Every day we provide food for our pets. They depend on us for this basic need. They don’t have to make the decision of what to cook tonight after work; they’re not tempted at the grocery store or the weekend party to make the not-so-healthy-food choice. We decide for them and they eat. What a great opportunity we have to give them good health by controlling what they eat!
There are a lot of pet foods available in all shapes and sizes and blends and types. Many of them are very good but some aren’t so good, depending on many factors. We all know that we could survive by eating junk food day after day, but would our health be optimal? As humans, we thrive on certain amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates (macronutrients), certain amounts of fiber, and then enough vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). The same is true for cats and dogs.
Make sure what you feed your cat or dog has been properly formulated and well-balanced for them. Cats and dogs are not small people. They need different nutrition than you and I do.
Cats are carnivores – they need meat. They need a higher protein and lower carbohydrate diet than dogs. They need the amino acid, taurine, to be provided in the diet. Cats will do better, especially with age, if they eat a wet food or a combination of wet and dry.
Dog are omnivores – plants and meat. They still need a good balance of macro and micronutrients – one that is formulated for dogs. It’s very important that young, growing, large breed dogs are not fed a diet too high in calories – as it would promote rapid weight gain and rapid growth, ultimately leading to joint and bone problems.
Some breeds of dogs would benefit from a lower fat diet. Others, depending on the activity level, size, and environment would do better with lower or higher caloric intake from carbohydrates.
Food is medicine. Many specially formulated veterinary diets are made to be an important part of the treatment of certain diseases and conditions – diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, skin disease, and pancreatitis. Your veterinarian will often prescribe food as part of the treatment plan.
Pet foods that are made by a reputable company have been formulated after rigorous research and testing and safety checks. These days knowing what’s in your pet’s food is more important than ever.
Talk to your veterinarian or one of the knowledgeable staff about nutrition. We can help you choose food and choose wisely.