Choosing the Right Pet Food
Proper nutrition is one of the most important factors in maintaining optimum pet health. Proper nutrition maximizes the body’s potential to perform at its best, as well as fight off disease.
With pet foods, you get what you pay for. Cheap pet foods use cheap ingredients, have poor quality control, are not well digested, and may have excesses or deficiencies in vital nutrients causing harm to your pet. When analyzed by independent laboratories, cheap foods frequently do not have the level of nutrition stated on the label. Choosing a well-known brand is the best insurance of proper nutrition for your pet.
Pets do not need variety
Your pet will do best if you pick one complete food that is appropriate for his/her age and activity level, and stick with it. Changes in brands of food often cause digestive upsets, such as vomiting and/or diarrhea. Pets also tend to become finicky eaters when fed a varied diet, causing problems for their owners later on. Any time you do switch brands of food for your pet, it should be done gradually by mixing the two diets together for a few days slowly decreasing the old diet with the new diet.
Don’t base your food choices on what you would like to eat as many pet food manufacturers would like you to do. Dogs and cats are mostly color blind, so they don’t care whether the food is red or brown. They also don’t care if it looks like beef stew or little pork chops! The fancier the food looks, the more you are paying for unnecessary artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives.
Dry food is best for your pet’s teeth & gums
The only difference in a canned food is that it contains more water, which does enhance the flavor and smell. When you buy a canned food, you are buying 80% water. It is OK to supplement the dry food with a little canned food, as long as you pick a good one and don’t overdo it. A secret: warming the food in a microwave or wetting the dry food with hot water releases the outer coating of the food which generates a lot more flavor. Most foods are sprayed with an outer chicken coating during processing. Dry food is also a lot more economical to feed your pet.
Feed a food designed for your pet’s life stage
Puppies and kittens should be fed foods labeled for young, growing pets. Adult pets should be fed a food that is properly balanced for maintenance of health rather than for growing. Foods designed for young growing pets can easily cause obesity in the mature or senior pet. Free-Choice Feeding is discouraged because of the tendency toward obesity.
What about premium foods?
Premium foods contain superior nutrition over grocery store brands. The finest pet foods are formulated with controlled levels of key nutrients like fat, protein, phosphorus, and magnesium to help reduce the risk of such problems as obesity and kidney disease. Better foods may cost more per bag, but the superior nutrition and better digestibility of these foods means you feed less per day, you clean up fewer stools later, and your veterinary bill for nutritionally-related diseases will be reduced.
What about treats?
Many over-the-counter treats are full of salt and other bad stuff! We recommend Prescription Diets t/d as a treat because it is nutritionally balanced and will help keep the teeth clean. C.E.T. Chews are available at the clinic and incorporate enzymes into the rawhide that chemically help keep the teeth clean.