Life is all about balance and choices. Have you ever heard the phrase “a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good”? I'm not sure this phrase ever been true, what do you think?
In my own life I am trying to eat healthier, exercise more and live a more balanced life. As I was looking over my lifestyle and that of my fur family, I started to think about how scary it would be if we didn’t get enough of a basic need for life such as water, or if we got too much of a basic need for life such as sodium. That’s why were going to explore why “balance” is the ideal approach to a nutritious diet.
The best approach to just about everything in life is “balance” – work / life balance, and a balanced diet. This balance applies to us and our animal companions and part of that balance is nutrients which are essential to health for us and for our pets. As humans, we can control our diet choices (even if we decide to make bad choices), but our pets rely on us to choose for them and we should be paying attention to keeping them as healthy and happy as possible.
So what is balanced nutrition and exactly why is it so important?
Let’s start by looking at key nutrients that your pet’s body needs to maintain good health and energy. Those nutrients are protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sounds, reasonable, right? But, what if any one of these nutrients is too high or too low (a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good)?
Protein is a vital nutrient that helps support lean muscle tissue for adult pets. For growing puppies and kittens, protein nourishes growing muscle tissue. If your pet’s diet is too low in protein this could lead to poor growth. If your pet’s diet is too high in protein, this could increase the workload of the liver and kidneys to get rid of excess nitrogen. Your pet’s body will only absorb a certain amount of protein – everything in excess must be processed by the liver and kidneys. You can see how over time this extra work could affect these organs.
Fats are really beneficial in your pet’s diet. Fats – in the appropriate levels – are excellent for healthy skin. Fats nourish the skin and make it soft. What’s more- fats help with a luxurious coat and contribute to shiny fur! We know what happens with too much fat: weight gain. But what if there isn’t enough fat? Potential for a dull, dry and flaky coat.
Vitamins and minerals are also essential in your pet’s diet. Vitamins support the immune system; minerals help puppies and kittens grow strong muscles and healthy teeth. If the vitamins levels are deficient, your pet could experience fatigue or weakness. If the vitamin levels are too high, this could lead to organ stress. If the minerals are too high, your pet could be at risk for bladder stones.
Fiber, we all love fiber! It’s great for healthy digestion, but if your pet’s diet is too low your pet could experience loose stools. Not good! How about too much fiber? Your pet could experience gas! Equally NOT GOOD!
So the moral to the story is “balance.” Each of these nutrients is critical to survival. For optimal health, choose a food for your pet that provides proven, perfectly balanced nutrition.
Do you have questions about pet nutrition? Ask them in the comments.
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Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.