Prescription dog foods are specially and scientifically formulated foods that meet the specific health needs of your dog. Also known as veterinarian dog foods, these are meant to deal with pain or other health concerns that your dog might be suffering from.
Prescription dog foods, just like off-the-shelf dog foods, are available to consumers without a prescription from the veterinarian – despite what their name indicates.
If your dog is suffering from a severe chronic illness or just had surgery, the veterinarian might prescribe a prescription dog food that supports your dog during the health recovery process. These foods are made by a variety of manufacturers. The food types are also different with varying ingredients to address different illnesses, allergies, etc. Prescription dog foods must be chosen well and fed with proper instructions from the vet only.
Do You Really Need a Prescription for Dog Food?
You do not legally require a prescription to purchase vet dog food as such. This is also because unlike prescription drugs, prescription foods do not require the manufactures to abide by and complete the FDA approval process while changing the ingredients. Prescription dog foods are easily available online at Amazon, Chewy and similar pet stores.
Prescription dog foods are different and specially formulated foods for sure. However, “prescription” is more of a marketing word here.
When to Give a Dog Prescription Pet Food?
Prescription pet foods are recommended for dogs suffering from certain types of health problems. These include obesity, pancreatitis, digestive issues, food allergies and mostly bladder stones. In these problems, diet and food ingredients directly impact on the symptoms. That is why your dog should be fed with foods that do not contain holistic ingredients.
Prescription dog foods are special formulas combining protein, fiber, fat and other nutrients in varying proportions. This makes them suitable for dogs with the said health concerns. For instance, Hill’s prescription dog foods can be of three types to deal with different kinds of bladder stones in dogs. If your dog has urate and cystine stones, they will need the Hill’s u/d diet while the brand’s c/d diet is recommended for struvite stones as this diet makes the urine acidic enough to dissolve the stones.
Are Prescription Dog Foods More Expensive?
Prescription dog foods or vet-recommended dog formulas are a lot more expensive than regular pet foods. Sometimes, they may be just double the price of their regular counterpart.
However, this is justified due to a few factors. First, each type of prescription dog food is formulated to deal with particular diseases and health concerns in dogs. Second, these foods contain a significant proportion of bio-available ingredients that are extremely beneficial for your dog. There is also more R&D coupled with great expectation from these foods, contributing to their high price.
Why Do Some Dog Foods Require a Prescription?
Unlike prescription drugs, prescription feeds do not need to abide by the FDA regulations. Therefore, no dog foods require a prescription from the veterinarian in the true sense. However, prescription dog foods should be given to your dog only after subsequent consultation with the vet. It is only after a proper understanding of your dog’s health issue that the right prescription dog formula can be determined because these foods have very specific formulas behind them.
What Ingredients are in Prescription Dog Food Diets?
Prescription diet dog foods vary widely in terms of ingredients. These are special formulas meant for a specific purpose such as alleviating pain, improving the digestive system, reducing obesity, etc. However, these foods are generally free of grains, artificial flavors, and preservatives. They are supposed to be purer and more nutritious than regular dog foods. Though, many people and organizations believe that they are a bit over-hyped too.
Some of the predominant ingredients found in most types of prescription dog foods include chicken, complex carbs, essential fatty acids, pork fat, chicken liver, soybean oil, lactic acid, flaxseed, potassium chloride, dried beet pulp and vitamins, mainly vitamin E supplements.
Top 5 Best Prescription Dog Foods
Following are the top 5 product ranges, brought forth by reputed individual manufacturers. Each range of prescription diet dog food comprises several products, each of which targets specific diseases and health problems.
Here is a list of the 5 best prescription dog foods.
1. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
The Royal Canin Canine Veterinary Diet is a popular range of prescription dog foods that are prescribed by your vet. Formulated for specific needs, this range of foods supports obesity management, renal function, mobility, digestive problems and intolerances, skin care and many more. Some of the well-known products within this range are as follows:
Hypoallergenic is prescribed for dogs with a food allergy, Adverse Food Reactions, gastrointestinal signs, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Its hydrolyzed protein isolate content composed of weight peptides and low molecular weight assists in digestion with very low allergenicity. The omega-3 long chain fatty acids, on the other hand, support intestinal mucosal integrity. The food contains a combination of prebiotics, rice, beet pulp, rice, fish oil and highly digestible proteins as the primary ingredients.
Cardiac helps dogs with heart diseases and hypertension. The food contains Polyphenols that contribute to vasodilatation and also neutralizes free radicals. It improves the electrolyte balance with by means of restricting Sodium and balancing the Potassium and Magnesium to optimum levels. A moderate amount of Phosphorus provides renal support and prevents Chronic Renal Failure. The Taurine and L-carnitine content, on the other hand, enhances heart contractility and myocyte function.
Calm is yet another special formula from the range and it works towards helping adult dogs manage and control difficult situations and stress-related dermatological and digestive signs and symptoms. The food contains a-S1 casein hydrolysate of milk origin, which acts as a serotonin precursor in regulating stress, sleep, and appetite in dogs.
Hepatic helps dogs with Chronic Hepatitis, Hepatic Encephalopathy, Portosystemic Shunt, and Copper Metabolism Disorders. It contains highly digestible vegetable proteins that are better tolerated by dogs suffering from these issues. The synergistic antioxidant complex helps considerably in slowing down the hepatocyte degradation.
