When it comes to choosing the right foods for your pet, a lot is at stake. Ultimately, the foods that your dog eats will determine the quality of their life and how healthy they are. One trip to the pet store is enough to realize how many different brands of dog foods there are. The problem is that all of them claim to offer the best nutrition for your pet. So how is a pet parent supposed to choose which food to go with?
The answer to this question can only be determined by pet parents themselves. There is no one type or brand of food which can said to be the worldâ€™s healthiest pet food. Each dog must be taken as an individual; the right food for them will depend upon their breed, overall health, and unique personal qualities.
How to Know If Your Pet is Healthy
One of the simplest ways to determine if your dog is healthy is to evaluate their current state of well-being considering the food that they are eating. In general, the quality of the ingredients and foods that your pet consumes will determine and directly influence their overall health.
Meals which contain fresh poultry and meats, vegetables, fruits, high-quality fibers, as well as essential dietary fats are amongst the healthiest foods that you can feed your dog. By experimenting with a combination of these ingredients, you can find recipes which are perfect for your pets.
Make an Assessment List
An assessment list is a great way for you to determine how healthy your pet is at any given point. All you need is a piece of paper. Draw two columns on the paper and use one to list your petsâ€™ current health problems and the other to list their positive healthy traits.
Examples of health problems could include:
- Bad oral hygiene including bad breath and tartar/plaque build-up
- Upset stomach
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Prone to infections
- Gunk in eyes
- Bad body odor
- Odor coming from ears
- Thinning coat
- Low energy
- Behavioral problems
- Frequent infestations of ticks, worms, and fleas
- Passing of excessive gas
Healthy traits can include:
- Lots of energy
- Healthy weight
- Clean, fresh breath and teeth
- Clean ears
- Glossy coat
- Good disposition
- Clear eyes
- No itching or skin issues
- Normal appetite
Once you have your list drawn up, youâ€™re in a position to assess your petsâ€™ current overall health. If you find that they appear to have more health problems as opposed to healthy traits, your pet doesnâ€™t have very good overall health. The foods that they are consuming are not satisfying their nutritional requirements.
The best way to tackle this problem is to provide your pets with a more wholesome diet.
Proper Nutrition for Better Health
Dietary management and changes can go a long way in addressing nutritional deficits. Most commercially manufactured pet foods lack the proper nutrients that our pets so desperately need. Whatâ€™s more, these foods are chock full of fillers, preservatives, meat-meal, harmful chemicals, and dyes. Feeding your dog such foods for a long period of time can lead to your pet developing health problems.
One way in which you can take control of your petâ€™s nutrition and health is by feeding them natural, fresh foods. You can take various factors into consideration which will influence the types of foods that your pet needs such as:
- Activity levels
- Environmental conditions
- Allergies or intolerances
- Health conditions
- Reproduction and lactation
- Individual factors
What to Look for in Pet Food
By evaluating your petsâ€™ current state of health and taking into account specific factors which could influence the type of nutrition they need, youâ€™ll be in a better position to choose the right foods for your pet.
When looking for the right foods for your pet, choose the freshest option possible. If you donâ€™t have the time to prepare fresh meals, there are certain pet food companies that are making fresh foods. One such company is Freshpet. Freshpet offers pet parents a wide variety of different choices when it comes to pet foods. They are careful to use fresh and natural ingredients which are all locally sourced including high fiber grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole proteins such as liver, eggs, poultry, and meat.
Freshpet also has a few recipes which are grain-free in case your pet suffers from a grain intolerance or allergy.
At the end of the day, choosing the right foods for your pets involves understanding the individual and unique health concerns that they have. Whatâ€™s good for one dog may not necessarily be good for another. Therefore, take some time to understand what it is your pet needs from their food, and accordingly, provide them with meals which are wholesome and natural, and meet their nutritional requirements.