• Donnington Grove

How to Spot a Good Pet Food – Part 1

Protein ‘goodies’ and artificial ‘nasties’

Feeding your furry friend on a good diet is important and will help to keep them happy and healthy.  We are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that the quality of food that we eat has on our own health and the same applies to our pets too!  So, feeding your pets on the highest quality pet food that you can afford, full of protein ‘goodies’ and free from artificial ‘nasties’, is a good investment and will ensure that all their daily nutritional needs are met and that their wellbeing is cranked up to the max!

Why is it so important to feed a good pet food?

Feeding a complete and balanced diet is essential to ensure that all your furry friend’s dietary needs are met.  The food that you feed your pet on doesn’t just provide energy to run and play but also contributes to their:
  • Skin and coat quality
  • Immune system function
  • Digestive health
  • Muscle tone
  • Joint health
  • Behaviour
So, it’s important to get his basic step right and keep your pet in tip-top condition and ready to rock and roll. So, how do I spot a good pet food? With so many new cat and dog foods to choose from, all claiming to be the ‘the very best’, it can seem very confusing.  So, here are some tips on what to look for when choosing your kitty or pooch some new chow

What is the main source of protein (e.g. meat/fish/plant)?

Cats are strict carnivores and need a meat based diet rich in protein to satisfy their digestive needs and wellbeing.  Dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores, the same as us, and can eat a more diverse range of foods including cereals, fruits and vegetables and have lower protein requirement compared to cats. So, when picking a food for your pet a good starting to point is to check what the main source of protein is, as not all proteins are the same and some will be easier to digest than others.  The level of digestibility will determine how easy it is for your dog or cat to absorb the nutrients they need from the protein in their food. For example, plant proteins such as soy and proteins from grains are not as easy for dogs, and especially cats, to digest compared to animal proteins.  Consequently, foods that use plant proteins as the main source may need to be fed in larger volumes to satisfy your pet’s daily nutritional needs, which can be uneconomical. Pet foods can sometimes use confusing terminology on the ingredients list, for example, ‘meat/animal derivatives’ or ‘meat-by-products’.  These are variable quality protein sources and can range from high-quality off-cuts of meat and vital organs to low-quality proteins derived from head parts, hooves, fur or feathers!  This can make it difficult as owner to judge the quality of a food. Thankfully, there are lots of great foods to choose from that are embracing good-quality ingredients at affordable prices, some are even going the extra mile and using meat or vital organs in their foods that are ‘human grade’. Remember, if your dog or cat has a food intolerance or allergy to certain proteins, take care to always read the ingredients thoroughly.  The flavour on the front may say duck or lamb but that does not mean that other animal protein sources such as chicken or fish will not be included in the food!

 Does it contain any artificial additives?

Watch out for the use of any ‘nasties’ such as artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives or additives.  These will have no health benefit for your pet and are used to extend the life of the food or to enhance its palatability.  Additives such as these can have a negative impact on your pet’s behaviour and are to be avoided where possible.  If good quality ingredients are used, then the food will be naturally tasty and won’t need any artificial enhancements.

Why not check out our selection of high-quality pet foods on www.dogtor.vet.  We are proud to stock foods that use natural, healthy and tasty ingredients, rich in fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and fish.

Coming soon…

Part 2: Grain-free food, fad or fact?