Just like you, your pet needs to eat a healthy diet in order to thrive. However, many commercial pet foods are not good for your dog or cat. When you go shopping for pet food, these tips can help you buy healthy foods for your beloved pet.
Read the Label
When you buy food at the grocer’s for your family, you probably read the labels on boxes and cans to determine the calorie, fat, and sugar content. In the same way, you should always read the labels on the food for your pets, even if you are just buying food for your goldfish. Whatever type of pet you own, you should know what to look for on labels to ensure that he or she will get healthy, safe food.
Look for Protein
All dogs and cats need protein in their diets to supply their bodies with energy and to keep their muscles in top form. When you’re shopping for dog or cat food, it is important to read the list of ingredients. One of the first three ingredients should be some type of animal protein such as beef, chicken, lamb, or pork as they are carnivores and not vegetarians.
Avoid Certain Ingredients
When you’re reading the label on pet foods, look for these ingredients: wheat gluten, BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol. If you spot these ingredients in either canned or dry formulas, then don’t buy them. Wheat protein is basically a filler and the other ingredients may be used as preservatives. While most foods found in a pet shop are healthier for your pets than store brands, you should still read their labels.
Buy Appropriate Food
It is important to buy the right type of food for your pet, especially if he or she is young. Kittens and puppies need extra protein so that their bones and muscles develop properly. In addition, the size of the kibble is easier for them to eat than adult foods and it is made to be softer. It may also have added nutrients that your older animals do not need.
Look for Contact Information
Most pet food manufacturers will have a telephone number or email address you can use to contact them with questions or concerns. If you are unsure of what the ingredients are in the foods you’re buying, you can call them to get an explanation or look them up online on your mobile device while in the store. If the pet food you are looking at doesn’t provide this information, you should reconsider buying it.
Check for Expiration Date
You probably don’t like eating food that is stale or spoiled and neither does your pet. When examining the foods you’re thinking of buying, check the can or bag for either an expiration, sell by, or production date. If you find a date, but are unsure what it is, ask an associate at the pet store because he or she should be able to tell you or look it up.
By following these tips, you should be able to buy good, nutritious food for your pets.