diet and they have these liver cirrus.
But the liver cirrhs can actually be very, very severe.”
Dogs, cats and horses are often fed a very low-fat diet, which means that they’re consuming very little fat, and very little protein.
“There’s a lot of studies that have shown that cats and dogs tend to have more problems with cholesterol and with weight loss,” Grolick says on how diet can affect health.
“But I don’t think there’s any scientific evidence to show that cats are healthier than dogs.”
And dogs may be the most affected pets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that pets be given one diet a day and one fish or fish oil supplement daily.
But even with all the evidence available on the benefits of pet diets, there are also some limitations.
“What we don’t know is if a pet is eating more than one diet, what’s the best way to manage that?”
The good news is that there is research showing that the best diet for animals is a diet with the healthiest ingredients and that is to be fed by the owners.
But as you’re planning your pet’s diet, there is always the potential for the health issues associated with your pet to get worse, Gollins says.
Gollikes research shows that pets may also be more likely than people to develop kidney disease, an infection that is associated with a lower weight and weight loss.
This means that you need to make sure you are feeding your pet the diet they need to thrive, and to maintain their health, Gossik says.
To learn more about animal health, visit our animal health section.