Choosing Food for Your Pet

Is there a magic formula or secret code to choosing the right pet food for your pet? Amidst the long shelves of brightly colored bags, buzz words and impactful advertisements, how do you choose! This week I want to give you some basic guidelines for finding the right food for your furry family member.

  1. Consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is well rounded in reading pet food labels and can help you sort through truly quality foods versus some brands with good advertising but poor-quality. Your veterinarian can also help you determine the specific needs of each of your pets and which ingredients will provide the nutrients best for them. Proper, quality nutrition can help your pet maintain a healthy weight, help with joint disease, settle a sensitive stomach, improve skin quality and more. Ask your veterinarian for a dietary consultation!
  2. Look at the label. The Association of American Food Control Officials (AAFCO) will have statements on the back of pet foods

  3. that meet the nutrient requirements for pets. You want foods with the statement for “All life stages” at minimum. If your pet’s food does not have an AAFCO statement then it may not meet the basic requirements of your pet, let alone any specific needs they may have.
  4. Watch out for advertising. The pet food business is a massive industry and some companies use targeted advertising to lure you in to believing their food is best and purchasing their product. Beware of statements about cats and dogs needing to eat like lions and wolves respectively, fad statements like “grain-free” and other unproven, but appealing, tactics. Also, more expensive does not always mean better quality.

Your pet’s diet is a crucial part of their long-term health and happiness. Be diligent in your hunt for the right food for your pet, consult your veterinarian and avoid the “bait” from great marketing.

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