DID YOU KNOW?…Facts About Feeding Your Pets

Finding the best food for your pet that provides the right amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins is key. A well balanced diet is very important for your pet to live a long and healthy life. Now that you have the knowledge and the basic understanding of nutrition, go out and face the “monster” that is the pet food aisle. But before you do, here is some extra “ammo” to help you out.

DID YOU KNOW?…
      • Vegetables are a great source of many vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
      • Soy products are a wonderful source of a high quality protein.
      • “All life stages” labeled food may contain too much fat and sodium for adult and senior pets.
      • Corn is an all natural ingredient that supplies essential fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and antioxidants.
      • Corn is NOT a filler. (A filler is an ingredient that provides no nutrition.)
      • Corn is NOT a common source of food allergies.
      • Dogs are omnivores and cats are carnivores.
      • Cats require more protein than dogs. They also require taurine in their diet.
      • Puppies and kittens need to be fed a diet that is specifically made for growth. Feeding a high quality diet ensures normal, healthy development.
      • Large breed puppies require a lower level of calcium and fat.
      • Poor quality food can lead to skin/coat issues, lack of energy, slow growth, skeletal deformities, pot-belly appearance, excessive gas, and smelly stool.
      • You need to feed puppy/kitten food till 1 year of age. This is when most pets reach their weight maturity.
      • Body condition score (BCS) is very important in telling if a pet is or is becoming overweight.
      • When feeding your adult dog, make sure the diet is intended for adult maintenance.
      • When feeding senior pets (pets that are 6 or older) remember that metabolism and activity levels slow down.
      • With senior pets it is best to feed a diet that is highly digestible, lower in calories, has high quality proteins, and lower levels of sodium and potassium.
      • Some senior pet food may have added supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, to help with joint issues.
      • As pets age their nutritional needs change. They may need a more therapeutic diet.
      • Therapeutic diets are diets that are designed to help manage a disease/health issue (diabetes, heart, obesity, liver, kidney, joint, brain, oral health, and urinary).
      • Foods that have been labeled “organic” must be certified by the USDA.
      • “By-products” can be wholesome ingredients. A “by-product” is a product produced in the making or breakdown of another product.
      • “By-products” can include highly nutritious organ meat such as liver, kidney, and the heart. These are highly palatable and beneficial to pets.
      • “By-products are common in both human and pet food. Vitamin E is a “by-product” of soybeans found in both human and pet food.
      • Canned food contains 70-85% moisture.
      • Semi-moist foods are preserved by sugar therefore they are full of excessive sugar.
      • Some treats/snacks are nutritionally complete (could be used as the sole diet). It is strongly suggested that they be less than 10% of the daily caloric intake.
      • Daily caloric intake depends on your pet’s activity level, life style, age, breed and health status.
Did you also know?…
      • That at anytime you have any questions regarding nutrition you can call the Animal Hospital of Waynesville.
      • The Animal Hospital of Waynesville also offers nutritional consults with a Registered Veterinary Technician – Amanda Garrett

Whether you have a cat or a dog, nutrition is the most important key in keeping your pet healthy.