Choosing the Right Diet for your Pet
Reminders of pet diet problems nag us to review our choice of dog or cat diet among the thousands of varieties available. To simplify the selection, decide your criteria for your pet's diet in advance. Most pet owners want a diet with quality nutrition from quality ingredients, a diet they can buy conveniently, at a cost they can afford. Of course, pet foods should be contaminant-free.
Your criteria for a good diet should:
1. Be adequate; your pet food must meet the Food Standards Agency regulations. They should comply with the Animal Feed Regulations (England) 2010 (similar guidelines in the rest of the UK) and also separate regulations on additives and feed hygiene. Labelling must also be accurate. Enforcing this legislation is the responsibility of local authority trading standards.
2. Meet the requirements for your pet's size and stage of life. Your pet's size and age dictates the right protein-to-fat ratio and the appropriate number of calories per day. This explains why manufacturers make different diets for kittens or puppies, young adults and senior animals. The Pet Food Manufacturers Association has strict guidelines that manufacturers adhere to in order to comply with best practice. Their Nutritional Guidelines are very comprehensive.
Other considerations are what shops carry pet food that are in your regular shopping route? Is there a local pet supply shop? These shops will have staff that can help you choose diets that fit your criteria. In addition, your vet can advise you on the best diet for your pet.
You also need to consider what you are paying now for pet food? Can you afford to spend 10% more for a better diet? If you did, could you stop using vitamins or supplements? A good diet should supply all your pet needs.
Which diets fit?
Take your list of diet requirements (perhaps with advice from your vet) to the shop and plan to spend 20 minutes talking with the staff. Discuss the best two or three diets to satisfy your pets' age and nutritional needs. Ask about the most economical ways to purchase these diets.
Where to find them
Other places to find pet food are online through pet supply stores or from the manufacturer directly. There are also specialist pet food delivery companies in the UK that can fully advise you on the best product in their range for your pet. Although you may find your preferred pet food in the supermarket, you won't find the staff there to help you with the selection.
Double check with your vet
Be sure to put diet on your list of questions for your pet's annual health check. As they get older, your pet's diet will need to change but every pet is different. Then, relax and have fun with your pet. Don't obsess about selecting the perfect diet, because there probably isn't one. Besides, you don't eat the perfect diet, do you?
Top 10 Conditions
Petside: Get Started
- Kitten Life
Learn about the different life stages of your Kitten and much more!
- Puppy Life
Everything you need to know about raising a Puppy, all in one place! Check it out.
- Find a Breed
Browse dog and cat breeds to find your perfect pal.
- Diagnose a Condition
Use PetVet to research what's ailing your pet.