You are what you eat. If this truly is the case, what is your pet? If you’re unsure, don’t worry-you’re not alone. Most dog and cat owners wouldn’t know how to answer this question. Why? Pet food companies often try to sway pet owners’ thoughts about what makes a diet healthy and nutritious based on their own products and profits. This can make selecting the right food for your beloved pet frustrating and confusing. Luckily, we’re here to sort it out for you, so you can properly assess your pet’s diet.
- Excessive Portions
Some cats love to eat. This can make it difficult to judge if your cat is truly hungry or just begging because eating is fun. Additionally, kitties and older cats have unique caloric needs. One way to tell if your cat is receiving too large of portions is to assess if your cat is overweight. Your cat’s waist should taper in, not bulge out.
- Only Canned Food or Only Wet Food
Cats don’t instinctively drink as much as they should. They have a low-thirst drive which kept their ancestors safe from the danger that might occur if they stoop down by a creek or pond. Cats received their hydration by consuming their prey. When cats only eat dry kibble, they’re much more likely to become dehydrated, leading to urinary problems. You should also always have multiple water sources available to your cat and even use a water fountain to encourage healthy hydration.
- A No-Meat Diet
Cats need meat. The reality is cats are obligate carnivores. This means they need to eat meat to thrive and survive. Their bodies aren’t built to survive off a strict vegetarian or vegan diet because they need taurine, a protein found in meat. Without taurine, cats can develop heart and eye problems.
- High-Carbohydrates and Low Protein
A quality diet for a cat will consist of high protein and low carbs. This is the best combination for proper digestion and healthy energy.
- Treats Don’t Count
Many cat parents don’t calculate their cat’s treats into their daily dietary needs. This can be disastrous. If your cat is consuming too many treats, she will plump up quickly, have an imbalanced diet, or begin to be a pickier eater. Cat treats do not have to follow the same health guidelines as a cat’s primary diet. Your cat’s diet should be only be made up of about 5% treats.
- Choosing a Dog Food Based Only on Price
This is true of very expensive and inexpensive dog food. Just because a food costs a lot, doesn’t mean it’s balanced properly for your dog. As for inexpensive dog foods, not all dog foods are created equal. There’s often a reason for an extremely low price.
When selecting your dog’s diet, always look at the ingredients, first. Try to avoid foods that don’t list meat as their first ingredient. A safe dog food will always have the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ statement.
- Going Fully Grain-Free
The FDA is currently investigating whether or not a grain-free diet is dangerous for dogs. This investigation came about after a trend arose that showed a connection between canine heart disease and grain-free diets for dogs. While the investigation is still being done, you may not want to risk your dog’s heart by feeding her a fully grain-free food.
- Feeding Your Dog the Wrong Formula for Her Needs
Dogs have different dietary needs depending on their life stage, size, and health. You want to work with your vet to ensure you’re feeding your dog the right food and when it will be safe to move your dog onto a different food.
- Switching Foods Overnight
Some dogs don’t adjust well to quick dietary changes. It’s best to gradually add a new food into your dog’s existing food to help their digestive system adjust. Otherwise, you might wind up accidentally giving your dog a case of diarrhea.
- Puppy Supplies Can’t Be Harmful
If you are providing your puppy with the right food for their breed size and age, they do not require supplements unless your vet suggested them for a deficiency. In fact, supplements can be detrimental to a puppy’s health. For example, extra-large breed dogs, like St. Bernards, can suffer from growing too quickly for their bones and joints, resulting in lifelong health issues and strains.
Puppies and dogs can also suffer from an overdose of some vitamins. This can be toxic.
We hope your pet lives a long, healthy life. Having proper nutrition is part of providing them with the best opportunity to do so. Don’t make these mistakes and long live your dog or cat!
ViviPet Snow Ball Tofu Cat Litter
— Meow for now —