How to Choose a Healthy Food

Selecting a quality food for your pet takes thought and effort. There are a variety of different opinions on how to feed your dog or cat. Choosing the best food for your pet can be made much easier with the help of a person experienced in animal nutrition. Science and research tell us that the best foods for humans are whole, unprocessed fresh foods. This also applies to what foods are best for our four legged companions.

Here are some important ingredients to look for.

Meat

Always look for a specified animal protein such as beef, fish or poultry as the first ingredient. Another acceptable source of animal protein is a ‘meal’ such as beef meal or turkey meal. Avoid any product that contains any meat by-products, or an unspecified meat meal.

Grains & Vegetables

If the food contains grains, make sure they are complex, whole grains. Avoid corn, wheat and simple carbohydrates. Also avoid products that contain the exact same grain listed multiple times. For example: rice, brewer’s rice, and ground rice are all processed white rice derivatives. White rice has no nutritional benefits for your pet, and is often used as filler.

Be sure to look for fresh vegetables and fruits in the ingredients list as well. This is the foundation for a quality, healthy food.

Supplementation

Supplements also play a considerable role in the quality of your pet’s diet. There are a number of supplements that are crucial to sustaining your animal’s health and well-being.       

Some of these include:         

o   Fish Oil: A rich source of Omega Fatty Acids, fish oil is important to skin and coat health as well as mental function.

o   Kelp: A powerful algae, kelp regulates thyroid and aids in the control of plaque.

o   Probiotics & Digestive Enzymes: Enzymes and good bacteria in the digestion system promote not only intestinal health, but also a healthy immune system.

o   Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid: These, and herbs such as Yucca Root and Nettle Leaf, help maintain healthy joints throughout your pet’s life. 

Vitamins & Minerals

All dog and cat food must contain a certain amount of essential vitamins and minerals. However, some vitamins and minerals are superior to others, and pet foods vary in their quality. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be added to your pet’s diet to insure they are getting the most out of these important nutritional ingredients.