Things to Consider When Choosing Food for Your Pet - The Trupanion Blog
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Things to Consider When Choosing Food for Your Pet

Families like to choose a pet for different reasons. Some want the companionship while others want the children to learn responsibility by caring for a pet. Whatever the reason for getting a pet, the animal itself has certain requirements in health maintenance and general care. Teaching a dog to come when it’s called, sit and stay, bathing the dog using the right shampoo and getting its shots is general care. Pet foods, however, are a minefield pet owners need to tread carefully for the ultimate health of the pet.

dog and cat at dinner table with meal food

By-Products
If pet owners read the ingredients on the pet foods bag they will usually see meat listed first. Then they will see rice, vegetables and meals listed. What pet owners need to know is that pet foods eliminate water from the meats and add ground bone and cartilage to make meal. The animal is actually getting fed the ground up left-overs from the slaughter of animals for people foods.

Pet Nutritional Needs
Animals need the same vitamins and nutrients people need. These are usually added to prepared pet foods as an afterthought, but in the general daily requirements for pets. Dogs and cats need different nutrients, obviously, but the basics are the same:

  • Water for hydration of the skin and organs
  • Protein for healthy muscles
  • Fats for energy
  • Carbohydrates also for energy
  • Vitamins and minerals

Some sources of carbs in pet foods come from gluten meal and starchy vegetables, which are no better for pets than for humans. Any benefit derived from vitamins and minerals in commercial pet foods is usually destroyed during the cooking process.

What’s the Answer?
Aware and compassionate pet owners wouldn’t wish some commercial pet foods on their worst enemies, or their pets. What’s the answer? Dogs and cats can eat people food, too, in limited quantities, says a well known vet in Fishers IN. They get the same protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals that we get. The most important thing is to watch for the possibility of bacteria growth in things like raw salmon and tuna. Cooked foods we eat are good for them, such as:

  • Cooked chicken, lamb and beef (every now and then)
  • Peanut butter for protein
  • Eggs for protein
  • Apples for fiber and keeping their teeth clean and breath fresh
  • Green beans and carrots for vitamins and minerals


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