New year, healthier pet! It’s important to feed healthy pet food all year round, but the new year is a great place to start in evaluating your pet’s diet to work towards feeding better!
What Makes a Healthy Pet Food?
What we put into our pet’s body is extremely important as it’s what fuels them. An appropriately balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to their energy level, physical health, digestion, and more. Make sure you’re feeding healthy dog food or healthy cat food to truly help your pet thrive from within.
Cats and dogs are carnivores, meaning they crave meat! Feeding a complete and balanced diet where meat is the primary ingredient (the 1st ingredient in the ingredient list) will not only keep your pet wanting more, but can also help promote tooth and gum health, help keep their coats shiny and vibrant, and can increase their overall vitality and stamina.
Vitamins & Minerals
A healthy pet food will always be complete and balanced, meaning it is formulated to meet the nutritional values established by AAFCO. Appropriate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients in your pet’s food is key in ensuring their well-being. Plus, with a complete and balanced diet, you can feel confident that your pet is getting everything they need through their food and you don’t need to supplement further.
Not only are the ingredients in a pet food important, but so is the quality and safety of them. Look for ingredients like responsibly sourced proteins, like cage-free chicken or grass-fed beef, and organic fruits and vegetables. Avoid unhealthy fillers, by-products, and anything artificial like colors, flavors, or preservatives.
The Power of Raw
Incorporating even a little bit of raw into your pet’s current diet can be very beneficial to many aspects of their health. Raw foods mirror the ancestral diet of a cat or dog with a proper ratio of meat, organs, and bone. They digest more gently and efficiently than other foods and are nutrient-packed to promote oral health, skin and coat health, digestive health, and more. Stella & Chewy’s makes it easy to add a raw boost to your pet’s food with products like freeze-dried raw Meal Mixer for dogs and freeze-dried raw toppers for cats.
When your pet is properly hydrated, their body functions as it should to flush out toxins, digest food, and much more. Wet foods contain the highest moisture content followed by raw diets. If your pet eats dry food, make sure they are drinking ample fresh water on their own to get the moisture their body needs. You can also mix kibble with bone broth, wet food, or raw food to increase the moisture in their diet.
The more nutritional value, the better. Overly processed foods lose many of their nutrients, while those less processed keep important properties that benefit your pet. For both cats and dogs, a frozen raw or freeze-dried raw diet is a great option to consider as it mirrors their ancestral diet and leads to gentler, more efficient digestion with a variety of other whole body benefits. Your pet may even have smaller, firmer, and less frequent stools on a raw diet as their bodies utilize so much of the food. If you’re looking for a more convenient or economical option, consider a kibble that is baked at a lower temperature.