Did you know that March is National Pet Nutrition Month? Whether you have just adopted a dog or cat forthe first time or you have been a pet parent for years, this is the perfect time to consider the importance of high quality pet food.
Many people don't give a lot of thought to the dog or cat food they buy because their animal appears healthy. While this may be true now, consuming poor quality food over a lifetime does its damage slowly. A pet that appears to be in good health today could actually have internal damage and be slowly declining. It is important that during your visits with us you ask the best options for your pet’s optimum health and wellness.
Dog Food Basics
According to Pet Health 101, a company that manufactures dog food can place the label "premium" on its product as long as it contains at least one percent beef. With that low of a standard, it's especially important for dog owners to take the time to read the nutrition label of all dog foods before purchasing them.
To ensure a healthy diet for your canine companion, look for a food with animal protein as the first ingredient. If the dog food contains fruits, vegetables or grains, make sure they are still in their pure form. When a pet food company processes these ingredients, it causes them to lose vitamins and nutrients that are essential to your dog's health. Of course, all of the doctors at Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo can point you in the right direction as far as the most appropriate food for your canine.
Cat Food Basics
Like dogs, cats do best when the first ingredient in their food is an animal protein. If you are trying to stay away from grained-based products because you're concerned about your cat being overweight, keep in mind that even these cat foods can be high in carbohydrates. This is especially true of foods that contain potatoes and vegetables. As long as the grains or carbohydrates are only in small amounts, your cat can convert them to energy.
Before you put the cat food in your cart, look for the Guaranteed Analysis on its packaging. This ensures that the food meets the minimum requirements for fat, fiber, protein, and water. Fish oil is an especially important fat for cats.
Pet Food Recalls
A pet food may be recalled if enough owners complain that it made their animal sick or even killed them. That was the case with a dog and cat treat manufactured in China that is linked to the death of 1,000 dogs since 2007. Because recalls aren't always well publicized, it's crucial for pet owners to check the pet food recall list every month to see if any new foods have been added to it. Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo will send out notifications and post notices when products are recalled, but it’s helpful to know the direct source of where to look, as well.
As we’ve posted before, there is a lot of debate over raw-food diets, and their overall impact on your pet’s health. We fully believe that it is as important to have discernment in your pet’s diet, as you would have with your own. Assuredly, we are always available to help consult on the nutritional needs of your companions, (well, at least the 4-legged ones!)
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