Pet food and treats – Pet tip 113
Most pet lovers probably know that the food that they give their pets is very important to maintain their pet’s health. Due to the fact that in many countries like Canada and the U.S. the ingredients in pet food are not well regulated, it really is up to consumers to inform themselves. A great way to do this is to talk with your veterinarian or do your own research through books and/or the Internet. In general, and as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Don’t buy the cheapest food you can find. The cheapest foods are often filled with fillers and lower quality ingredients. Pets typically need to eat more of this food to feel full so they often run through the food faster which diminishes the savings in price. Just because a store is selling it, does not make it a great food. Both dog owners and cat owners often complain of terrible flatulence (farting) problems when they feed their pets really cheap pet food. Choose a premium or super-premium brand. You’ll notice that their coats or fur will usually feel much softer and look shinier within a week or so. Their eyes may appear brighter and many other benefits may well become apparent. It really is the same as with human food. Most people know fast food is not good for humans. Of course humans can survive on fast food, and pets can survive on cheap food, but the quality of both their lives will rise when they eat more nutritious meals.
On the other side of the coin are treats and other foods that pets can eat. Some pet owners often deny their pets everything except their high quality pet food and that too would be a mistake. Variety is the spice of life and there are plenty of treats and foods that can be given to pets, so long as they don’t have allergies or additional health problems. In general, 80% of your pet’s diet should come from a high quality pet food and the other 20% can come from good treats. The worst treats especially ‘human food treats’ are normally high fat foods. The same fatty foods that humans should generally avoid, pets should normally avoid as well.
If your pet is not lactose intolerant, then dairy products in moderation is perfectly fine as a treat. Many dogs love baby carrots, bananas, pumpkin, broccoli and of course beef chicken and fish. Most grains, like Cheerios, and breads are also fine as part of the 20% Most cats are pretty finicky but lean meat, chicken and tuna are all things that cats can have as part of the 20%. Again staying away from heavy fatty foods is the key. Use your common sense and ask your vet when you are in doubt.