Should I follow the feeding recommendations on my pet food?
Feeding recommendations can be good guidelines or a starting point, but the pets they are based on get more exercise than the average pet. Adjust daily food portions based on your pet’s age, body condition, and overall health. And be sure to consult with your vet.
How can I tell if my pet is overweight?
Stand above your pet and look down on them. From this vantage point you should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. Both dogs and cats should also have a nice taper at their waist. If they are too heavy, they’ll be oval shaped. Check with your vet to be sure!
Do puppies need special food?
Yes. Puppy foods are designed to provide adequate nutrition for the rapid growth phase without providing too many calories. Optimal nutrient profiles are especially important for large breed puppies, who can develop painful bone conditions when they are allowed to grow too quickly.
Do senior dogs need special food?
Yes. Your veterinarian can help you choose an appropriate diet for your dog. For example, diets lower in sodium are sometimes advocated for dogs with heart disease, while diets that help control phosphorus, calcium and other electrolyte levels are given to dogs with kidney disease.
What does “natural” mean on a pet food label?
“Natural” means that, according to FDA guidelines, the ingredients in the pet food have not had any chemical alterations made to them.
What nutrients make up a properly balanced dog food?
To make sure your pet’s health is maintained, there must be appropriate amounts and proportions of carbohydrates, protein, fats/oils, vitamins and minerals in the diet.
What do carbohydrates do for my dog?
Carbohydrates provide a source of energy, fiber and nutrients to your pet. Whole grains are the best sources of carbohydrates, as they have higher levels of fiber that keep your dog feeling full longer, keep blood sugar levels steady, and promote digestion.
What should be found in the first several ingredients listed on a dog food bag?
When looking at the ingredient listing, you should first see one or two quality protein sources (meats or meat meals), one or more source of carbohydrates (whole grain is best), and a quality fat or oil source.
Why are ‘human’ ingredients like apples and carrots used in dog food?
Common fruits and vegetables eaten by humans are also very healthy and beneficial for dogs. They provide essential vitamins and minerals that maintain health and prevent disease. Pet food manufacturers are using these ingredients more and more commonly as consumers become better aware of their benefits.