As pet owners, we all want to give the best care to our furry friends. One of the most vital aspects of their well-being is their diet. Picking the right pet food ensures that our pets stay healthy and happy. There are several factors to think about – from understanding their nutritional needs to checking the ingredients. This article will guide you through the top 5 aspects to consider when making this important decision.
Your Pet’s Unique Nutritional Needs:
Just like people, pets have different nutritional needs. Choosing pet food that meets your furry friend’s specific requirements is essential. Consider their age, breed, size, and any health conditions they may have. For example, puppies and kittens need different food than adult dogs and cats, and certain breeds may have special dietary needs.
The Different Life Stages:
Pets have varying nutritional needs depending on their life stage. Pet foods may be labeled for either of these stages of life:
Growth and Reproduction
Pet food for Growth and Reproduction is for growing young dogs or cats, usually less than a year old, and also for pregnant and nursing dogs. Depending on your dog’s breed, your veterinarian may recommend feeding a food labeled for growth for a longer or shorter period of time.
Adult maintenance means that pet food meets the nutritional needs of adult pets. Generally, “adult” means one year or older. There are no hard and fast rules for when your pet is a senior, as this depends on your pet’s breed and size. Ask your veterinarian when it is appropriate to switch your pet to a senior diet.
Pet Food Labels:
When choosing pet food, reading and understanding the labels is essential. Look for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the label. AAFCO sets guidelines for ingredient labels and nutrient analysis in pet foods. The statement will tell you if the food meets the necessary nutritional levels.
Also, pay attention to the calories in your pet’s food. Consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure how many calories your pet should consume daily.
Allergies and Sensitivities:
If your pet has known allergies or sensitivities, choose food without the ingredients that trigger their reactions. If you have a pet with an easily upset tummy or skin allergies, our veterinarians can help you through allergy or sensitivity testing to help you figure out what is causing your pet to be unwell. We can then assist you in finding the right pet food.
Pet Foods for Medical Conditions:
Just like our diets affect our health, the same goes for our pets. The wrong food can lead to medical problems, such as obesity or diabetes. On the other hand, proper nutrition can help manage medical conditions and prevent illness. Along with the appropriate medications, the proper diet can aid in controlling certain conditions like obesity, diabetes, and more. Hippocrates said,
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
It is true that an ounce of prevention in the form of a biologically appropriate diet is worth a pound of cure!
Animal Wellness and Rehab Center’s online pet store offers a wide variety of pet foods that are formulated for managing medical conditions such as:
- Bladder Stones
- Heart Disease
With the help of our veterinarians, our store makes it easy to select the best food for your pet’s needs. Your food order can be set up to auto-ship right to your door right when you need it. If you are interested in feeding your pet a raw or homecooked diet, our team has a wealth of knowledge to help you in this journey, and we can order almost any commercially prepared raw or homecooked product for you if you wish.
Animal Wellness & Rehab Center Weight Loss Program
Obesity is a leading cause of health problems in our companions. Obesity creates added stress on the joints and inflammation in the body, and it can lead to multiple metabolic and endocrine diseases. If your pet has put on a few extra pounds, we will work with you to create a healthy diet plan and start on an exercise regimen. Our underwater treadmill can increase metabolism and cardiovascular strength, and endurance. Walking in the water takes the stress off the joints, allowing your pet to exercise without restriction. We will develop individual exercises to improve strength and balance that are fun for your pet. Losing weight and getting healthy again increases your pet’s chance of a long life with you.
Choosing the right pet food is essential for your furry friend’s health and happiness. Consider your pet’s life stage, read labels carefully, be mindful of allergies or any medical conditions, and consult with one of our veterinarians to get expert advice on the proper nutrition for your pet’s individual needs. We are here to service your pet with high-quality care through all stages of their life. Please contact us to schedule your pet’s next visit.
Your Friendly Team
Animal Wellness and Rehabilitation Center