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Dr. Anita 寵物通訊

促進寵物消化系統健康的良方

發表於 07/09/2017

在現今社會,寵物漸漸融入大家的家庭裡,甚至完全屬於我們的一份子了,所以作為主人的你,絕對有責任管理寵物的飲食習慣。不過你曾否注意過,你的寵物是否有均衡飲食?是否有攝取各種營養?是否有良好的消化系統?若想寵物擁有健康的消化系統,首要及最重要的事,就是為寵物選擇合適的食物。以下幾點可以給主人們作個參考:

簡單為主的營養成分就足夠

怎樣為之均衡飲食?主要是讓寵物攝取這幾種營養:礦物質、維他命、氨基酸、 碳水化合物、脂肪和纖維。而以蛋白質和碳水化合物為主的食物,可有助減低寵物對食物過敏。但別以為吸取很多營養成分,就是對寵物最好,因為過多營養,反而會令牠們消化不良,嚴重的可出現腹瀉和嘔吐。另外,如頻繁地更換寵物的食物,更可令牠們的腸胃有食物過敏的可能性。如果想嘗試轉換你的小狗或小貓的食物,請記得不同的蛋白質的來源,有可能會影響牠們的消化系統。

為寵物選擇合適的食物很重要。

為寵物選擇合適的食物很重要。 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

確保控制脂肪含量

寵物經常出現消化不良的情況,那主要由於牠們攝取過多油膩食物或質量差的罐頭食物。高脂肪食物與胰腺炎相當有關聯,可導致寵物患上終身的嚴重疾病。所以為了減低寵物患上胰腺炎、消化不良或肥胖症的風險,控制脂肪攝入是非常重要。

越多容易消化的食物,越能減少腸胃不適

如果發現寵物有過敏或消化系統功能較弱的迹象,主人們可選擇給牠們進食含有容易消化的蛋白質及碳水化合物的食物,例如雞肉及米飯,這可減少牠們腸胃感到不適的機會,還可以讓食物中的卡路里和營養,更容被轉換或吸收。

雞肉可減少寵物腸胃感到不適的機會。

雞肉可減少寵物腸胃感到不適的機會。 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

纖維是寵物胃腸的好朋友!

想寵物保持腸道健康,就要依靠大量的纖維。非可溶性纖維能夠促進食物消化,並有效提高糞便的堅固性。非可溶性纖維及可溶性纖維必須共存,因為兩種纖維皆能排走糖分和膽固醇。以上只列出了部分原因,說明纖維是寵物腸道的好朋友,其實還有更多原因可解釋纖維為甚麼是一個這麼重要的營養成分。

其實主人可根據寵物的年齡、身形、運動習慣及健康情況,為牠們調整不同的飲食習慣。對於那些具有敏感性的消化系統的寵物,希望上述方法能夠改善牠們的腸道問題。

消化系統世界裡的好幫手

在為寵物選擇合適的食物時應要多加留意當中所包含的食材,因此根據上述所提及對消化系統有利的元素,以下是一些例子關於優質寵物食品中找到的食物材料:

亞麻種子 - 提供豐富的奧米加、鋅、鐵和維生素 B,以及高含量的纖維,有助預防寵物便秘。
菊苣 - 來自於菊粉,有助於消化與吸收。
長豆角 - 含一系列豐富的營養包括多酚,鈣和硒。傳統用於治療由可導致腸粘膜結合作用的單寧所引致的腹瀉。
玉米或玉米麵筋 - 易於消化的氨基酸、礦物甜菜漿和纖維素,為慢性發酵提供纖維。
南瓜 - 包含 β-胡蘿蔔素、維生素 C、鉀、纖維、類胡蘿蔔素,藉以對抗游離基。
益生纖維例如麴菌餐 - 提供寡醣例如低聚果糖,支持寵物的腸道菌群。
仙人掌 - 早於幾個世紀前人們已經用作予醫學用途,當中包含皂苷和酚類可以用來清除游離基並提供抗炎作用。在炎症或皮膚問題以及關節炎上有很大的幫助,亦有助於減少糞便所發出的氣味。

亞麻種子

亞麻種子 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

玉米

玉米 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

南瓜

南瓜 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

其實不同的寵物可根據牠們的年齡、身型、運動水平以及健康要求,從而制定適合的膳食餐單,提高成效。對於消化系統較敏感的寵物或一些想從飲食入手解決寵物消化問題的主人,上述文章所提及的要點和有益食材將會有助你為至愛寵物找到所需的營養,從而保護消化系統及腸道健康。

 

 

