The ABCs of Pet Food

Whether you are a new pet owner or an experienced pet owner the questions are the same concerning your pet’s nutritional requirements – what is the best food for your pet at the current stage of their life. Just like humans, pets too have varying nutritional needs depending on their life stage. The nutrition and amount of food and the number of times you will give your pet food in a day will all depend on your pet’s age, breed, level of activity and health condition. 

Deciding on a type of food and schedule isn’t rocket science, however, if you have a concern about your pet’s nutritional needs or need some clarity on what might be the best, talk to a Roleystone vet who can discuss the best possible way forward for your pet.

There’s quite an array of food choices available for your pet and navigating through all the persuasive advertisements to arrive at what is best might seem a little challenging. Let’s look at the different types of food you can give your pet.

You can choose between organic or natural food for your pet. The standards applied to labelling pet food organic and natural are the same as those applied to human food. Be sure to read the label and check the ingredients and compare that with your pet’s nutritional requirements before purchasing. Buy one or two tins or packs to test it out with your pet – if they are not keen on the taste or smell of the food, you may need to toss it in the bin and look for something else. Yes, pets can be fussy about food too!    

Your next decision is whether to give your pet wet food, dry food or fresh food. While all three are nutritionally balanced, dry food is a popular choice among both pet owners and pets. Pets like the texture, smell and taste of dry food while owners like the easy-to-store and dish-out convenience that dry food provides.

Wet food can be considered for your pet if you feel they are not getting enough hydration or has an elevated need for hydration due to a medical condition or prevailing weather. Wet food is also a good option for pets who have dental issues or issues with chewing food. The main difference between dry and wet food is the moisture content. Wet food contains about 75-80% water while dry food contains only about 10-15% water.

Keep an eye out for the amount of wet food your pet consumes, pets prefer wet over dry food and tend to overeat when served wet food. Not great if your pet is already overweight. Fresh food is not a popular choice for the simple reason that it requires a lot more planning and handling. Just like food stored for humans, fresh food for pets must be kept refrigerated and prepared as you would any fresh food item or as per instructions to ensure nutrients aren’t lost and the food your pets gets is wholesome and fresh.