Choices, choices, choices! That is what the pet food market is about today. There are a ton of different varieties of pet foods available to the public. The hard part is, deciding which one is right for your pet. Just like people, pets also have different dietary needs based on their health and body chemistry. Choosing the right food is not just about what brand is the most expensive or claims to have the best ingredients, but also about what meets your pet’s specific dietary needs.
When choosing a food for your pet, you may want to make sure you can answer the following questions. Answering these questions will ensure that you know about your pet and its specific needs.
- How old is your pet?
- What is your pet’s activity level?
- Is your pet overweight or underweight?
- For dogs, are they a small, medium, or large breed?
- Is your pet allergic to anything?
- Is your pet a picky eater?
- Does your pet need supplements? For example, MSM/glucosamine for joint issues?
- Does your pet have a sensitive stomach? Some breeds are prone to digestion trouble.
- Has your veterinarian expressed any dietary concerns due to a health issue?
If you are a new pet owner and cannot answer these questions, consult a veterinarian before changing your pet’s food.
Once you have answers to the questions above, you can then begin to make an educated decision as to what food would be best for your pet. For example, if you have a dog who is an 8 year old, German Shepherd with hip dysplasia, you would probably want to choose a senior formula food for large breeds with MSM/glucosamine supplemented in the food (or use an additional hip supplement that you add to the food).
Generally, the higher quality the food is, the more expensive it becomes, however Yuppy Puppy, City Kitty (YPCK) offers extremely high quality pet food, supplements and wellness products at reasonable prices. They offer Lifestyle Bundles that suit your pet’s specific dietary needs and are shipped right to your door!
Here are some things that you should take into consideration when choosing a specific type of food for your dog or cat. First, make sure that the food is appropriate for the age of the pet and has the highest amount of nutrients and minerals needed for your pet. Next, check to see that chicken, duck, fish, or lamb meal is listed as one of the first two ingredients. There should not be any “by-product” listed as a main ingredient. In addition, the food should also contain the proper amount of protein and fat for your pet’s breed and age (which your veterinarian can help you with). Lastly, make sure the package provides easy to read feeding instructions and a company phone number that you can call with any questions you may have.
One last thing to do before you choose a new food for your pet, is check the FDA pet food recall products. In the past few years, more and more pet food products are being recalled. While human food goes through rigorous testing, pet food is not held to the same standards. In order to avoid giving your pet a food that has been or will be recalled make sure that the producer of your pet food has proper testing and quality control, their plant is USDA and APHIS inspected, and all ingredients used are EU certified. For a complete list of FDA recalls, go to: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/newpetfoodrecalls/#Dog
Personally, I use YPCK brand food and feel it is the best quality food on the market. All ingredients are holistic and all-natural and they offer many different varieties to choose from, based on your pet’s dietary needs. If you would like to learn more about YPCK pet food, treats and wellness products, go to www.ypckpets.com/angelpetstore.
In addition to choosing a proper food for your pet, here are a few other simple things that you should do for the general health and well being of your pet:
- Make sure there is fresh water available at all times.
- Go easy on the table scraps! (Even though Fluffy and Fido love them!)
- When changing your pet’s food, make sure to change it gradually. Introduce the new food (with the pet’s current food) in small portions that increase slightly each day.
- Keep pets away from known toxins such as chocolate, coffee, tea, onions, grapes, raisins and alcohol.
If you have any questions about your pet’s specific dietary needs, you should always consult a veterinarian. Hopefully, with these tips you can help your pet have the most beneficial and nutritious diet possible.