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Pet food industry tips: how to select the right food for your pet (pt.2)

Learning how to read a bag of pet food is important for all pet owners.
Learning how to read a bag of pet food is important for all pet owners.
Photo by Tesneem Layas Foter CC BY

Super-premium pet food
A healthier choice for your pet is a super-premium food. These foods usually contain more meat proteins in comparison to economically priced foods. They will contain less filler like corn and other grains which will make the food easily digestible for the animal. Premium foods also have many extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support your dog or cat’s immune system and overall health. These foods will have extras not mandated by the guaranteed analysis that are great for your pet. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will be added to support skin and coat. These foods cost more but you feed less and clean up less so it’s a better choice for pet parents. While the foods aren’t considered all-natural they contain concentrated and condensed nutrients that ensure the pet gets all it needs from its daily meal. This type of pet food comes in both wet and dry kibble formula.

Holistic pet food
This premium pet food is an all-natural option for pet owners that are concerned with feeding their pet whole foods. Instead of using the condensed nutrients that the super-premium food use, holistic food uses the actual meat, fruit or vegetable that those nutrients are extracted from in their kibble and wet formulas. Holistic foods will also contain extras for the animal to support the pet’s overall health. Many holistic foods are grain free and can often be a great choice for pets with food allergies. Using whole, human-grade ingredients can sometimes mean that the level of nutrients may vary so holistic pet owners will often feed supplements to ensure total immune support.

The raw diet
Raw pet food’s popularity has been rising over the years and many pet owners are switching to a human or raw diet for their furry family members. The raw diet is thought to be the best diet for animals because it mimic’s the food the animal would eat in the wild. Raw food is sometimes more time consuming to prepare and can cost more but it is just as healthy as feeding a holistic or premium food. There are many great raw pet foods on the market that come in freeze dried, refrigerated and frozen forms. But when feeding a raw diet of human food to your pet it is important to consult your veterinarian on the best practices for this feeding method. I also advise pet parents to only select hormone-free meat products intended for pet consumption.

Specialty pet foods
With many choices in each category of pet food some pet parents may focus on choosing a pet food that meets their pet’s nutritional needs. But other pet parents may have pets with health issues and will have a harder time selecting the right food. While some pets may have to be on vet-specific foods others can improve their issues using a specialty pet food. There are many pet foods on the market for skin and coat health, weight control and digestive sensitivity. But there are also some great foods that can reduce urine crystals, single protein and gluten free options for allergenic pets and foods that improve dental health. The options are endless when it comes to specialty pet foods but it is important for pet parents to check the ingredients on every bag no matter what.

With a little research and getting to know your pet choosing the right food and navigating the pet food industry can be easier. Like human ingredients lists the ingredients listed at the top of the list are of a higher quantity in the food. It is also important to look at the quality. Meat can be flash frozen allowing highest quality real ingredients to be fused into the kibble. Always remember that every pet is difference and t is important to monitor then on and food and treats to make sure that it agrees with them. Choosing the right pet food can potentially add more happy and healthy years to your pet’s life.

GO BACK to part one of this article.

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