Like humans, pets also need a well-balanced diet to keep their digestive system in good health, improve their immune system, and keep their fur coat shiny. The market is full of varieties of pet food. You need to be careful when selecting food for your pet. To make things easy for you, we have shared guidelines on choosing healthy food for pets.
Look at the Ingredients
According to pet nutrition experts, you need to select food that matches your pet’s biological makeup. The food for cats and dogs would be different. You need to look for pet food with grain-free, natural, and high protein ingredients. Besides this, the pet also needs foods with dietary components and plant-based nutrients for optimal health. Just like for humans, dogs too may require additional supplements with minerals and other missing vitamins for maximum nutrition!
Select the Right Protein Source
Protein is the most important dietary importance of pet food. It can be obtained from different sources like beef, fish, pork, and poultry (duck, chicken, turkey). Oilseeds (soybeans) and grains (wheat, corn) also provide protein. Selecting a protein source can be tricky for pet owners. Things can become ugly if your pet has food sensitivity issues.
To be on the safer side, ask your veterinarian either in person or remotely with a tele-vet service to select the right protein source. Based on his or her recommendations, you can choose any food that meets your pet’s dietary needs.
Consider the Weight and Activity Level.
Pets also have overweight issues that are bad for their overall health and well-being. Select food designed to meet the specific needs of your pet. You need to assess your pet activity level to determine the feeding amount. For example, a Labrador who gets little exercise may need 10% less food than recommended portions. Active dogs may need 30% to 40% more food.
Look for Healthy Fats
You cannot call a pet food healthy unless it has the right amount of healthy fats. Leading brands of healthy food for pets contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your dog. The omega-3 fatty content is generally mentioned on the nutrition label of pet food. The source of omega-3 fatty acids must also be there.
Some of the good sources of omega—3 fatty acids are canola oil, flax oil, and salmon. The ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is also crucial. As per leading veterinarians, a ratio of 5:1 to 10:1 is considered good.
Healthy food for pets ideally are made from locally sourced ingredients that guarantee the freshness of the ingredients. Frozen ingredients lose nutrients and taste when stored for long periods. Hence, you need to look for pet food made from ingredients that are Australia sourced, made, or owned if you live in that country or whatever origin makes sense for where you live.
Decide Between Dry Food and Canned Food.
Pet food is available in different forms, including dry food and canned food. Selecting between dry and canned food is a matter of choice and your budget. Most pets are OK with both forms of food, but some might be sensitive to one or another.
If the pet’s digestive system cannot process the food problem, your pet may suffer from diarrhoea or vomiting. Canned food is more expensive than dry food. Such canned food contains 75% water. It would help if you considered your dog’s taste preferences and health while choosing between two.
Go for a Rotational Feeding Model
There are different kinds of nutrition for pets in many flavors and textures. You can opt for a rotational feeding model where you can introduce your pet to foods with different flavors and textures. This will discourage picky eating behavior in your pet, and it will relish the food served on the plate.
You can also follow this approach and select foods with different protein sources. It will help your pet to get complete nourishment and make his immune system stronger.
Join your dog breed’s community (online or off)
Want to see how a certain brand fairs with your pup’s breed? Check out what other pet parents are saying. Your question isn’t in the yahoo groups thread? Be proactive and ask it, chances are other eager pet parents are seeking the same knowledge.
To sum up, a healthy diet is a daily requirement for your pet. Ensure the pet food fulfills all the nutritional needs of your pet and keeps him in good health.
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