A question pet owners ask veterinarians quite often: What food should it give to my pet?
Navigating through the diverse list of options can be overwhelming because the choice is far from black and white. Pet food commercials advertise what they think people want to see and prey on the latest fads in human food by developing products they believe will attract pet owners, even if they’re not healthy for pets.
This article is supposed to help you navigate pet foods and make a healthy choice for your pet. As you research the options, make sure the one you feed to your pet includes these features.
First ingredient is meat
Pets such as dogs need protein that comes from meat, so don’t buy foods that contain soy or corn as a primary ingredient because they don’t offer your dog the nutrients required to stay healthy. Buy pet foods that have meat listed first and consider the benefits of raw protein as a natural way your pet processes protein. Ask your doctor if you should feed them processed or raw food. Each pet has unique health needs, and only your veterinarian can tell you what kind of diet is ideal for them.
A reputable company produces the food
The pet food industry Europe based is well-known for the regulations it imposes on pet food producers to ensure that only high-quality food gets on the shelves. Check who produces the pet food before purchasing and if the company is long-established or just entered the market. Large brands have evidence-based science behind their products and quality control standards to meet the latest regulations.
The producer has a PhD nutritionist or veterinary on their staff
When you need health advice, you visit a healthcare centre known for its specialists and good care. You wouldn’t visit a hospital that lacks doctors. The same applies when you shop around for pet products like chicken meat powder. Producers with a veterinary or PhD nutritionist on their team develop formulations that have a high nutritional quality.
The company has quality control procedures in place
All pet foods and treats you purchase from a local store face the risk of containing mould toxins, disease-causing pathogens, environmental pollutants, and other unsafe elements. Hence, it’s crucial to buy pet products only from producers who are meticulous about their quality control procedures.
The products’ labels contain no false claims
Don’t buy pet food from companies that claim that their products can prevent or treat specific health conditions. Most times, products from such companies are of poor quality and use false advertisement to attract customers. For a food brand to claim that its products prevent or treat a particular health condition, it needs scientific studies, research, and strict guidelines. If they develop such food, it’s labelled as a therapeutic diet and formulated precisely to treat or alleviate an issue. You could purchase such products only from a veterinarian or through vendors that ask for a prescription.
Manufacturers add preservatives to pet food to make it shelf-stable. However, it’s best to buy fresh food because it has a higher nutritional content. If the veterinarian recommends offering only fresh food to your dog, you can prepare it at home. However, keep in mind that it can be a time-consuming job, and if you lack the knowledge to prepare it properly, it can put your pet’s health at risk because home cooking lacks nutritional testing. Your veterinarian can provide guidance on how to cook your pet’s needs to meet their nutritional and health needs.
Nowadays, you can find several fresh food manufacturers that deliver the products directly to your house on the market. If you choose this solution, make sure it works with veterinary nutritionists on picking the best ingredients.
Does your pet spend most of their time indoors or outdoors? Do you take them for short walks daily? Do they road around the house the entire day? How much energy your pet expends daily provides plenty of insight into the specific nutrients they need to support their lifestyle. Consult the veterinarian if you don’t know what food to offer them, and they’ll make recommendations and even suggest what brands provide the best food for your pet’s needs.
Some preservatives can trigger responses in your pet’s metabolism that can cause health conditions like diabetes and obesity. Flavours and artificial sweeteners can add undue amounts of sugars to their diet and also harm their overall health. Approach buying pet food similar to purchasing human food; look for ingredients you can pronounce and easily recognise.
It’s recommended to don’t offer them products that include soy, corn, or other grains because even if they’re not inherently unhealthy, they can be allergens for some pets and trigger weight gain. Buy pet food containing whole vegetables and fruits like blueberries, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes because they support and improve eyesight and shiny coats.
Any food you feed your pet should include whole proteins as the first ingredient. Stay away from the products that list natural flavours, chicken flavours, or soybean at the top of the list of ingredients. Fats are essential ingredients for a healthy diet because they are the primary energy source integral to hormone production, adsorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so keep an eye for unsaturated fats.
Your pet’s breed, weight, and age are essential determiners for their nutritional needs. What type of food and how much they need depends on their age and health. If you have a senior pet, you should look for foods that offer additional support for health conditions common for their bread. A cat has totally different nutritional requirements from a dog, and a Sphinx cat has different needs from a British Shorthair. Also, puppies need a unique diet that enables them to grow healthy and strong.
Remember that the right food for your pet combines the right ingredient, nutritional value, and scientific research.