Sometimes, with all the hype about name brand pet food, natural pet food, and diet pet food, it can be a bit overwhelming when deciding which to feed your pet. While it very common for people to purchase pet food at a supermarket or pet supply store, an increase is showing in the number of people who are beginning to make their own pet food.
An article by Shirley Lipschutz-Robinson sings the praises of a raw food diet for all pets. Her argument revolves around the feeding habits of animals in the wild. She states that domestic pet diets lack the necessary nutrients to keep our animals healthy and active. Veterinarians report an increase in multiple diseases resulting from that lack of raw meat in both dogs and cats, according to the author.
Most pet owners, however, prefer to purchase foods produced specifically for pets. Pet food varies greatly in terms of quality. Certain brands (Science Diet dog food, Purina Puppy Chow) are more expensive and believed to contain more nutrients and therefore, to be better for pet feeding. Be sure you have fresh water available for your pet at all times.
The different types and brands of dog food are vast, and it can take a lot of research to find the right one for your dog. Most commercial brands of dog food offer moist canned dog food, dry food, and semi-moist food. Veterinarians usually do not recommend that you feed your dog semi-moist food on a regular basis, as there can be additives and chemicals in them to help them last longer. If you decide that you want to keep your dog on a more natural diet, there are all natural dog food available. A dog’s diet is half made up of carbohydrates, usually in the form of grains. When feeding a dog, the general rule is that puppy feeding should be done frequently throughout the day, and adult dogs should be fed once or twice a day.
Never feed your dog chocolate, onions or garlic in any form (fresh, powder, flakes), persimmons, plant leaves (potato, tomato, rhubarb), mushrooms, grapes / raisins, or macadamia nuts. Also, do not let your dog chew on dryer sheets or eat human vitamins. The chemicals are harmful to them.
Cats also have a variety of food to choose from, ranging from dry, to semi-moist, to canned (wet). As with semi-moist dog food, veterinarians do not recommend it due to the preservative chemicals it contains. Cats require a high moisture content in their food, therefore it may be a good idea to stock up on canned food, which has a terrific balance of moisture.
There are also foods which are unsuitable to feed to a cat, such as: dough that contains yeast, onions, mushrooms, plant leaves, garlic, sugary foods, raw eggs, salt, persimmons, macadamia nuts, and raisins/grapes. Regardless of the rumors that milk is good for cats, you should never feed a cat cow’s milk, as they cannot digest it properly. There are some brands of cat food which offer small bottles of milk, usually intended for kittens.