Tips to Choosing the Right Food for your Pet
Pets require the correct amounts of the right kinds of nutrients in order to grow and develop as healthy pets. While there are many kinds of commercially available pet foods, many pet owners are rather confused on which to choose.
Learn about the Nutritional Requirements of Your Pet
One of the most important aspects of choosing the right diet for your pet is learning about their recommended dietary requirements. You should know that different pets will require different nutrients in significantly different proportions. For example, cat food should contain more fats and animal-based proteins and less to no carbohydrates. Dogs, on the other hand, may require significantly greater amounts of carbohydrates than do cats owing to their more active nature. Dogs nonetheless require greater amounts of fats and animal-based proteins in their diets when compared to human diets.
Additionally, you also need to consider any health condition your pet may have. That is why a visit to your veterinarian is a necessity in order to find out exactly what diet your pet should be placed on. Remember that disease processes require some form of diet modification as a result of changes in the pet’s metabolism or as an effect of the disease process itself.
Check for HACCP Certification
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points which is now becoming the standard used by pet food manufacturers in assuring the consuming public of the high quality of their pet food products. While they may cost a little more than those pet food products that are not HACCP-certified, would you compromise the quality of pet food just so you can save a few dollars? You should understand however that this certification is just a guarantee of the safety profile of the food product in relation to its manufacturing process. You still need to individually check the labels particularly the nutritional information data of these products and compare them with the dietary requirements of your pet.
Check the Packaging as well as Storage
Just as you are meticulous in your grocery items, it also pays to have a very keen eye for any loss of integrity in the packaging or storage of the pet food product that you intend to buy. If there are signs of tampering, it is better to look for another one. Always have the habit of closely inspecting the packaging of the food product that you are purchasing.
Choose between Commercial and Home-made Pet Food
For most pet owners commercial pet foods are more convenient, practical, and already contain the right amounts of the correct nutrients in one package. However, if you choose dry commercial pet food, there is a concern on the negligible amounts of hydration. As such, commercial wet pet foods are sometimes more preferred, although pricier than the dry variant. If you have a degree in nutrition and dietetics as well as the time to prepare, home-made pet foods are considered to be the best simply because they lack the chemical preservatives that are often found in commercially available pet food products.
Choosing the right food for your pet requires understanding of their unique nutritional needs. If you know this by heart, then choosing the correct food will be a lot easier.