Wet clinical nutrition - an underused resource
As veterinarians, we always want to make the best nutritional recommendation. But, what if we miss cases where clients would love to have had all the options and later, they are disappointed that more options weren’t presented? This is often true with wet foods – particularly clinical pet foods.
It can be hard to get a client to switch from a supermarket food to a clinical food due to cost. Additionally, some clients may also worry about whether their pet will like the taste and texture. It’s a big ask. But, we should remember that nutrition is a massive help in many conditions and is essential for some, such as urinary, kidney and skin disease, and wet food has a big role to play.
Recovery vs other conditions
In practice, we often reach for wet food for patients recovering from illness, injury or surgery – such as Prescription Diet i/d or a/d for pets that are ill or have had surgery. So, why do we shy away from wet foods at other times? Wet food has lots of benefits. At Hill’s, because of the broad variety of textures and flavours, combined with the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, you don’t need to worry if the client thinks their pet won’t like it.
Benefits of wet food
- Taste. All Hill’s foods are highly palatable but a lot of pets simply love canned or pouched food because of the mouthwatering textures. With medical conditions, where a pet may be feeling unwell, getting them to eat is hugely important.
- Variety. There are many Prescription Diet wet foods available – and specific foods come in various flavours and textures (cans, stews and pouches). So, be sure to speak with your Hill’s Territory Manager about options for your patients.
- Cats. It’s recommended that cats are fed a mixture of wet and dry food. They can easily become fond of specific textures. So, when they are fed a variety from a young age, and if at any time, their medical history dictates one or the other, it’s an easier change.
- Hydration. Hydration is hugely important in any disease condition and wet foods are one of the easiest ways to increase water intake and keep your patients hydrated.
- Bond between pet parents and pets. We know that feeding is very important for the human pet bond and owners love to see their pets enjoy their food.
Hydration is critical in addressing urinary issues
As well as general hydration, there are some conditions where water intake, particularly in cats, is paramount. House cats have evolved from desert animals and, therefore, tend to have very concentrated urine, which can exacerbate urinary conditions, such as FIC (Feline Idiopathic Cystitis) and crystalluria. In dogs too, water intake in bladder conditions is very important to dilute urine and effectively flush the bladder out naturally.
Wet foods for growing pets
There are clinical foods that are suitable for growing puppies and kittens, either for long- or short-term feeding. If they have been used to eating wet food, it’s important to provide a replacement that supports their developmental needs.
Why not offer?
Don’t be shy to talk about the benefits and the varieties that are available. Always inform them about Hill’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee* in case of any concerns. So next time you make a recommendation, think about wet foods – they really are an underused, hugely beneficial resource.
The HillsVet website shows the full range of foods and all the details on their key benefits.
Emma Goodman Milne, Veterinarian
Dr Emma Milne qualified as a vet in 1996. She worked in a small animal practice for 12 years and as a clinical nutrition advisor for seven years. She is well-known for her animal welfare work and has written ten books on animal pets.
*For quality, consistency, and taste or your clients’ money back.