Nutrition for Pets
Your fur kids need a wide range of nutrients to live a healthy life. These range from the macro-nutrients, like protein and fat, which dogs need in large quantities, to micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals which are needed in much smaller amounts, but are just as crucial to a cat & dogs’ health.
Healthy fur kids, are usually willing to eat (often too willing), but how often should we feed them? We discuss general feeding habits here for canine and feline kids to help you frame your own solution to this question.
In the West food is described by its protein, fat and carbohydrate content. By contrast, in the East food is described by the effect it has on the body when eaten, for example its temperature, flavour and route of action. We provide a quick overview of this topic.
A more emotional topic of discussion is variety. Variety in your fur kid’s diet is of great importance to pet parents; it may be less so for your fur kids. There are two schools of thought regarding the provision of variety.
Preservatives are essential in preventing spoilage of food. As people learned more about food and as chemicals were developed to prevent spoilage, the incidence of food poisoning statistically decreased. However, chemicals also have a bad side. Long-term ingestion of certain chemicals might be harmful and may be linked to chronic disease including cancers. We discuss this topic in greater detail.
Vitamins are a group of compounds that are essential for keeping your fur kid fit and healthy. They cannot be produced in sufficient quantities by the body and so have to be taken in through diet. Because they aren't stored efficiently, daily intake is important. We discuss this topic in greater detail.
'Ash' is one of the most commonly misunderstood terms in pet food. Contrary to the images it conjures, ash is simply a measure of the mineral content of a food. When calculating the food's calorific content, it is incinerated and the energy released is measured. All of the carbohydrate, fat and protein burn off leaving only the minerals. We discuss this topic in greater detail.
Although there is some discussion over whether dogs need fibre in their diet or not, there is now a growing consensus that dietary fibre can be beneficial for dogs, if used responsibly. We discuss this topic in more detail.
Fats (or oils as they are often called) serve a number of essential functions in your fur kids. Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat and per gram, fat provides more than twice the energy of protein or carbohydrates. We discuss the role of fats & oils in your fur kids' diet in detail here.
Protein is an important part of every cell in your fur kid's body and is essential for healthy growth and repair. Skin and muscle tissue both contain large amounts of protein, and it is also the main component of hair and nails. In dogs, protein is also an important energy source. We discuss the role of protein in the diet in greater detail here.
Carbohydrates – sugars, starches, and fibre – can be good sources of energy in common commercial pet foods, if used responsibly. However, irresponsible carb contents of current commercial pet food offerings is the reason for the current debate on raw diets taking place. Please discuss this topic in greater detail.