Nutrition for Optimal Digestion

Digestive health is invariably related to the food that our pets are eating each day and it is important to ensure all nutritional requirements are met when choosing food for our pet. In our modern societies, dogs and cats live as part of our family and as such, relies fully on us for providing all their nutritional needs. It is a great responsibility for pet owners when deciding what diet our pets receive and the choices of pet food can appear overwhelming. Here are a few points to consider when choosing the most appropriate food for your pet:

Simple ingredients that you can stick to. A balance diet should contain all required minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats and fibres. However, this does not mean that choosing the diet with the longest list of ingredients would be the best. To reduce the chance of food sensitivity, it may be beneficial to use diets with a single source protein and main carbohydrate. Challenging the digestive tract with too many ingredients may lead to maldigestion which can present as intermittent vomiting or soft stools. Frequent changes in food can also expose the gut to extra allergens that can trigger an immune response and lead to the development of food allergies. 'Fussy' pets are simply those offered too many choices and encouraged by owners to demand treats and new food all the time as the owners believe that the pet will become 'bored' when sticking with one diet. So the next time you are tempted to switch your dog's food from beef to pork, or switch your cat's food from chicken to fish, remember that different protein sources can affect digestion and nutrition in different ways and that your pet was likely happy to stick with the original diet since it was not aware other options were available until you put it in front of them!

Ensure a controlled fat content. Episodes of digestive upsets often occur after eating particularly fatty treats, poor quality canned food or table scraps. High fat foods are also linked to pancreatitis, a severe condition that can become a lifelong problem for an affected pet. It is therefore important to control dietary fat intake in order to reduce risks of pancreatitis, digestive upsets and obesity.

Highly digestible ingredients to reduce digestive workload. If your pet is showing signs of a sensitive or weaker digestive system, it would be beneficial to choose diets containing easily digestible proteins (such as chicken) and easily digestible carbohydrates (such as white rice) so that less stress is placed on the gut and more calories and nutrients can easily be converted and absorbed from the food.

Fibre is your (GIT's) friend. A healthy gastrointestinal tract uses fibre in a great range of digestive processes to maintain bowel health. Insoluble fibre can be thought of a marvellous chimney sweep, moving everything along and getting rid of the residue and debris. It promotes the movement of digested food through the GIT as well as improving stool consistency by increasing faecal bulk. Soluble fibres must also exist at appropriate levels with insoluble fibres as they play a role in sugar and cholesterol absorption and control. Along with all these important digestive benefits, fibre is also an important ingredient for controlling calorie density and satiety.

Talented helpers in the world of digestion

A selection of ingredients which contribute to the different elements of digestive health described above are included in the following addendum as examples of what to look for in good quality pet food:

Flax seed - high in fibre and aids in preventing constipation. Flax seed also provides omega, zinc, iron and vitamin B.
Chicory - a source of inulin which is a soluble fibre beneficial to digestion and absorption.
Carob - contains polyphenols, calcium, selenium and a range of nutrients. Has traditional uses for treating diarrhoea due to tannins which can contribute to binding effects of intestinal mucosa.
Maize or corn gluten - easily digestible sources of amino acids and minerals
Beet pulp and cellulose - provides fibre for slow fermentation
Pumpkin - a nutrient-dense ingredient containing betacarotene, vitamin C, potassium, fibre and caroteinoids to neutralise free radicals.
Prebiotics such as aspergillus meal - provides oligosaccharides such as FOS to support gut microflora.
Yucca schidigera - a plant used for medicinal properties through the centuries. Contains saponins and phenolics to act as free radical scavengers and provide anti-inflammatory effects (useful in inflammatory digestive or skin problems as well as arthritis). Yucca is often used in pet food as an ingredient which helps reduce the odour of faeces.

Each pet will also benefit from adjustments in diet depending on their age, their body shape, exercise level and specific health requirements. For pets with sensitive digestive systems or for conscientious owners hoping to choose the best diet for preventing digestive issues, an awareness of the points and ingredients mentioned in this article will help guide you in finding the optimal nutrition to promote digestive health.

 

楊巧兒獸醫 Dr. Anita Young

目前在香港愛護動物組織擔任獸醫的楊巧兒(Anita),致力於研究並推廣防治疾病的綜合性藥物,同時,在客戶教育和寵物營養及相關產品的開發,提供指導與諮詢。

英國劍橋大學獸醫學士
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (University of Cambridge, UK)

英國劍橋大學文學碩士
Master of Arts (Cantab) (University of Cambridge, UK)

英國皇家獸醫學院會員
Member of Royal College ofVeterinary Surgeons (UK)

美國獸醫針灸證書
Certificate of Veterinary Acupuncture (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, USA)

楊巧兒獸醫 Dr. Anita Young

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