Choosing the Right Food For Your Pet
Nutrition is the supply of materials (nutrients) required by organisms and cells to stay alive. Food is the vehicle to provide these nutrients.
Poor nutrition can be associated with poor skin and coat, chronic gastrointestinal issues, and other types of disease. While adequate nutrition enables an animal to survive, the ideal is to have our pets thrive. Optimal nutrition enables an animal to reach its full potential by maintaining a luxurious skin and coat, strong muscles, bones, and joints, and improving the animal’s day to day performance. Nutrition is one of the most important considerations for an animal’s survival and lifelong health, as well as disease prevention and management.
Because of this, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) created guidelines to help determine the nutritional requirements of cats and dogs. Among AAHA’s recommendations are suggestions for choosing a pet food company. These will help ensure the dog food and cat food you choose to feed your pets is going to provide them with the tools they need to live a long and healthy life.
AAHA provides a series of questions to ask a pet food company before choosing their products.
1. Do you have a Veterinary Nutritionist or some equivalent on staff in your company? Are they available for consultation or questions?
2. Who formulates your diets and what are their credentials?
3. Which of your diet(s) is AAFCO Feed Trial tested? Which of your diets meet AAFCO Nutritional requirements?
4. What Testing do you do beyond AAFCO trials? What kinds of research on your products has been conducted, and are the results published in peer reviewed journals?
5. What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your product line? What safety measures do you use?
6. Where are your diets produced and manufactured? Can this plant be visited?
7. Can you provide a complete product nutrient analysis of your bestselling canine and feline pet food including digestibility values?
8. Can you give me the caloric value per can or cup of your diets?
The answers to these questions will help you to choose a reputable pet food company, so you can feel confident that you are providing optimal nutrition in a highly digestible, high quality, and very controlled format to your beloved pet.