Volumes of research support your pet’s nutritional requirements. Pet food prepared using the AAFCO standards provides the complete and sole source of nutrition required for your dog or cat. While your pet may consume table scraps with enthusiasm, they will not provide your pet with appropriate nutrients and may add unneeded calories to your pet’s diet. The judicious feeding of treats is also advisable.
Types of Pet Food
Pet food comes in three forms: canned, semi-moist and dry. Each type can provide complete nutrition for your pet, provided it is manufactured in accordance with AAFCO standards. No one type is healthier than another though many pets will show a preference for one over the other. The most appropriate choice of food should be made in consultation with your veterinarian, taking into account your pet’s lifestyle, age and overall health.
Extensive research goes into the development of pet food. Pet food manufacturers are always working to increase their knowledge of pet nutrition, ensuring food is palatable, healthy and completely meets the nutritional requirements of your pet.
Decades of research have gone into determining combinations of ingredients which provide pets with the proper mix of nutrients. Each ingredient in pet food is included to benefit a pet’s diet. No ingredients are included as “fillers”.
Commercially-Prepared vs. Homemade Food
While it may seem safe and nutritious to prepare your own pet food, there are a number of important factors to consider.
Cats and dogs have different nutritional needs than humans. It is often difficult for pet owners to know and to meet these requirements.
For example, if the calcium level in pet food is too high or too low, it may adversely affect the health of the pet. Similarly, mismanaged fat intake can result in health issues such as pancreatic problems.
Additionally, improperly prepared food may become contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella which can make your pet sick. Pet food manufacturers have safeguards in place throughout the manufacturing process to prevent such problems.
Commercially-prepared pet foods represent the safest and most balanced food choice for pets.