Pet Nutrition: How to Feed Your Dog or Cat Properly

Pet Nutrition: How to Feed Your Dog or Cat Properly

When you have a pet, you want it to live a long, happy life. One way to ensure this is to give your pet proper nutrition. However, if you’re like many owners, you may not understand which commercial foods are best for each breed and type; fortunately, there are several ways that you become better educated about the best way to feed your dog or cat.

dog-food-eatingResearch Your Animal’s Breed

Some breeds of dogs require different nutrition because of their size. For example, Great Danes are prone to twisted stomachs and need food that is both easily digested and offers enough calories and protein to keep a dog their size active.

Smaller dogs, such as toy breeds, cannot digest large kibble and may choke on larger pieces of food.

pet-food-canRead the Label

All dog and cat food companies must list the ingredients on their containers of food, but there are ingredients you should avoid.

Any food that lists animal by-products should be passed by because this could mean anything from ground-up chicken beaks to the carcasses of dead dogs and cats.

The food you buy should contain only beef, pork, or chicken as its meat-based ingredient.

dog-food-bone-treatAvoid Artificial Colors

Many dog and cat foods are brightly colored so that they catch the owner’s eye. However, most any color in a dog food is created with dyes and other artificial means.

Your dog is color blind, so it is only going to care about how it tastes and smells, not if it’s shaped like bones and has red and green colors. High-quality kibble should be brown or in varying shades of brown only.

vet-dogTalk with Your Vet

Your veterinarian can help you decide what kind of food is right for your pet.

However, beware of any recommendations of food that your vet advertises in the office: vets are often offered big discounts for hanging these ads where pet owners can see them.

If you are not sure about the advice you’re being offered, you can also seek out a pet nutritionist.

dog-eating-sandwichAvoid Table Scraps

If you’re like most owners, you might find it irresistible if your dog begs for food when you’re eating. While its antics might be cute, giving your dog table scraps may lead to obesity, diabetes, and joint problems.

A dog’s stomach cannot always digest food meant for humans, especially sweets, and it can cause a number of problems in both the long and short term.

kitten-cat-foodDon’t Scrimp on Your Pet’s Food

While it might be tempting to save money by purchasing cheaper dog or cat food, you could be shortening your pet’s life. Cheap food does not give your pet the balance of protein, carbs, and minerals it needs to stay active.

Cheap food also travels through your pet much more quickly, meaning more clean-up time in the yard or the litter box for you.

cat-drinking-water-glassOffer Clean Water Daily

Even if your dog or cat’s water is indoors and looks clean from the day before, your pet can smell staleness and might refuse it. This can lead to dehydration.

Offer your pet clean water every morning; having access to fresh water during meal time is just as important as having quality, nutritious food for a longer and happier life.

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