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Keeping your pet in good health with the right food

We all know that eating well and limiting our intake of fat, sugar and salt is important for our health and well-being. For those of us with four legged companions, giving them the right nutrition is just as vital for their fitness as it is for our own.

Check the labels.
Buying the right food for a pet is more complex than just picking up a pack of whichever brand has the best advertising campaign on TV or the cutest pictures on the label. It is tempting to buy whatever is on offer at the supermarket, but how can we be sure that this is the right choice?

A Balanced Diet is vital.
Like humans, pets need a balanced diet, low in fat, salt and sugar, but high in protein and with the right amount of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. That pack of pet food that is on offer may well have all of these things, but then again, it may not. It might not have good quality ingredients or the right balance of nutrients. Choosing the best pet food can be as simple as selecting a specialist pet nutrition brand, such as Hills pet nutrition, however. Companies that manufacture pet food with a strong focus on pet nutrition develop their products with the help of veterinarians and pet nutritionists, in order to get the nutritional balance right. This takes some of the confusion out of buying the most appropriate food for our pets.

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The Basics of Pet Nutrition.
The basics of pet nutrition are very similar to those of human nutrition. Pets need plenty of water for good health and as little as a 10% loss of water from their body can result in serious health problems.

Protein is an essential part of an animal’s diet. Dogs are primarily carnivorous and cats cannot survive without meat in their diet, so it is key to a pet’s good health that they have a much higher level of protein in their food than humans. Fats are important to animals, too, although, as with their owners, too much fat is bad for them. Fats provide energy, but it is important to find the right balance.

Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy for pets, too, but it is very easy to overload a pet’s diet with these. In some cases, too many carbohydrates can result in the energy being converted to fat in the body and this can cause obesity and all of its associated illness and diseases.

On the subject of obesity in pets, the beauty of specialist pet food is that it can be used, in some cases, to help overweight pets to lose some weight. Many specialist brands offer prescription food, available through veterinarian surgeries, that are specially formulated for weight loss.

However, it is important to seek out the advice of your vet before changing your pet’s diet. A vet can advise on the best food for your companion and can offer specialist foods on prescription if there is a health problem that can be helped with improved nutrition.

AUTHOR BIO

Peter Smith is a veterinary surgeon who writes on pet care and pet health issues for a range of websites and publications. For the best quality pet nutrition products, he recommends hills pet nutrition.

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