Millions of pets are currently overweight and unhealthy, often for two main reasons: lack of exercise and poor nutrition. If it were only a small portion of the population, there would be little to worry about, but weight issues affect about half of all dogs and cats in the United States.
When it comes to nutrition, we have enormous, billion dollar pet food corporations telling us a certain way is best for our pets, making it difficult to know what to choose.
In the end, it’s up to you to know what’s best for your furry best friend!
Much Like Humans Different Animals Have Different Nutritional Needs
There are no rigid set of dietary rules governing the health of all animals, and many thrive best on things much different than we humans enjoy. Where many mammals do require similar nutrients in their diets, each individual species has their own way of acquiring and digesting the foods most beneficial to them.
For example, each animal species might need Vitamin A, but they all have separate ways of acquiring this vital nutrient.
Learn the Ideal Nutrients for Your Pet
As a pet owner, you’ve heard catchphrases like ‘the Best a Pet Can Get’, ‘Non-GMO’, and ‘All Natural’. When it comes down to it, the many pet food companies focus more on choosing cost-effective ingredients for cheaper production.
For example, the average domesticated dog today lives on mainly a plant-based diet, much higher in carbohydrates and lower in animal protein than their natural diets, since this is cheaper for the manufacturer to produce. In reality, dogs, and their ancestors before them, are scientifically classified as carnivores meant to eat a diet rich in animal protein.
All the while, these enormous entities claim they offer the best possible nutrition for your pet to thrive. The point here is: Don’t pay attention to advertising and marketing. Do your own research!
Ignore Buzz Words
Manufacturers love to highlight professional looking labels such as: Organic, Grain Free and All Natural. Can you remember these same organizations ever explaining exactly why, biologically, grain-free diets are most beneficial?
In the end, the use of these big, colorful and professionally sounding terms is often a marketing gimmick, meant to catch your attention. In reality, these terms aren’t always FDA regulated and have little practical value when assessing food quality.
Those Additives that You’re Told are so Harmful, Aren’t Really that Bad At All
If you ask an actual veterinarian, or even better- a certified veterinary nutritionist, they will tell you not to worry about things like these. Most of these scary-sounding additives are actually preservatives, vitamin or mineral supplements meant to increase the nutritional quality of the pet food and cause it to last longer. These are very good things, shown to be both safe and highly beneficial.
To learn more about how to choose the best foods for your pet contact the veterinary team at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Care Center today!