What Are You Feeding Your Pets?
Pet nutrition is important to keep them happy and healthy. Here are some quick tips on what you should be feeding your pet.
We all have the best intentions when feeding our pets. We see commercials, read reviews and cater to what our pets enjoy most. All of this aside, how do you know if you’re feeding your pet the right food? Maybe your vet recommended a prescription food to treat an ailment. Maybe your friend suggested you try what her dog loves. Maybe you’re concerned about price. More often than not, the ingredient list gets overlooked.
Prescription foods and other big name pet food brands sell “nutrition” to customers with marketing, packaging and that cute and happy little pup on the front of the bag. In reality, the back of the packaging tells another story. Much too often, our pets consume overly-processed, chemically altered foods that contain preservatives, by-product and “meals.” These by-products, while still considered protein, are made up of beaks, feathers, skin and feet. All of these things are categorized as a source of protein, but they are lacking the nutritional value that is so important to our pet’s health. True protein is not labeled as a meal or by-product. True protein contains essential amino acids that act as the foundation of any animal’s health. Without these essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, our pet’s entire body is out of whack. This causes lack of energy, lower immune health and decreased digestion function and muscle creation.
These foods might meet the basic requirements for sustaining a happy life for your pet, but they certainly do not aid in achieving optimal health. Your pet does not have the ability to question what they are eating – so it’s your job to do so for them.
The first few ingredients of your pet’s food will tell you quite a bit about the overall quality. Let’s compare Hill’s Science Diet and Taste of the Wild.
Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult Dry Dog Food:
Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Cracked Pearled Barley
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Adult Dry Dog Food:
Bison, Venison, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal
As you can see, both of these use a “meal” within the first couple of ingredients. HOWEVER, Taste of the Wild’s first two ingredients are true proteins, and Science Diet’s first two are a by-product of rice and a protein meal. For a 30lb bag, Science Diet is about $12 more than Taste of the Wild High Prairie. Does anybody know why this is?
Many people think that because they are using a prescription food or something recommended by their vet, it must be healthy. If your dog has digestion issues and itchy skin, what ingredient in Science Diet is helping this? Definitely not the brewer’s rice, chicken meal or barley. Interesting, right?
The best thing you can do for you pet is feed them something that will benefit them internally and externally. Feed them something that doesn’t contain by-products not fit for human consumption. We are the first line of defense for our pets. If they have digestion issues, skin problems or organ ailments, we can almost guarantee that changing their diet to something of higher quality will be an answer. Always pay attention to what’s in your pet’s food.
Corn, wheat, barley, rye and soy products are all linked to allergic reactions in animals and lack nutritional value. Chemical preservatives like BHA and BHT are used to preserve fats and yeast. They are linked to tumors and cancers in animals, and most pet’s have difficulty metabolizing these preservatives into sustainable energy.
Always look for true proteins, vegetables and fruits. Grain-free formulas ensure that you’re getting fewer fillers and a higher quality food as well as keep skin and fur at their best.