A basic instinct of mankind is to nurture, care and love not only to its own species but also to other domestic species of the animal kingdom. Thus evolved the concept of a petting an animal at home. Pet nutrition needs to be species appropriate and a balanced diet which includes required quantities of carbohydrate, protein, vitamin, lipid, minerals and some essential nutrients. An animal receiving an optimal nutrition will have soft, glowing skin and fur, strong muscles, bones, and joints. It will be active, happy and simply put will reflect health and vigor.
Also it is important to find out if your pet is allergic to any particular food type. You should avoid it altogether. You can either go for formula food or home cooked food. Pet food formulas are composed of a combination of ingredients from the basic food compounds so that by consuming a formula that is complete and balanced your pet can meet their daily nutrient requirements. In that case you do not need to provide your pet with additional supplements, top-dressing or rotating diets. Majority of these formulas can be consumed safely by cats and dogs because the companies have to abide by certain strict government regulations like that stated by Federal and state regulation board.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that all foods, which includes pet formulas should be safe, manufactured under hygienic conditions and should not contain any harmful substances. It is mandatory to state the composition of such foods truthfully. The labels should not be misleading. You should take the following points into consideration while choosing a formula for your dog or cat
i. You should look for AAFCO certification on the dry food packet to make sure it meets the basic requirements for vitamins and trace minerals.
ii. Dogs and cats need more meat than carbohydrate. The label of your dry dog food should read beef, turkey, lamb or chicken rather than general terms like meat, animal or poultry.
iii. Avoid labels which read meat by-products. They contain parts of beaks, feathers, feet, hooves, hair and even tumors.
iv. The second ingredient in the list should be vegetables. Avoid corn, wheat and soy. Corn is a cheap filler ingredient. It contains very less nutrients for these animals, and is sometimes allergenic. Soy is estrogenic causing troubles in the endocrine system.
v. It is preferable that the whole grain source is brown rice. Organic grains may be included. Avoid formulas with grain fragments. These are actually non-nutritive fillers.
vi. Whole fruits are highly recommended for the dogs and cats. In fact, they can replace the grains.
vii. Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives should be altogether avoided. They are known to contain carcinogens. Avoid compounds like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propyl gallate.
viii. Try to buy foods where vitamins E and C preservatives are used. They are often called tocopherols.