That woeful look that your dog gives you as you’re cutting a bite of steak. That plaintive meow from your cat when you open a can of tuna. You want to give in. But should you?
The US pet food market makes up an estimated 37% of worldwide purchases, and it’s expected to continue growing. We spent over 42 billion dollars on pet food and treats in 2020. In comparison, we spent 31.4 billion on vet care and products. And of those vet bills, the number one issue that vets deal with is Gastrointestinal problems.
With more people adopting pets, more urbanization, and more choices, it can be difficult to know what the best food is to feed our pets in Orlando, FL.
While canned food is more appealing to our cats and dogs, dry food is more palatable to owners, especially in urban settings, creating less mess and more convenience when it comes to storage. Animals that are having problems with digestion, or hydration may be better off with wet food, but the chewing and crunch of dry food promotes health in our animals as well as reducing tartar and plaque on their teeth.
Organic, natural, and grain-free foods are the new trend. While organic pet foods don’t contain hormones, GMO’s, antibiotics, or synthetic fertilizers, they can contain up to 5% of non-organic ingredients and the USDA doesn’t mean that the “organic” ingredients originated in the US.
Natural foods must have their origin in natural ingredients, but other than no chemicals being used in the process, all bets are off. So, if the cows used for the beef in your natural dog food were fed hormones, it’s still considered natural.
Grain-free foods do not contain, well, grains, wheat, rice, rye, barley, or oats. But they can contain peas, potatoes, chickpeas, lentils and other non-grain ingredients that can supply the fiber and carbohydrates that your pet needs. Some recent studies have shown that there may be a correlation between heart disease in pets that are on a grain-free diet.
Now that we know a little bit more, there are some ingredients that should always be avoided in both treats and foods:
Ingredients are listed by quantity, so if the first ingredient is Soy, while it may be natural, it’s not a good choice as the main ingredient for your carnivorous pet.
Pure pet foods and treats:
Remember to consult your vet in Orlando, FL to make sure that you are feeding your pet the right food. Some animals have allergies to certain ingredients which could impact their health.
So, before you give your dog a lick of that ice cream, or before you feed your cat that piece of pepperoni, think about the ingredients, and remember, a healthy, vet approved snack is much better.