Most people get the impression that all commercial pet foods are healthy foods, when they watch or see ads on TV and in magazines. All those fresh ingredients could tempt you to try these pet foods yourselves! Unfortunately, the truth about most pet foods may be far from what artful ads would have us believe. You should ask yourself a simple question: how can I tell if a particular pet food is healthy? Well, buckle your seatbelt as you are about to learn five secrets of choosing healthy pet food. Sit back, brace yourself, and keep reading.
- Health History
You must be aware of your pet’s health history; thus, a regular veterinarian visit is crucial. For example, some pet are allergic in nature to certain food and ingredients, so you have to avoid buying pet food that contains the ingredients your pet is allergic to. Also, if your pet suffers from a medical condition, his vet might recommend a special diet.
- Body Condition
If your pet is overweight, he might need a special diet with a different nutrition than a pet that is underweight. If he is in good shape, you will need to maintain their good health and condition.
- Healthy pet foods contain real food ingredients.
Healthy pet foods are made using natural food ingredients. Healthy dog and cat foods should contain animal-derived products as their first ingredients. The quality of these ingredients is essential to the health of your pet. Better choices are products that list terms that precisely describe the ingredient, such as chicken, cod, or animal parts, such as chicken heart or beef liver.
- Healthy pet foods are certified organic.
Natural ingredients are safer because their production and processing preclude by regulation the use of toxic manufacturing and treatment chemicals. These include agricultural pesticides, fertilizers used to raise livestock, and toxic chemicals used during production. As well, organic ingredients can never include genetically engineered foods. Increasingly, studies have shown that natural ingredients are healthier than their conventional counterparts, not only because they are free of toxic residues and diligently processed, but also because they contain more nutrients.
- Healthy pet foods are of human quality ingredients.
Although it doesn’t seem to make much sense, there are both USDA certified organic ingredients for food and USDA certified organic ingredients for animals. They are called ‘feed-grade’ ingredients and are only approved for only pet foods. Feed-grade ingredients are certainly of lower quality than human-grade ingredients. So, looking out for the descriptive word ‘human-grade’ on the pet food package will help you settle on a healthy pet food. They most certainly will indicate if they use human-grade ingredients because these are of higher quality and more expensive to produce.
If you want to make sure that your beloved companion animal gets the best nutrition, you can ask your vet for recommendations. He can recommend a particular brand to help you make a decision. Remember though that your pet will ultimately make the decision.