Feeding our pets usually seems the easiest part of keeping them. You go to the store and buy the biggest package available and make sure their bowls are constantly filled. Yet certain nutrition reviews have recently shown that pet owners need to choose food for their loyal friends with great care. It is not only about what to feed them but also when to feed them and how much. If you’re looking for an article that covers all of this then you’re in the right place. Without further ado, let’s jump into discussing the basics of nutrition.
What does nutrition mean?
You know how there are numbers on each edible product that say, for instance 135 cal. Well, that cal is not only for people but pets too. A quick throwback to middle school biology class: calories are units of energy and it refers to the amount of energy that we receive through drinking and eating and also how much we use through physical activity. Calorie needs are different for each and every human being but on average, we need 2700 calories per day. Our pets eat and drink as well and I don’t think I need to present in details how physically active they are. So, we as pet owners are obliged to take care of their nutrition needs. The food packaging is pretty, the advertisements are cool or your pet liked that food before – those are not enough reasons to pick a certain food.
What’s the problem with current food?
I’ll give you a straight-forward answer – the problem is the lack of information among pet owners. The chemical components in dog and cat food can reach the unacceptable amount and since a lot of owners don’t know about this issue, they keep buying nourishments without checking the label. Some pet owners even turned to homemade food to keep their beloved pets safe and healthy. Is this even the right solution? In response to this query I have to say it depends. Nutrition is not just about food but also about the pet itself. Dogs require different amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and so on than cats. The size, age and breed of your four-legged companion matter too. Vet Organics created a solutional for the nutritional content problem: EcoEats natural, organic, nutritious dog food.
Getting started with nutrition
First things first, determine the properties of your cat or dog. This may sound a little odd but it’s quite okay if you don’t exactly know the weight of your little fellow. Go to the vet and do a complete checkout to make sure you’re on the right track. Remember that vets will give you the best recommendations. However, here are some general ones that will definitely not hurt your pet.
Cats are what the fancy name is “obligate carnivores” meaning they need to have protein in meat and they food has to contain at least 50% proteins. If you’re a cat owner, pay close attention to this part. To satisfy at least some half of your cat’s nutrition related needs follow Marla J. McGeorge’s advice, who by the way is quite famous veterinarian. According to her, there is no other better source than animal meat for cats to receive proteins. Along with proteins, the food needs to contain sufficient amount of minerals, fat and oils. Just a small side note, the last two affect the overall taste of the food. Minerals will positively impact the strength of bones, teeth and the development of cells and tissues. So what? Well, … look at the label and watch out for the mentioned nutrients. On the flip side, you should also search any chemicals and colorings that the food contains. The entire information is written on the labels.
Unlike cats, for dogs protein needs to make up around 18% of their diet. And again unlike cats, dogs are fine with vegetables but of course, they would not mind some fish and meat. You could make your dog a vegetarian but in that case you absolutely have to follow Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) compliant diet.
Fats will help dogs keep their coat, skin, nose and paw pads healthy. Dogs also use fats as a direct source of energy, so if you want to cuddle with your dog and have walks with him then be prepared to keep the fat in balance. And again, this is not rocket science and you don’t have to do laboratory experiments to identify the amount of nutrients. Simple look at the label and make wise choices.
Food is not enough to “declare” yourself an awesome pet owner, in case of both dogs and cats water is an absolute must. Your friends can get dehydrated very quickly, so you should always have fresh water available for them to drink any time. This small task of yours can improve the health quality thus making them more playful and happy.
Anyway, you should always consult with your veterinarian about the nutrition of your pet.