Eat Well, Live Well: Understanding Pet Nutrition
You’ve probably seen the aisles of pet food at your local store, but choosing a product is far from easy. You want to get the right food, but with so many special formulas, flavors, and fads (not to mention the pricing), how do you know what’s best? Tackling pet nutrition may seem daunting at first, but with a little help from us, it doesn’t have to be that way!
Bridging the Gap
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is vital to your pet’s health. Nutritional needs often vary based on size and breed. Lifestyle and life stages also have a great deal to do with food choice and portion size.
A major part of your pet’s regular preventive care exam is a discussion about pet nutrition. We’re always happy to discuss your pet’s dietary needs and answer any questions.
Meeting all of your pet’s nutritional needs increases his or her overall wellness and vitality. Specifically, providing the right food for him or her provides many healthy benefits, including:
- Smoother digestion
- Stronger immunity
- Increased muscle tone
- Coat luster
Before making a purchase, we recommend taking the following factors into account:
- Dietary/medical requirements
It’s important that your choice be approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This ensures the food has met specific nutritional standards to be marketed as “complete and balanced” for your pet’s life stage (a puppy or kitten has different needs than a senior pet). This also means your pet will receive the correct ratio of protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and water for ultimate health.
What’s With Prescription Diets?
Prescription diets go through extensive testing and research to ensure quality. Because these diets are designed to mitigate symptoms associated with a specific disease or condition, the products must meet exact standards.
If your pet has been diagnosed with a certain medical condition, our team will work with you to find a diet designed to extend his or her life.
The Notion of Portions
Food labels indicate how much you should feed your pet based on his or her weight. Counting calories in this way is a good place to start, but we’d also like to make sure you get the most precise portion for your pet’s health and target weight.
Remember, any extra calories can contribute to unhealthy weight gain, so please refrain from sharing table food or frequently indulging your pet in special treats.
Don’t forget that clean, fresh water is another necessary component in your pet’s diet and should always be available at – and between – meals.
From time to time, you may decide to provide your pet with healthy snacks, such as raw vegetables or DIY treats; however, this can be a large undertaking. Like the prepared food at the store, meals made at home must meet your pet’s needs completely. If you’re committed to making homemade pet food, please let us know if and how we can help you.
Pet Nutrition and You
We’re always happy to answer your questions and address your pet nutrition concerns! Please contact us for more information.