Would your life be complete without your furry friends around? You might actually consider them members of the family. You already know from your own life that you are what you eat, as diet matters in everything from your daily energy level to your size on the scales. It’s no different for your pets. If you want to make sure you’re taking care of them, keep reading into the following paragraphs to learn 7 facts about pet food you likely didn’t know already.
7 Facts About Pet Foods You Probably Didn’t Know
1) Pets Are Not People:
You might want to feed your pets foods that are of human quality but don’t feed them like they are people, even if your cats think they are people. As profound as your relationship with a pet might be, and even if you refer to them as your kids, they’re not actually human beings. You might like a nice plate of steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans, but pet nutrition follows different rules than your own stomach does. That’s not to say you can’t sneak treats under the table and feed them some foods healthy for humans, but their primary source of nutrition needs to be a steady supply of natural and protein-based pet food that is safe for them. That’s particularly true for specific breeds that might be more likely to have gallbladder issues or kidney stones since a wrong diet can make such issues possible or worse.
2) Remember The Protein:
As stated in the previous point, pet foods should largely be protein-based. What you want to avoid are pet foods that have a lot of processed grains or wheat. Unfortunately, many shelf-stable commercial options are full of these. Sticking more with protein, though, will give your pets more energy, and they’ll suffer fewer GI problems.
3) Skip The Chemicals And Preservatives:
It’s a sad reality that pet food makers can put things in pet food that human foods don’t get, like toxic chemicals that would trigger FDA actions. Many of these chemicals are preservatives to keep the food shelf-stable for as long as possible. That’s why fresh foods or foods with minimal ingredients are better choices. That’s not to say all preservatives are bad though. Natural preservatives like rosemary extract and citric acid are sometimes necessary. Names of things you should avoid, though, include options like tert-butylhydroquinone and butylated hydroxyanisole. A good rule of thumb is this: if you can pronounce it without a headache and have some idea what it is, then it’s likely okay. On the other hand, if you think you might also find it on the label of a household cleaning product, find something else.
4) Do The Dishes:
You’d likely never eat off of a dirty plate. Everything you use goes in the dishwasher after one use so you’re always eating off of something clean, right? So why do it to your pet? Letting your pet’s water and food bowls sit for a week or longer can mean bacterial growth, putting your pets at risk of anything from mildly upset stomachs to diarrhea and vomiting. Guess who is cleaning that up and taking them to the vet? Make sure your pet dishes get washed with dish soap and rinsed out thoroughly every day of the week.
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5) Remember That Dogs Aren’t Wolves:
Many dog owners assume that dogs are still wolves. It’s true that dogs are descendants of wolves. It’s also true that the two species have about 98 percent identical DNA. However, they follow different diets. No study has happened yet that which shows dogs do better following a raw diet. In fact, it can be risky. Eating raw means potential pathogens leading to food poisoning.
6) Home-Cooking Is Noble, But Hard To Pull Off:
Making sure your dog stays nourished well with something human-grade doesn’t mean you can just feed your dog anything you eat or your dinner leftovers. Most dogs wind up eating the same thing every time, so you need to be sure the food is fully balanced on a nutritional level. Some dog owners know that home-cooking is often best for humans, so they try and do the same for their dogs, whipping up recipes with ground meat, rice, and peas. However, doing this might bring too much of certain nutrients and not enough of others. Work with your vet to find foods or recipes that have the proper levels of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
7) Keep Your Dog Hydrated:
Pet food isn’t all that matters for your dog’s health. As a general rule of thumb, your dog is going to need between a half to full ounce of water for every pound of his body weight. Active dogs or dogs in warmer climates might even need more (these pet water bottles might come in handy!). Check with your vet to learn specific amounts, and keep in mind that natural, fresh food can be hydrating too.
Now that you’ve read this article, you know 7 facts about pet food that you might not have previously. Use this information to keep your furry family members healthy and active for as long as you can. At the very least, you can sprinkle some of this wisdom into conversation with other pet owners to make yourself look good and possibly help out others while you’re at it.