The 9 most popular questions about finished feed
The wild ancestors of dogs and cats ate raw meat – and felt great. Why are we now giving our pets dry food? Is it true that dry food provokes the development of ICD in cats? Do I need to give my dog vitamins or dietary supplements? Or maybe still choose canned food? Find out the answers to these questions from the veterinarian Irina Buyval.
Isn’t it better to feed your pets with natural food? After all, their ancestors were predators!
Yes, indeed, the ancestors of dogs and cats were predators. It is logical to assume that the best thing for a pet is a piece of raw meat. But!
Natural feeding should be balanced. This means that in a single bowl should be all the sources of necessary nutrients for the animal: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Moreover, it is important not only their presence, but also the proportions: they must be suitable for the specific age and physiological state of the animal.
At home, it is very difficult to create a mixture of ingredients that meets the requirements of the pet’s body. Calculation of the amount of each ingredient and the calorie content of the diet is a long and time-consuming task requiring serious knowledge in dietetics and biochemistry. For example, an incorrect ratio of calcium phosphorus and vitamin D can disrupt the formation of bones in a puppy and cause an imbalance in calcium metabolism in an adult dog.
In natural conditions of living on natural rations, the life expectancy of predators is not so long. Whereas modern ready-made diets based on the latest research make it possible to extend the life of an animal up to 15-20 years. All this is due to the natural components of plants and the ratio of fatty acids that cannot be obtained at home.
9 most popular questions about finished feed
Is it true that dry food leads to the development of kidney and liver disease, urolithiasis, allergies, diarrhea and other problems?
Ready-made food of the super premium class, suitable for the pet, and adherence to the norm of feeding, on the contrary, support the health of the pet. Another thing is malnutrition. It doesn’t matter, ready-made or natural. From poor-quality or inappropriate pet foods, health problems can actually develop.
Excluding infectious and parasitic diseases, the main causes of health problems in dogs and cats are stress and poor nutrition. Therefore, the task of any owner is to choose the right diet (if there is no confidence in the choice of food, it is better to consult a veterinarian) and monitor the condition of the animal.
A provocateur of diseases, such as allergies and ICD, may be an imbalance of nutrients or the presence of ingredients to which this animal has an allergic reaction. Another reason is mixed nutrition. This is when meat, cereals or other products are added to the finished feed. Or when one feeding a day is finished food, and the other is food from the table. Want to keep your pet healthy? Do not repeat such errors.
What kind of food to choose?
The best solution is a ready-made diet, selected taking into account:
– age of the pet (growing organism, adult animal, old or old),
– level of physical activity (low, medium, high and very high),
– conditions of detention (apartment, aviary),
– physiological characteristics at a given time.
For an active animal, for example, it is better to choose foods high in protein, fat, L-carnitine (to help the liver convert fat into energy). Carbohydrates should be different in degree of digestibility and blood sugar after their consumption (so that the body does not lack energy and does not start using proteins for this). The presence of chondroprotectors and substances that support the intestinal microflora is also welcome.
Which is better: dry food or canned food?
There is no fundamental difference. You can start from what kind of food the pet prefers, or combine both in one diet.
If we talk about a large dog, it is unprofitable to feed canned food. They contain up to 70% of water and are packed in an iron can, for which the owner pays extra money. In addition, companies producing super-premium feeds make both dry and canned food with the same nutritional composition in terms of dry matter. They can be combined, but with the correct calculation of the daily norm.
How to switch to a new feed?
Switching to a new feed is necessary only if necessary and necessarily gradually.
During the week, at each feeding, part of the old feed is replaced with a new one. The amount of new food in the bowl gradually increases until the old food is completely removed.
At this stage, the feeding is mixed. On an ongoing basis, feeding a pet in this way is not recommended. But for the period of changing the feed – this is simply a necessary procedure that will protect the pet from an imbalance of microflora, gastrointestinal upset, or simply hostility to the new feed.