Parkway Animal Hospital's
PET OWNER'S GUIDE TO
You may think soy protein is just as good as meat protein, but animal-based protein is the most usable form of protein for animals. Animals have a much shorter intestine than humans, and therefore must convert protein much faster to a digestible form. Vegetable proteins are digested much slower.
- Meat and chicken are the major sources of protein in Premium Foods.
- High quality protein is much easier on the liver and kidneys as your pet matures.
- Diets high in fiber (indigestible material) are healthy for people, but can produce loose and frequent stools.
- Premium Foods are 85--95% digestible.
- Most commercially available foods are only 50-60% digestible!
- Higher digestibility means less stool is produced and easier housetraining.
Quality Foods are completely balanced. Often you note improved hair coat and muscle mass in six (6) weeks due to high quality ingredients.
Proper Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio aid best growth rates and help prevent Feline Urologic Syndrome in the cat. Because it contains more nutrition and less “filler”.
- Most pets accept the food readily due to the outside meat or chicken coating.
- Warming the food for 15 seconds in the microwave greatly enhances flavor.
- You will be feeding one-half to one-third less as you do with most commercial brands. (Compare the feeding charts on the label).
Since an 8-ounce cup of Premium Food weighs less, you will find that you get many more cups in each bag. Commercial foods usually weigh 1-2 ounces per cup more due to bulk and fillers. Feeding costs with Premium Foods will be NO more per month than with the food you are now using, even though you pay more per bag. Remember you feed smaller amounts; and also get more cups in a pound of the product.
Premium Foods utilize a “FIXED FORMULA,” which means the ingredients don’t change. Most other foods vary the amount of each ingredient, using whatever is the cheapest at the time ingredients are purchased.
- This often results in diarrhea when a new bag of food is opened.
- This will NOT happen with High Quality Premium Foods.
- Examples of Premium Foods include: Iams Foods, Hill’s Science Diet and Purina Pro Plan.
A high quality nutritional program for your pet keeps it happy, healthy, and in peak condition throughout its life. Proper nutrition is essential for its long-term health and happiness. Other than proper veterinary care, it is the single most important consideration you can give to your pet.
It is important to regularly review your pet’s current nutritional requirements. Your pet’s nutritional needs change with each life stage. The nutritional requirements for a growing puppy or kitten are very different from those of a normal, active adult pet. The same holds true for major differences in mid-life adult pets and senior pets. Also the lifestyle of your pet will dictate its needs. A working dog, pregnant pet, and less active pet all have very different nutritional requirements.
READING THE PET FOOD LABEL:
There are major differences in pet foods. The label can provide you with important information about the quality of the food you are buying. For proper nutrition, the diet must provide the proper balance of the five basic nutrient categories: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The label will list all ingredients in descending order by weight. The protein source will probably be the first ingredient listed and is an important indicator as to the overall quality of the diet. Higher-quality pet foods will have animal meat as the major protein source. Quality protein sources include chicken, meat meal, fishmeal, and/or dried whole egg. Lesser-quality pet foods often use plant-origin proteins, such as soybeans. Your pet’s digestive system can absorb meat proteins much more efficiently than plant-origin proteins. You want to feed a high-quality protein because it is highly digestible and provides your pet with the nutrients it needs to carry out normal body functions and to produce a strong-boned, well-toned and muscled body, along with a healthy, shiny coat.
In addition to the label listing all the ingredients, you will also see a listing of the guaranteed analysis. This is the percentage of crude protein, crude fat, fiber, and moisture that are present in the diet. These percentages will change significantly with each life stage and your pet’s lifestyle. It is important to feed the right food for each life stage of your pet.
Evaluation of the pet’s stools is another indication of pet food quality. Stool quality is an indication of how well your pet is digesting the diet you are feeding. When all the right factors are present, your pet should have a low stool volume, be firm and dark, and have a reduced odor. If stools are soft, loose, watery, light-colored, or smelly, this can be an indication that you are feeding a lower quality diet that is not meeting your pet’s nutritional needs.
WATER IS ALSO AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT THAT MUST BE AVAILABLE TO THE PET:
Fresh, clean water should always be available. Canned foods contain about 80% water whereas dry foods contain about 10% moisture. Pets eating canned food therefore get more of their water requirements from the food than those fed dry foods.
TASTE IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR PET:
Some less nutritious diets are very bland tasting … much like chewing on cardboard. To increase the palatability and entice your pet to eat these less nutritious diets, some manufacturers add flavor enhancers. Better quality diets using high-quality protein sources in combination with high-quality fats, provide a diet formulation that have a very appetizing taste and smell for your pet.
PETS DON’T NEED A VARIABLE DIET:
Switching brands of pet foods frequently will make your pet a much more finicky eater as well as lead to many more digestive upsets. Vomiting and/or diarrhea are common consequences of abrupt changes in the pet’s diet. If you do change diets, it is important to do it SLOWLY over a 5-10 day period. Begin by adding a small amount of the new food and gradually increasing its proportion in the total diet while decreasing the proportion of the diet being replaced.