The ABCs of a Healthy Pet Diet
When it comes to feeding your pet, there’s no doubt you have many options. Brand name, generic, canned, dry—the choices are overwhelming and endless. Here, we have the top 10 list of what to look for when it comes to feeding your dog or cat, as well as some helpful feeding information. After all, food is the fuel to a happy and healthy pet!
- The protein content recommended for a balanced diet for dog is 20 to 30 percent. Be sure to include protein rich food in your dog's diet. Chicken, salmon and lamb are good sources of protein. On the other hand, cats require a diet higher in protein. If you are a cat owner, look for food that has a protein content of at least 50 percent.
- Your pet needs “fuel” to stay healthy and active, so provide it with food rich in fat and oils. These nutrients also help in improving the taste and digestive capacity of the pet. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are also important inclusions in the balanced diet of your pet. These nutrients are required for strong bones and teeth as well as the development of cells and tissue.
- Cereals, pasta and rice are rich sources of carbohydrate, an essential nutrient required for the supply of energy to the pet. Complement the food with fibrous food, as it will improve the smooth bowel movement of the pet. Avoid foods that are high in corn. Not only are they not as nutritious as whole grains, but they are also common allergens.
- Avoid foods filled with by-products. This tactic is often used by less expensive brands to keep costs down. But it’s not worth your pet’s health, as these contain little to no nutrition, and often contain ingredients that would make even your pet cringe! Additionally, by-products are not as filling as quality ingredients, so your pet will often need to eat more to feel full. This will cost you in the long run anyway, as you’ll have to buy more food, as well as potentially face obesity-related health issues.
- Keep it consistent. While it’s tempting to just buy what is on sale, it's upsetting to your pet's stomach to constantly switch brands and flavors, and you’ll likely end up with a picky eater. Check out CoolSavings to look for coupons for your preferred brand of pet food.
- Feed your dog with food at regular intervals. You should serve a measured meal, twice a day. Feed your pet on scheduled timings.
- All pet owners love to reward their pets with treats, and there’s no doubt they deserve it! But it’s important not to overdo it, as treats are very high in calories, and can quickly pack on the pounds. An overweight pet is prone to all kinds of health problems, including cancer and joint problems.
- Choose foods without dyes or preservatives.
- Incorporate plenty of hydration into your pet's diet. This is especially important if you feed your pet dry food, as it contains very little moisture. Try mixing it up with canned food.
- Choose food according to your pet's age. Food is specially formulated to life stages, and will contain nutrition unique to your pet’s needs. Avoid foods that advertise as "good for all life stages."