March is National Pet Food Nutrition Month, and the Grantsburg Animal Clinic wants to remind pet owners of some important tips for feeding their pets healthy food. The internet is full of pet owner's questions about food. Some want to know what the best food for their furry friends is, some are curious about how much they should feed them, and others just want to make sure that they're not feeding them anything that will make them sick. Here are four important considerations when choosing your pet’s food.
Make sure that you're buying a quality diet from a reputable company.
The first thing to keep in mind when buying food for your pet is that you should be getting quality products from a reputable company. There are many stores and websites out there making claims about the best diet, but many of them may contain filler ingredients or even worse: are not healthy for your pet. We do sell pet food at both our Grantsburg and Wild River locations, but also in our online store. You can rest assured that the products we carry are going to be ones that we recommend and have experience with, plus they are guaranteed to be fresh and authentic from the manufacturer. An added bonus when buying from our online store is that you never have to haul heavy bags of food to and from your car ever again, as it’s shipped directly to your door!
Quality nutrients are essential in making an excellent product.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University released an excellent guide for pet owners called “Deciphering Fact from Fiction”. In this guide, they state, “Pets require nutrients, not ingredients.” It’s important as a pet owner to be able to understand that there is a lot of market misinformation about what is and isn’t good for your pet - and that the nutritional value of what is in each ingredient is much more important than the ingredients themselves. Some ingredients just may not be that beneficial to pets, but they sound exotic or may even mimic food trends in human diets.
When seeking quality nutrients in your pets food, look for high quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) breaks down these ingredients and terms that are often used in pet food marketing and on labels. This helpful guide helps to cut through the confusion and give you more information to accurately make comparisons.
Know if your pet has any special dietary needs or sensitivities before choosing a food.
Pet owners have a lot of questions about their pet's diet. Some want to know what the best food is, some are more curious about how much they should feed their pets, and others just want to be sure that they're not feeding them something that will make them sick. First things first: there is no "best" food for pets. The truth is that it all depends on the individual animal's needs and sensitivities. Know your pet's special dietary needs before buying food. We offer a variety of specialty diets that are tailored to the specific needs of your pet and its age and health condition, and can help guide you to nutritional products that help in addressing any specific dietary needs they have.
Be sure to read the label on your pet's food carefully.
We recommend you take a few moments to explore the pet food nutrition facts panel on your next shopping trip. You may be surprised by how much information it contains. What nutrients does your pet need for proper growth and development? That’s what we’re here for! But here’s a rundown of some common and beneficial ingredients for your pet.
The healthiest diets for dogs have animal protein listed as the primary ingredient. If you notice grains, fruits, or vegetables, they should be in pure form and not processed. That is because processing these ingredients strips the food of nutrients and vitamins that your dog needs to maintain good health. If you're looking for a healthy diet for your pup, just ask us!
For cats, In addition to meat-based proteins, their diet should also include carbohydrates. If you are worried about your kitty maintaining a healthy weight, then it is important to double check the carbohydrate content of their food.
“You are what you eat” applies to pets, too!
If you are looking to change your pet’s food, it’s important to transition slowly to the new diet, even taking up to 10 days to fully be entirely feeding the new food. With informed decisions for your pet’s diet, you are helping to provide them with vital nutrition which supports their overall wellbeing. Our Grantsburg Animal Hospital veterinary team is happy to help guide you on the best options for your pet’s age, health and lifestyle! Just give us a call and make an appointment today: (320) 629-7474
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