If you’ve ever looked up “best dog food” or “best cat food” on the Internet, you know how many options there are. Dry, canned, handmade, raw, or freeze-dried foods are all options. That isn’t even taking into account the variety of brands available. You can’t just pick the first pet food bag you see in the supermarket. A balanced diet is essential for your pet to live the longest and healthiest life possible.
What do you look for in getting the best pet food?
If your pet is on a low-quality diet, we recommend switching to higher-quality food to help them live longer and be healthier. Read on to discover the top three guidelines for selecting a high-quality diet.
Think about your pet’s age.
The appropriate type of food is dependent on the age of your pet. The first step in selecting a meal for your dog or cat is to evaluate the life stage of your pet:
- kitten/puppy (up to 1 year old)
- grown-up (between 1 and 7 years old)
- seniority (7 years or older)
Foods labeled “for all life phases” may not provide the nourishment your pet needs, especially if you have a young pet or a pregnant female.
Select a food category for your pet.
Pet meals come in a variety of flavors. Whether you feed them at home or at a dog or cat boarding facility, determining the category of food your pet takes in is crucial. See below for a breakdown of each which is provided below.
Commercial Dry Food and Canned Food
The most common choices among pet owners are commercial dry food and canned food. It is a good idea to feed your pets high-quality dry or canned food. Both have a lengthy shelf life and are nutrient-dense (if the food is of good quality). Dry food is usually less expensive than canned food, but they are both economical.
Raw Food Diets
Raw food has been increasingly popular in recent years. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) have all issued statements warning dogs and cats from eating raw or undercooked animal-source protein.
The Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program prohibits raw meat meals for animals. There are several reasons for this, which include the presence of potentially hazardous bacteria in raw meat, the risk of salmonella from raw meat, the association of raw bones with dental problems in dogs, and the nutritional imbalance of raw diets.
This is the superior alternative if you don’t mind spending more time and money. It’s not as simple as feeding your pets your dinner. Commercial foods are subjected to extensive testing and study to ensure optimal nutrition, but a homemade diet lacks this benefit.
It can be difficult to ensure that your pet gets enough calcium, copper, iodine, fat-soluble vitamins, and B vitamins. Working with your veterinarian to create a well-balanced home-cooked diet that satisfies all nutritional requirements and is appropriate for your pet’s age, lifestyle, and condition is critical. For more information in pet care, you can also try visiting websites like westfieldanimal.com.
Select the ideal recipe for your pet.
You’re ready to choose food now that you know your pet’s life stage and the type of food you wish to use. If you buy a bag of food from a pet store, the bag contains all of the necessary information. According to current pet food standards, pet food labels must include the following details.
- Name of the product
- Weight (net)
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- Assurance of analysis
- Ingredients’ list
- The terms “dog” or “cat” food are used interchangeably.
- Nutritional adequacy statement
- Feeding recommendations
- Dietary calorie content provided in both kcal/M.E./kg and a common household unit (e.g., cups or cans)
The proportion of an ingredient in a product’s name tells you a lot about how much of that ingredient is in it. Using the term “beef” in a product name, for example, signifies that beef must account for at least 70% of the whole product. However, terms like “beef supper,” “beef entrée,” “beef platter,” and others indicate that beef accounts for 25% or more of the entire product. “With beef” denotes a beef content of at least 3%, while “beef flavor” denotes the least quantity of beef.
The ingredient list can assist you in figuring out where your pet’s protein and carbs come from, and it can also help you figure out whether your pet has a food allergy. Read more information about pet care here.
Fewer skin disorders, less itching, fewer gastrointestinal difficulties, better muscle tone, stronger bones, healthier teeth, more energy, better temperament, and so on are all benefits of getting the proper pet food. In addition, specific prescription diets can benefit pets with allergies, urinary difficulties, weight problems, joint problems, kidney problems, digestive problems, and more.
It’s important to remember that the most costly cuisine isn’t usually the best. It is best to consult your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate nutrition for your pet based on its breed, age, lifestyle, and health.