(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Did you know good nutrition is as important for your pet’s health as it is for your own?
“Dogs and cats have very specific and individual nutritional needs. Although they may like eating many human foods, we have to remember that pets have different nutritional needs for optimal health. Nutrition impacts your pet’s teeth, bones, energy levels, brain function, coat and more,” says Dr. Dave Summers, senior pet nutritionist at Pet Valu.
With all the pet food brands available today, Summers says it can be difficult to know which ones are best for your pet. Here are his top tips:
1. Choose food that is made with whole, natural ingredients: Like humans, pets’ overall health is best served by feeding them a variety of ingredients, including fresh meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits and berries. Avoid pet food that contains artificial colors and flavors.
2. Shop local: Visit a specialty pet retailer and ask staff to direct you to products made right here at home.
3. Look at your pet: A visual assessment of your pet can help spot potential dietary issues. A dull coat, overweight physique or poor stool consistency could suggest it’s time to consider a new diet.
4. Remember nutritional needs change: Your pet doesn’t have to eat the same diet for its entire life. Trying different foods will help you determine what’s best for them.
5. Consider quality and price: We all want to do the very best for our pets, but we also need to be mindful of our budget. For most pets, there will be good options at all price levels.
Feeding the best quality food for your budget can help maintain your pet’s good health, hopefully saving you health care costs down the road. Have a conversation with the team at your local pet specialty store, they can help you make the best decision.
Find more information at petvalu.com.
— News Canada
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)