Selecting the Right Pet Food for Dogs, Cats, and Exotic Pets

Aug 1, 2023Blog Posting

Picking the best food for your furry friends can be overwhelming when there are so many options. To keep your pets healthy, knowing what they need to eat is essential. Whether you have a dog, cat, or exotic pet, this guide will help you make a good choice and ensure your pets get the proper nutrition.

Understand Your Pet’s Dietary Needs

Dogs, cats, and exotic pets all have different food needs. Age, breed, size, and how much they move around can affect what they should eat. So, picking food that matches your pet’s requirements is essential.

Check the Ingredients List

When choosing pet food, read the ingredients list carefully to know what’s in the food you’re giving your pet. Look for good stuff like real meat, fruits, and veggies. Avoid foods with a high content of fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives. Also, watch out for things that your pet might be allergic to.

Check for Quality and Safety Certifications

Look for certifications on the package to ensure your pet’s food is safe and good quality. Certifications like AAFCO show that the food meets basic nutritional requirements. Here is an example of an AAFCO statement:

AAFCO STATEMENT: “Brand A” pet food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO for all life stages.

Another statement may look like this:

AAFCO STATEMENT: Use only as directed by your veterinarian. This product is intended for intermittent feeding only.

Foods classified for “intermittent or supplemental” feeding are typically broths or “toppers” but may include some wet foods. These foods do not provide complete and balanced nutrition and are intended as a complement to be fed with a complete and balanced diet.

Think About Your Pet’s Age, Size, and Activity

Your pet’s age, size, and how active they are matter when it comes to food. Puppies and kittens need food with more calories and nutrients to grow well. Older pets might need food with fewer calories. Larger and more active pets need more protein and fat, while smaller and less active ones need fewer calories to stay a healthy weight.

Know Your Exotic Pet’s Nutritional Needs

A group of exotic animals in a line

Pets like reptiles, birds, rabbits, and hamsters have different diets than dogs and cats. Some foods that seem good for them might actually be bad. For example, rabbits can get overweight if they eat too many sugary fruits and vegetables. Yet many people think you should feed rabbits lots of carrots. Apple seeds are toxic to birds. Citrus fruits can cause tummy distress and diarrhea in a hamster. And so on.  We are specially trained in the veterinary care for exotic pets. So please consult with us so you know what your exotic pet requires for their diet and which foods could make them ill.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

One common issue among pets is obesity, which can lead to various health problems as they age. Our team at Hammond Veterinary Hospital will help you develop a proper diet and exercise plan to keep your pets within a healthy weight range. We know that it can be easy to over-feed a pet, especially when they give us those adorable begging eyes, but maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for their well-being.

Lifelong Nutritional Care

Just like us, pets’ nutritional needs change as they go through different stages of life. We are committed to providing lifelong care for your pets at Hammond Veterinary Hospital. Whether they are a playful puppy or a wise senior, we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure they receive the best care and nutrition possible. Also, we have an on-line store offering a wide variety of top brands that can meet your pet’s needs, and you can have it delivered to your home.

In Conclusion

Selecting the right pet food is essential for the health and happiness of your beloved companions. By understanding their nutritional needs, reading ingredient lists, considering age and activity level, and seeking guidance from our experts at Hammond Veterinary Hospital, you can ensure your pets lead a long and healthy life. Remember, our team is here to support you and your pets at every stage of their journey. Our experts can help you choose the right food and give you nutrition advice. We want to keep your pets happy and healthy, so don’t hesitate to ask us for help.

Your Friendly Team

Hammond Veterinary Hospital