Complete Guide to Choosing Cat and Dog Food
Complete Guide to Choosing Cat and Dog Food is something that you really need to pay attention to in raising a cat or dog. Because if you don’t pay attention to what nutrients are eaten by cats and dogs, it will have a bad effect on their health.
Food is the basic thing needed by us and our pets…
As we know, food has an important function of supporting life, providing nutrition, producing energy, and running all systems in the body.
Provide adequate nutrition so that our cats and dogs become healthier and more resistant to various diseases.
Complete Guide to Choosing Cat and Dog Food
What are the differences in food for dogs and cats?
Feeding or dieting dogs and cats cannot be the same. There are different needs between dogs and cats.
Although anatomically or body composition is composed of the same organs. However, the need for feed is very different.
This is closely related to the diet of dogs and cats.
Dogs are omnivores or can eat a variety of feed ingredients in the form of meat, vegetables, fruit. While cats, including obligate carnivore (true carnivores) or really meat eaters.
Before becoming pets, they as wild animals were able to hunt and find their own food.
When in the wild, they can choose the food they want, according to their needs.
But now it is totally dependent on humans. So that knowledge and the pet food industry is growing very rapidly, especially in developed countries such as our country, the United States.
What are the types of food for cats and dogs?
Pet food or pet food, especially for cats and dogs, varies greatly with prices that vary greatly depending on the brand.
Here are some types of food for cats and dogs:
1. Commercial Food
Commercial food is food that is widely sold with clear labels along with special formulations for dogs and cats.
There are two types of commercial food, namely wet food and dry food.
Wet food is food with 70% water content packaged in pouches or cans. Dry food is dry food with less than 10% water content. The form is in the form of various kibbles or biscuits or pellets.
Usually there are also commercial foods that are specific to certain conditions “prescription diets” or are also grouped by certain races. This determination is of course based on research from their respective nutrition teams.
Pros of dry food:
- Commercial dry food and wet food are easy, practical, instant, varied and affordable prices.
Disadvantages of dry food:
- Need to pay attention to the condition of the packaging, the quality of the product. For wet food products, the storage must be correct, because the product after opening is easy to rot.
- Storage of dry food also needs to be considered, because it can cause mold and decrease in quality if not stored properly.
- In addition to paying attention to the packaging, also pay attention to the portion of the provision, feeding exceeding the portion can increase the risk of obesity.
2. Homemade Food
This was common before there was commercial food specifically for cats and dogs.
Usually, cats and dogs eat the same food as their owners, or the owners deliberately make special food for cats and dogs.
This is rarely done at this time because it is quite time-consuming and costs more….
But…for me personally, I still do this to vary the food so I don’t get bored with commercial food.
It should be noted that for cats and dogs there are differences in diet.
Dogs need ingredients other than protein such as fruit, vegetables, and a small amount of carbohydrates. But cats can only be given protein alone because they are true carnivores or eat meat, fish.
Pros of homemade food:
- The ingredients used are fresh, you can provide them with ingredients you have at home, so they are sure to be clean.
Disadvantages of homemade food:
- Not formulated so that it is prone to overnutrition and nutritional deficiencies.
- Also need to pay attention to the ingredients that are allowed to be consumed and not for cats and dogs.
- The cost and time required will be more.
- It’s also prone to cats or dogs being obese or overweight.
Foods That Cats and Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
Here are examples of foods that should not be given to your beloved cat and dog.
Well, this type of food is now a “trend” in various circles.
Based on a deeper understanding of the natural behavior of dogs and cats as predators.
So for the presentation of food is not cooked, but the raw material of food which is more protein such as meat, fish, chicken.
For dogs, it is usually mixed with fruit and vegetable juices. Of course using safe materials so that an understanding of food ingredients, especially foods of animal origin, needs to be studied more.
This is because mistreatment will lead to a high risk of contamination by bacteria, parasites (Toxoplasma), and worms (Taenia).
Handling by heating will usually kill these parasites, but because of the use of raw food principles. So, it is necessary to wither or cool with a certain time and certain conditions to kill harmful parasites.
Pros of raw food:
- With fiber that is still intact and without the cooking process. Makes nutrition not lost due to heating and also trains dogs and cats to bite and tear. So minimize the condition of tartar.
While the disadvantages are:
- More knowledge is needed on the health of meat, chicken, fish and their handling to make it safer and minimize the risk of parasitic contamination.
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Can Food Variations for Cats and Dogs be allowed?
In the process of feeding, we want to make variations. So, it’s okay as long as it’s safe. Food variations can be done in various ways:
- Mixing new brand food with old brand food
- Completely replace with new food (brand and type change)
- Make your own food and mix it with old food (mix dryfood with fish pudding)
However, usually not all cats or dogs want their food replaced.
Initially there must be an adjustment phase.
May experience appetite delivery and behavioral changes.
Changes in feed in cats and dogs sometimes provide problems for digestion.
Especially in animals with sensitive digestive tracts.
Changes in feed for dogs and cats also need to be considered, not infrequently this process causes stress on pets and causes digestive tract disorders.
Gradual feed changes can minimize imbalances in the digestive tract and maintain the mood of cats and dogs.
This feed change process is carried out for 7 days:
- Day 1–2 mix part old food with part new food
- Day 3–4 mix part old food with part new food
- Days 5–6 mix old food with new food
- Day 7 can be given new food completely given
The form of liquid stool or loose stools is one of the symptoms that arise due to changing feed.
Usually it won’t take more than 2 days during the feed change process.
To treat this condition can use probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that can help balance the bacterial population in the gut.
The sudden change of feed makes the intestinal atmosphere change, which causes the bacteria to also be disturbed.
Probiotics can be easily found in the market, usually we are familiar with processed milk, yogurt, kefir, or also probiotic drink preparations, and probiotic powder.