Tag: Cat food

Ensuring Quality Meat In Your Dog Food!

Finding Quality Meat that is Safe and Good for Dogs

The perfect cure for depression and one of the best stress busters are pets, and dogs are arguably the most perfect pets for people with these health problems. That is just one of the many reasons why some people adopt dogs, and how canines help people more than we help them. Considering the aforementioned, it is our responsibility to do our best in taking care of our companions, and that starts with a good diet. For a dog a good diet means quality meat!

Dogs love meat and dogs need meat. As pet parents we must ensure that it is of good quality and sourced from reputable places. There are different quality meats used in different brands of commercial dog food diets. For example, some fish have higher mercury levels than others and certain protein sources can be over or undercooked before they’re used in the formula. It’s essential for dog owners to familiarize themselves with the way meat is processed before it’s turned into dry kibble or put into a can, and other aspects of the process to ensure only good quality meats come our dogs’ way.

If you are confused what to feed your dog, you can ditch the packaged dog food and cook for them yourself. It’s the only way to exactly know what you are feeding it. Or you can check out these tips from Top Dog Tips – the perfect resource in the form of infographic on quality meat in dog food for more information and tips on feeding your dog:

Diet Changes for Your Cat – What You Need to Add!

Before cats became civilized and domesticated, their primary diet consisted of raw meat. Of course, you aren’t going to let your cat out to grab a bite to eat for dinner every night, so you’ll feed him/her a commercial cat food. But what kinds are the right ones that provide a balanced and nutritious diet that your fur ball will thrive on?

Well, if you understand the 5 ways to improve their diet, you can keep your kitty happy and healthy for life.

Veggies are Good

You may think that as a carnivore, a cat only needs meat to survive. The truth is that even when they were wild they always took in some veggies by eating grass or the digested vegetation in their prey’s stomach. So, giving your kittycat a few veggies is a nice little treat. Familiarize them into your cat’s diet by mixing them into their regular cat food, or if they will have them, giving bits and pieces as treats. Some veggie suggestions are broccoli, green beans, squash, and carrots, but always make sure that meat makes up the bulk of your cat’s diet. However, a few veggies added every once in a while is a good thing.

Always Serve Cooked Meat

Yes, cats ate raw meat in the wild, and they also got parasites like worms too. Meat treats are terrific for your cat, but be safe and make sure they are well cooked.

Eggs Make Great Snacks

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and B vitamins, and it doesn’t matter if they are sunny side up, over easy or hard boiled. Just make sure they are cooked, and you’ll be good to go.

Add Omega 3’s to Their Diet

Essential fatty acids, like Omega 3’s, are just as good for cats as they are for humans. Cold water fish are loaded with them, they are heart healthy and your cat’s fur will be silkier and shiny. Better still, research shows that they slow the spread of cancer, and if your cat has arthritis, they’ll reduce the inflammation.

… And Probiotics

If your cat has digestive problems, probiotics are the best thing you can do for them. Probiotic supplements are known for creating more effective and efficient digestion while strengthening a cat’s immune system too.

Follow the suggestions as illustrated, and you’ll see for yourself that a healthy diet means a healthy cat.

Thanks Feline Living for the great tips and infographic!

 

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Nutrition for Your Pet – Do You Know What They Need?

You might be familiar with the nutrition pyramid to maintain an active and healthy body, but do you know what the most important elements of your pet’s diet should be? Don’t just assume the pet food you buy is complete because it says so on the bag or can! Take your pets nutrition into your own hands by familiarizing yourself with their individual essential needs.

