Healthy Diet: The Nutrients Your Pet Needs

Call (240) 252-7467 for pet care & service in Germantown.
Grey cat eating food

Feeding your pet the right type and amount of food is one of the most important aspects of helping your furry friend live a long and healthy life.

The right food delivers all the nutrients your pet needs to thrive, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water.

But when you arrive at the pet store, you’re confronted with several aisles of different foods from different brands at different price points. How do you make the proper selection? Use this pet nutrition and diet guide for starters.

For more information on pet nutrition and food, call Germantown Vet at (240) 252-7467 for more personalized help choosing a pet food.

 

What Is Pet Nutrition?

Pet nutrition refers to ensuring the foods your pet eats helps, not hurts, their health. This means ensuring that they get enough vitamins and minerals from their food, and it also means giving your pets the right calorie count to maintain a healthy weight for their size. Food for your pet should include:

  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates

If you need help determining the nutrition your pet needs, contact Germantown Veterinary Clinic for help. Call (240) 252-7467 to have one of our veterinarians look at your pet’s diet to determine if you need to make some changes.

Should My Pet Be on a Diet?

At Germantown Veterinary Clinic, we view nutrition as a lifelong journey. While overweight pets can benefit from reducing their calories, we prefer to view this as a lifestyle change, not a diet. With the right food, which we will help you choose, your pet can get to a healthy weight.

See if your pet is at a healthy weight with a call to Germantown Veterinary Clinic at (240) 252-7467.

The Importance of a Nutritious Diet for Your Pet

More than half of all house pets in the United States are overweight. Often this is due to well-meaning owners who shower them with love and affection in the form of food. Unfortunately, being overweight leads to problems with joint pain, diabetes, asthma, and more.

Of course, the opposite is true too. Underfed pets or pets that are fed poor-quality food are more likely to get sick. If the lack of nutrients remains unaddressed, the pet could even die.

Clearly, pet nutrition is important, and Germantown Vet can help you make better choices for your pet. Call us at (240) 252-7467 or contact us online to discuss pet nutrition with our caring pet care team.

How to Pick the Right Pet Food

  • Check the label: Dogs and cats are natural carnivores, meaning their wild counterparts only eat meat. You want your pet’s food to contain primarily, if not solely, meat ingredients. Check the label to find out what’s in the food you’re considering. When selecting cat food, look for the AAFCO statement indicating the food is a complete and balanced source of nutrients.
  • Consider a higher-priced food: Cheap pet food may be more affordable off the shelf, but if it fails to keep your dog or cat healthy, you could face excessive vet bills. Better food also makes your pet more lively and happy. Select the highest quality pet food you can afford with your budget.
  • Avoid chemical preservatives: Dry food, in particular, is bound to have preservatives to extend the shelf life. However, avoid any pet food that contains BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin since these can be harmful to your pet’s health. Vitamins E and C are natural preservatives that are a lot healthier.

Need more guidance about the best food for your pet? Contact the veterinarians at Germantown Vet!

Wet or Dry Pet Food?

The biggest decision you have to make is whether to choose dry bagged food or wet canned food. Each has its advantages and drawbacks.

  • Dry pet food: Most pet owners opt for dry food. It’s cheaper, lasts longer once opened, and is better for your pet’s teeth and gums. For cats, dry food gives you the convenient option of free feeding, or leaving a bowl of food out all the time. Dry food also keeps your dog’s stool firm and compact for easier cleanup.
  • Wet pet food: Canned food also has benefits. For one, it has higher moisture content, making it a good source of water. It’s also more palatable for finicky eaters and has greater protein and fat content with fewer carbohydrates to more accurately mimic a wild animal’s diet. Plus, wet food usually has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Mixing dry and wet pet food: Searching for the right balance, many pet owners serve a combination of dry and canned food, especially if their animal is a picky eater. You may need to experiment to find out what your dog or cat likes and can easily digest.

How Much to Feed Your Pet

Cat owners who free feed with dry food have it easy. It’s up to the cat to eat how much he needs, returning to his bowl throughout the day for little snacks. For dog owners and those who prefer wet food, consider the animal’s size and activity level when deciding how much to feed your pet.

Contact Us for Pet Nutrition & Diet Tips in Germantown, MD

For personalized advice about what type of and how much food to feed your pet, feel free to contact Germantown Vet with all your questions. We’ll help you understand your pet’s nutritional needs, so you can both be happy!

If you’re a new client, skip the paperwork and pre-register online or learn more about our pet wellness packages!

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