Working as a small animal veterinarian for over 10 years now, I have seen a significant shift in the way pet parents are feeding their pets. Pet nutrition has become one of the most talked about and relevant topics concerning our pet’s health. Just like us, what we feed our pets is a direct reflection of their energy levels, overall wellbeing, and health. I discuss with my pets parents many different types of diets, such as the raw diet, the gluten free diet, novel protein diets, organic diets, etc., and always my advice focuses on how to pick the best diet for your pet and choosing a high quality of the diet. So today I would like to discuss my top tips on how to chose the right food for your pet and how to ensure it is a high quality diet. Lets get started:
Dr. Alison’s Top Tips On Choosing The Best Diet For Your Pet:
Choose A Food That Is Appropriate For The Life Stage That Your Pet Is In:
- Did you know that puppies’ nutritional needs are different than an adult dog, or that a cat that has kidney disease should not get the same amount of protein that a standard adult cat diet contains? Pets require different kinds of nutrients, supplements, and vitamins at different times in their lives. Specific, prescription diets are recommended for specific diseases that your pet may have. It is very important to speak with your veterinarian regarding the proper diet that your pet should be on at different stages and times in their lives.
Choose A Diet That Is AAFCO Approved
- AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This is the organization is responsible for safeguarding the health of animal and human. They are responsible for regulating the manufacture, labeling, distribution and sale of animal feeds – resulting in safe, effective and useful feeds by promoting uniformity amongst member agencies. Diets that have been AAFO approved have been tested and assured that they are healthy and balanced with all the proper minerals, nutrients, and vitamins needed for your pet.
Choose A Diet That Constrains High Quality Food
- Feeding your pet a high-quality food and how that can have a huge impact on your pet’s overall health, while preventing ailments from affecting your pet down the road. High quality food originates from the ingredients that make up the diet. Higher quality diets include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and proteins. Higher quality foods contain no by-products, no fillers, no chemical preservatives, or artificial colors, and flavors. These diets may contain all natural supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. I absolutely love and trust Wellness CORE and it is what feed my own dog. Wellness CORE is a balanced diet that is grain free, contains all the highest quality ingredients, added supplements (omega 3 fatty acids, and glucosamine), and higher protein for lean body mass and muscle tone.
Read The Ingredient List On The Food Packaging
- All ingredients in a diet are listed on the package from descending order of weight. So generally speaking the first 5 to 7 items on the list are the major ingredients in the food. You want the top ingredients to be real meats, whole grains, and vegetables, avoiding diets with ingredients that list by- products, unnamed meat meals, and partial grains.
Avoid Harmful Ingredients
- As discussed, look on the ingredient list for harmful additives. Try and avoid ingredients that list artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, sodium nitrite and nitrate), synthetic chemicals, artificial flavors (corn syrup, propylene glycol, molasses and MSG), and fillers (wheat mill run, rice bran, corn brain, hulls and certain pulps) that can pose health concerns and cause a negative effect on your pets overall health and wellbeing.
If Your Pet Has A Health Condition, Speak With Your Veterinarian Regarding A Prescription Diet For Your Pet
- As mentioned above, specific, prescription diets are recommended for specific diseases that your pet may have. If your pet has a food allergy, prescription hypoallergenic diets can be prescribed to ensure they do not have allergic reactions. If your pet has been diagnosed with Diabetes, specific prescription diets can be prescribed to help regulate sugar levels. If your pet has arthritis, certain supplemented can be recommended to help your pet move around with more east. It is very important to speak with your veterinarian regarding the proper diet that your pet should be on at different stages and times in their lives.
With the increasing knowledge and awareness of nutrition and its impact on our overall health, it is only natural that people want to feed their pets the healthiest and best foods. The pet food market is growing rapidly and higher quality foods are becoming more readily available for our pets. It is more convenient and easier than ever to ensure your pet is getting the best. As a small animal veterinarian, I love that pet parents are becoming more actively involved in the health and wellness of their pets and nothing is more important than nutrition. Our pets rely on us to make the right choices for them. Providing them with the proper diets at different stages in their lives, as well we a high quality diet is one of the most important choices we can make for them and they will repay us with many years of unfaltering devotion, love, and health.