Diabetic with its potential for glucomodulation and mixed cereals for low glycaemic index enables controlling postprandial hyperglycemia. It promises high protein levels that promote lean muscle mass while the antioxidant complex allows combating oxidative stress, caused by Diabetes Mellitus.
2. Hill's Prescription Diet
The Hill’s Prescription Diet range is yet another popular and much preferred vet-recommended dog food range that includes the following special formulas:
Urinary Care – The Prescription Diet C/D Multicare Clinical Nutrition has been developed by the nutritionists and veterinarians at Hill’s. This particular formula is meant to support the urinary health of your dog, reducing the risk of calcium oxalate and struvite stones in the urinary tract.
Joint Care – The Prescription Diet J/D Canine is a balanced and complete food that improves your dog’s mobility while also supplying him/her with the right nutrition for overall well-being. The formula shows results in as less as 21 days, enabling your furry one to walk, run or jump with greater ease.
Weight Management – The Prescription Diet Metabolic Natural is enriched with natural ingredients and helps your dog with weight management issues. It reduces obesity, which comes in your dog’s way of a healthy life and mobility. With pure chicken being the primary ingredient, the formula is devoid of any corn, wheat, soy artificial color or chicken by-product meal whatsoever.
Digestive Care – The Prescription Diet I/D Canine Stress Rice, Vegetables & Chicken Stew helps your dog control stress and prevent the intestinal microflora imbalance resulting from stress. The food is a specially formulated one, working well in managing stress-related digestive problems in dogs of up to 30 lbs of weight.
Environmental Sensibilities – The Prescription Diet Derm Defense Canine Chicken & Vegetable Stew helps dog manage environmental sensibilities. The formula comes packed with nutrition and with a great taste that your pet just loves. If your dog is affected by any of the harmful irritants in the surrounding environment and is developing skin allergies as a result, intake of this formula shows visible results.
3. Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
Purina is a leading name in the pet care industry. The brand’s range of Pro Plan Veterinary Diets encompasses a range of products, some of which are:
Calming Care Dog Probiotic Supplement – This is an essential probiotic formula that primarily works towards helping dogs maintain a calm behavior. This prescription dog food enables your furry one to cope with external stress factors which can come in the form of changes in location, routine, unfamiliar guests in the house or separation with family members. The food promotes a positive emotional state in the dogs, thereby, maintaining their cardiac activity during stressful events.
Clinical Nutrition – Rich in antioxidants, this formula is ideally recommended for dogs, recovering from surgeries or prolonged treatments. It is dense in energy and supplies your dog with the needed calories. The protein content provides essential amino acids that help in tissue repair. The high-fat content, on the other hand, enhances the energy density further.
Dental Health Dog Food – Available in a crunchy texture and with a great taste, this particular prescription dog food is proven to reduce tartar build-up in your dogs to a significant extent. It is a medically tested product that is also rich in protein and antioxidants.
Dermatologic Management Nutrition – Another specially formulated dog food, the formula is designed to deal with the dermatological issues your dog is facing. It is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help in supporting healthy and shiny skin and coat. The food is 100% natural with added minerals and vitamins and is devoid of any wheat, corn or artificial flavor whatsoever.
Gastroenteric Dog Food – This low in fiber and highly digestible food comes across as a wholesome, balanced formula. It allows optimal nutrient absorption and improves the digestive system of your dog. Its probiotic and moderate fat content helps in supporting your dog’s intestinal health.
4. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet
The Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet range boasts of quite a few formulas that benefit your dog in several ways. Some of these products include:
KS Kidney Support – This particular prescription dog food helps your dog manage kidney workload. It has controlled levels of minerals coupled with vital nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids for improving overall body and health conditions in dogs.
NP Novel Protein – This pure protein formula is ideal for dogs with food intolerances. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and, therefore, supports healthy skin and coat in your dog. The key antioxidants and vitamin E and C work together in improving the immunity system of your furry one.
WU Weight Management and Urinary Care – This formula boasts of increased fiber content coupled with controlled mineral levels. With such ideal levels of fat and calories, this food helps dogs fight with obesity and manage their weight. Absolutely free of grains and artificial flavor, it has a delicious taste that dogs simply love.
GI Gastrointestinal Support – It is an easily digestible formula, recommended for dogs with digestive issues. It is rich in proteins and carbohydrates for optimal nutrient absorption while the key antioxidants support a healthy immune system. Available with a delicious taste, it is a wholesome, natural diet that meets the nutritional needs of your dogs.
HF Hydrolyzed for Food Intolerance – This food comes in the form of hydrolyzed salmon that is a readily digestible protein source. It minimizes the chance of adverse reaction to foods. The omega-3 fatty acid content supports healthy shine and coat while the antioxidants support the overall immunity system of your dog.
5. HI-TOR Veterinary Select Eno Diet
The Hi-Tor Veterinary Select range boasts of a few specially formulated diets that vets highly recommend for dogs with health concerns. These include but are not restricted to the following:
The ENO Diet for Dogs is formulated to promote a non-irritating and a rather bland diet for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. It is highly digestible and contains no artificial flavors whatsoever.
The Reduso Diet for Dogs is meant for the dietary management of adult dogs that are overweight.
The Felo Diet is formulated to provide a low magnesium and phosphorus-based diet. It is 100% natural and promotes the overall well-being of your dog/cat.
The Neo Diet is a vet-recommended food that also helps dogs in dietary management. Rich in nutrients, it is low in protein and high in antioxidants.
While choosing prescription pet foods, make sure consulting with the vet and then buying it from any of these ranges of pet foods.