The incidence of diet related diseases amongst pets, cats and dogs in particular is on the increase and many leading veterinarians are starting to take notice. The modern diet of most dogs and cats consists mainly of dried and canned shop bought pet food. Whilst many of the leading brands fortify their products with added vitamins and minerals, there are some lower end brands that also include many fillers in their products which increase the salt and sugar content of the food, which will ultimately lead to diet related disease in later life.
As pet owners we want the best for our animals and would like them to live long healthy lives, however many of us overlook the basic requirement of good health, a balanced diet rich in nutrients and low in salt and preservatives. Many pet owners need educating on the importance of providing their animals with good quality food.
I know myself how hard it can be to find that balance between affordability and quality; however some very simple steps can help to ensure your pet is getting the best food you can afford.
Firstly check the label, does it have a high salt or sugar content, is the product loaded with preservatives? Researching the ingredients on the back of your dog or cats canned or dried dog food will give you a good idea of whether it’s going to support your pet’s health in the long run. And of course if there’s something in there you wouldn’t want to eat yourself then don’t buy it for your pets.
Another approach to help support your pets diet would be to feed your pets fresh food as often as possible, this approach cannot be sustained for many of us as it can work out quite expensive. However if you live close to a butchers you could always ask them about offcuts, this would be a great way to feed your pet natural unprocessed food on a budget.
One important and often overlooked fact to remember when you’re choosing food for your pets is that the savings you may make on budget food will be more than doubled in vet’s bills if your cat or dog goes on to suffer from diet related illnesses in the future.
Another thing to remember is that even our children will happily eat sweets all day long if given the choice and we all know how health damaging that can be. Just because your pet loves his current pet food and can’t eat it fast enough doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.