Loving pet parents are often concerned about whether they’re making the best feeding decisions for their dogs and cats. Although the ideal diet is different for each animal, learning some general information about pet nutrition can help you make healthy choices for your four-legged family member.
However, this is easier said than done. There's a lot of information out there from a lot of different sources (some better than others), and it's easy to get overwhelmed.
We know a lot goes into deciding what to put in your furry friend’s food bowl, so to make things easier, we’ve outlined some important points for you to consider.
What To Do -- And What To Avoid
For starters, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid, like overfeeding your pet, getting store-bought food full of filler ingredients, and underestimating the importance of a balanced diet. All these factors can potentially lead to health issues down the road.
It’s also important to know which kinds of wholesome foods and supplements you can give your pet. A dietary boost can help get your pal into tip-top shape, depending on his or her nutrition needs.
Another choice pet parents have to make is whether kibble or wet food, homemade cooked food, or raw food is best for their pets. There are pros and cons to every feeding style, and what it really comes down to is what works best for you and your pal.
For instance, store-bought food is convenient, and there are some high-quality formulas out there, but you have to be very careful about finding a reputable brand that uses wholesome ingredients. Homemade cooked or raw diets can be easily customized to address specific heath issues, but it's imperative to include the right amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients (plus, all that prep can be time-consuming and it can get pricey).
Of course, you can choose a combination of multiple eating styles, if that works best (for instance, a diet that's partially home cooked and partially kibble). Remember, the "best" diet isn't just about ingredients ... it's about finding something that fits your budget and lifestyle, too!
At The End Of The Day, It's Up To You!
Our pets’ overall health begins with proper nutrition, just like with us humans. But there is one big difference: our furry friends depend on us to make food decisions for them!
From preparing their meals to making sure their emotional and physical needs are met, it's up to us to keep them as happy and healthy as possible -- and to help them when they're not feeling their best.
You don’t have to be an expert to be a wonderful pet parent. However, you do have to have a little background knowledge about how to care for your companion -- and that includes getting expert help from veterinarians and nutritionists.
But while their help is crucial, at the end of the day, the decisions you make for four-legged friend are ultimately up to you. So, listen to the advice of trusted professionals, do some research, and use your best judgment. Remember: no one knows your pet quite as well as you!