Apr 17 2015

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Food Diets

With all the different brands and types of pet foods, the confusing labels and the wide variety of places to buy pet food, it is sometimes very difficult to know not only what food is best for your pet, but what questions to ask! Here are some of the most popular.

1) Why are veterinary pet food diets so expensive?

When diets are compared on a cost per day basis generally there is not a significant difference between veterinary and pet store diets. If your veterinarian is recommending a prescription diet ask them for a daily feeding cost and compare it to the diet you are feeding currently. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised reasonable it may be. Improved digestibility, decreased feeding requirements, differences in bag size and quality of diets are all responsible for the fair prices of veterinary diets. Also veterinary prescription diets come with a 100% quality guarantee. If your pet will not eat the diet or you have any concerns you can return the diet and will receive a full refund.

2) What 2 characteristics are the most indicative of a high quality diet?

High digestibility, low ash (mineral) content

3) What are some indications of high digestibility of ingredients within a pet food?

  • Lower quantity of diet being fed
  • Lower amount of stool produced
  • Better quality stools
  • Excellent skin and coat quality

4) Do pet foods contain antioxidants?

Yes

5) What are some commonly used antioxidants used in pet foods?

Vitamins C + E, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid, taurine, lycopene, selenium, and lutein

6) What are the benefits of antioxidants in pet foods?

Antioxidants decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, cataracts, arthritis and cushion the aging process as well as provide excellent skin and coat quality

7) Does meat as the first ingredient indicate a higher quality diet?

The ingredient list is based on weight prior to processing and is in decreasing order. A majority of meat’s weight is water which evaporates during processing for dry diets. This affects its actual quantity in the end product. Keep in mind the old adage, “quality over quantity”. An appropriate amount of high grade protein is much more beneficial to your pet than a large quantity of low quality protein. More important is finding a diet which has a complete balance of amino acids from protein (meat and non-meat sources). Dogs are naturally omnivores so their diet should consist of a mixture of meat and plant products, unlike cats which are naturally carnivores “meat eaters”.

8) Are grain free diets better?

Thus far there have been no controlled studies performed that support a grain free diet. They do not have improved digestibility over diets with grains. Grains are not the only source of carbohydrates. Some vegetables such as sweet potatoes or regular potatoes provide high levels of carbohydrates to the diet. Grain free diets are not consistent with hypoallergenic diets. Beef and dairy are common allergens and many grains are not common allergens. Therefore allergy prevention should not be used as the sole reason to feed a grain-free diet.

9) What are the nutritional benefits of corn in pet’s diet?

  • Excellent source of energy
  • Provides linoleic acid, an essential fatty acids for cats and dogs
  • Great source of fiber (insoluble and soluble)
  • Less flatulence that soybean/wheat

10) What are the most common food allergies?

  • Dogs: beef, dairy, wheat (3 common triggers) lamb, checken. eggs, soy
  • Cats: beef, dairy, fish

11) What are the major concerns with raw food diets?

It is important to ensure the diet is nutritionally balanced and complete.

Bacterial contamination (eg: Salmonella, clostridium) can infect the animal and/or spread to other animals and humans sharing the environment. The spread of food-borne parasites is normally killed with heat during processing of food. Bones (raw or cooked) can damage teeth or cause obstruction of gastrointestinal tract.

Lifelearn Admin | Topics in Health