Dog food and cat food: Things you must know

Posted by SharonEvans on May 9th, 2014

The question that the veterinarian faces most often, especially from new pet owners, is what kind of food should I feed my dog? The simplest thing would be to consider these factors: the dog’s age, sex, body composition, temperament and level of activity. In general, the dog food should have high quality ingredients and prepared hygienically. This is true for a cat too. Cat food also differs depending on the pet’s age, sex etc. The diet must include the right balance of the six major nutrient groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins, minerals and water. Therefore, look for good quality, properly manufactured pet food that has the basic nutritional balance.

There are some confusion on economy brands of dog food and cat food. You should not however look for the price while buying food for your pets and concentrate on its ingredients. Some economy brands of pet food are prepared with cheapest ingredients available. If the nutritional values of these ingredients are not maintained they will be of no benefit for the pet. They have lower energy values and proteins used are of lower grade. These types of foods are  loaded with filler ingredients. And, as a result much of the food passes through your pet without getting digested or absorbed.

Good brands of pet food uses good quality ingredients that have better biological values. Naturally, they ensure better digestibility. Your dog or cat can get its nutrients with smaller quantity of food. These days you get dog food and cat food with probiotic elements. Probiotics are good and beneficial bacteria that optimize digestive processes and also allow maximum nutritional benefits from food. For your pet’s healthy immune and digestive system these are quite useful.

Pet owners are often confused with food types as well. They ask often if dry dog food or cat food has better nutritional values in comparison to wet pet food. Is dry food better than wet food? Dry pet foods have specific benefits over wet pet foods. Dry foods can be stored easily and they have less odour than wet food. Dry foods are more hygienic too and less likely to get spoilt when left in the bowl. Dry food also help the pet by reducing tartar build up while chewing the food. You may think of using wet pet food when the pet needs to increase its water intake.

You should not, however, mix dry and wet dog food or cat food, if the pet is on a special diet. For example, in case of some specific dental diet you should not add wet food but a pet on urinary diet should have wet foods that have higher water content. Many pet owners prefer feeding their dog or cat semi-moist foods as they are convenient. But, it is found that semi-moist foods have a high level of sugar in it and therefore cannot be considered good for maintaining the nutrition level. Semi-moist foods contain artificial colours and preservatives at times and therefore should be avoided.

Dog food is for dogs and cat food is for cats. You cannot use them generally.

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