If you drove by our clinic this week, you probably saw our sign which says: “Good pet nutrition is a daily commitment. Are you taking it seriously?” This is such an important question to think about. What do you do every day for your pet? Of course giving them attention and affection should come to mind – but without fail, you feed your companion every day. Nutrition therefore certainly deserves a priority place in the daily routine of caring for your pet.
Research has proven over and over the benefits of excellent nutrition on the health of our pets. Numerous medical conditions can either be partially or fully managed through diet alone (for example, obesity, urinary issues, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and the list goes on). But why should we wait until there is a medical problem to focus on good nutrition? Perhaps jumping on great nutrition from the beginning can minimize or curtail potential negative or undesired health outcomes. Certainly focusing on excellent nutrition from reputable companies can easily help you avoid feeding unbalanced, unhealthy, or harmful diets.
When thinking about which pet food company to pick, we recognize there are lots of brands to choose from and the decision can be difficult. Media hype can also make the selection process harder. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has some great recommendations on selecting pet foods. Some questions to consider include:
- Does the company employ a nutritionist?
- Who formulates the food and what are his/her credentials?
- Are diets tested using AAFCO guidelines?
- Where are the foods manufactured and what specific quality control measures are in place?
- Will the company provide a complete nutrient analysis?
- What kind of scientific research has been done on the product?
- Does the manufacturer of this food only make this brand, or is the same manufacturer producing food for multiple brands?
As your pet’s veterinary clinic, we are here to help you make the best nutrition choice for your pet – so give us a call or make an appointment to discuss your nutrition questions and concerns!
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS