It’s a difficult decision, knowing what to feed your pet.
As a veterinarian, people ask me about food all the time. In fact, it’s the most frequently asked question related to puppies, kittens, and of course, sick animals.
However, no one seems to mention food much when their pet appears healthy or has no obvious signs of sickness. Big mistake.
Remember this fact:
Pets often thrive not because of what we do but many times in spite of what we do.
Therefore, pets will appear healthy when indeed they are not.
It’s kind of like eating ice cream sandwiches all day every day and just not feeling your best. Nothing is really wrong, but you just don’t feel good, not in tip-top shape.
Well, the same goes for our pets.
When pets are consuming lower quality food, they just don’t feel their best.
After advising thousands of clients on what to feed their pets, my suggestion is to inspect the food label and see if you can find these 3 essential features of a good pet food.
The First Ingredient Must Be Meat
Dogs and cats love meat. Their digestive system runs best on meat-based diets.
Now, I’m not telling you pets can’t survive on plant-based diets because they can. But, I am telling you that dogs and cats are healthier, have less disease, and live longer if they eat meat-based diets.
The first ingredient in whatever diet you choose should always be meat.
The Diet Should Always Contain 70% Moisture
You can find this value on the GUARANTEED ANALYSIS. It might be listed as Moisture Max. This value defines the maximum amount of moisture in a product on an “As Fed” basis.
So, if you choose a food with less moisture content, add water to the food.
All dry foods fall into this low moisture category with most containing less than 10% moisture. Most canned foods and stews inherently contain 70% water. If not, just add it.
We can’t count on our pets to drink enough water to supply their individual needs. So, either add it or buy food that already has enough.
The Diet Should Be Energetically Balanced
A “Balanced Diet” is a term frequently used in the pet food world. As a general rule, the term applies to pet diets that meet the guidelines set forth by AAFCO.
Conversely, the term “Energetically Balanced Diet” has an entirely different meaning.
An energetically balanced diet considers how each ingredient affects the body after consumption, not before.