Top Pet Nutrition Needs

  • Dogs: Did you know dogs create their own Vitamin C? That doesn’t mean there still aren’t lots of other vitamins and minerals they need! Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium are three important ones. These can be found in fish, milk, and grains. Scientifically dogs are omnivores like us!  This means their nutritional needs are similar to ours. Their body’s require large amounts of proteins, fats, and fatty acids like omega-6 too. Poultry can be a great source of protein, fat, and omega-6 for dogs. If you prefer to take a vegetarian route just ensure that there is plenty of protein, amino acids, and vitamin B in their diet!
  • Cats: Cat nutritional needs have been greatly misanalyzed in the past.  Taurine is an essential nutrient for cats that was originally left out of commercially produced cat food until a deficiency in it led to a lot of pet deaths. While cats largely have the same nutritional needs as dogs, their systems have a harder time metabolizing plant base sourced nutrients. It’s important that cats receive their nutrition from fish, poultry, or other meats. Taurine is found in adequate quantities in a meat based diet.

  • Rabbits: Contrary to popular belief, a healthy rabbit diet isn’t composed of carrots! Where protein is primary for carnivores and omnivores, fiber is number one for herbivores! Feeding rabbit pellets alone is not recommended for a long and healthy life. An essential source of fiber for rabbits is timothy hay and should be provided in unlimited quantities at all times. 2-4 cups of fresh greens & veggies like kale, carrot tops (not carrots, too much sugar!), broccoli, or spinach per day should provide them with all their essential nutrients. Just remember not to rely on rabbit pellets as the primary source of nutrition – a healthy rabbit must have it’s food source fresh and varied!

Be sure to ask your vet if your pet has any further specific nutritional needs based on their breed, age, or existing conditions!

photo credit: Total tininess via photopin (license)

Fruits & Veggies For Your Pet? You Bet!

While fruits and veggies for some pets are common-sense, like rabbits or hamsters, they can seem a little unorthodox for dogs and cats! It turns out that many fruits and veggies can add a lot of important nutrients to your pet’s diet that even the more expensive dog or cat foods can be missing. They can also be a great way to help an overweight pet slim down! At this point, you may be asking yourself whether or not your could get Fido to eat a cabbage? How interested is Snowball going to be in a banana? You might be surprised! It’s all about presentation and learning your pet’s preferences!

That being said, be careful introducing new fruits and veggies into your pet’s diet though. Changes in diet can cause stomach upset in some pets so new items should be introduced slowly and in small quantities at first. Be sure to always wash all produce before you feed it to your cat or dog. Pesticides, germs, and imported fungi or bacteria can make your pet sick too. A simple and quick way to clean your pets produce is to take it straight from the grocery bag and submerge it in a weak vinegar solution in a bowl or your kitchen sink. The vinegar helps to cut the waxy coatings that can make the pesticides adhere to the fruits and veggies and help them rinse cleaner!

WARNING – Always remember to remove all seeds from fruit before feeding it to your pet! Especially apple seeds, which contain small amounts of arsenic. It’s not enough to hurt a human in most cases, but in small pets over time it can cause illness. Also, beware of pits in things like peaches and apricots, which can be a choking hazard! If your pet has a tender belly avoid citrus which can cause upset stomachs, as well as grapes and raisins since they can cause kidney damage in dogs and cats. It’s best to avoid corn, onions, and garlic too.

When introducing the new items, be sure to cut them up into bite-size pieces! You may find it easier to mince them up and mix them in with your pets regular food until they get used to the taste. Who knows though, some pets love fruits and veggies! This summer, if you’re feeling like really giving your pet a treat, try blending them up a smoothie with ice to cool them off and give them a nutritious boost!

 What are some of the best fruits and veggies to introduce to your pet?

Blueberries
Strawberries
Banana
Apricot
Apples
Pineapple
Pear
Watermelon

Bell Peppers
Cabbage
Sweet Potato
Spinach
Green Beans
Pumpkin
Carrots
Cucumber

What about canned fruits and veggies? Try to avoid them since most canned fruits contain added sugars and preservatives, and canned veggies can contain added salt. When possible, stick to fresh produce and don’t try to feed your pet anything you wouldn’t eat too!

photo credit: Moby’s writing table – 43/52 via photopin (license)

 

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