Diet plays a huge role in your pet’s well-being. Therefore, choosing what to feed your pet is important. Like humans, animals require good nutrition for longevity and wellness.
A small disruption to your pet’s diet can spark unhealthy consequences. For instance, a deficiency will manifest in the long run if your dog or cat lacks essential nutrients. So consider these tips to improve your pet’s diet and nutrition.
11 Tips to improve your pet’s diet and nutrition
Our team of vets has come up with the following proven tips that can help you improve your pet’s diet.
Avoid raw food
Although raw food diets have become popular recently, experienced veterinarians, including the FDA and CDC, don’t recommend them. There are risks associated with feeding your pet these meals despite limited evidence suggesting they have some benefits.
Raw pet food in the commercial market may contain germs such as salmonella and listeria, which can affect the health of your pets and your family. Another problem with raw diets is their inability to offer your pet a balanced nutrition. If you are unsure if a raw diet is advisable, you should ask your vet for assistance.
Avoid changing your pet’s diet frequently
Humans may view variety as the spice of life, but this may not apply to pets. Changing their diet frequently may be bad as you could accidentally risk their health. This is because regular food changes can impact your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhea.
When you invest in a new ingredient for your pet, consider slowly incorporating them into their meal plan and watch out for behavioral changes—introducing new foods may be needless when they eat well and have no allergies or intolerance symptoms. Many pet owners wrongly assume they can reduce allergies by adding various ingredients. If you need help transitioning to a new protein, find out from your veterinarian if it’s safe.
Stick to a particular feeding plan
Most people feed their pets once in the morning and in the evening. Pets easily get used to their mealtimes, so it would help if you stopped giving them extra servings between meals. Scheduling your pet’s feeding time will aid their digestion and portion control. This will encourage them to follow a healthy eating schedule and control their habits.
On the other hand, overeating can impact their digestive tract. Finally, it lets you easily spot changes in your pet’s eating behavior, so keep this in mind.
Add nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast (yeast extract) has gained popularity in pet wellness thanks to its flavour-enhancing power. But can dogs eat nutritional yeast? Of course, they can. Nutritional yeast comes in various forms with a cheesy and umami taste, and it is a great source of protein for dogs. This plant-based diet provides amazing benefits, containing all the essential amino acids.
If your pet is very selective with its diet, consider adding some nutritional yeast to make the food more delicious, luring them into eating. Nutritional yeast also comes with minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese – these promote proper growth and improve brain, muscle, and bone development.
Embrace fresh whole foods
Vegetables and fruits are great examples of fresh whole foods to consider introducing to your pet; they have live enzymes supporting their health. The fiber in whole foods aids digestion and encourages pooping.
Unlike many synthetic meals, whole foods have nutritional cofactors that work in sync to aid the absorption and assimilation of nutrients. It helps to puree veggies for maximum nutrient absorption, so feel free to consider this.
Inflammation is a common cause of diseases and premature aging in dogs. Processed commercial foods are inflammatory by nature and are closely linked with risks of pancreatitis. Investing in natural, anti-inflammatory whole foods is advisable. This way, your pet can look and feel younger.
Control the number of treats you serve your pet
One way to ensure your pet eats healthily is to control how many treats you give them. The packaging bags often indicate how many treats you should feed your pet, normally one or two. However, serving them too many snacks daily can lead your pet to eat more calories than they require, and that can cause weight gain.
Supplement treats with dental chews
While treats are good, they may not be good for the teeth. Therefore, supplement them with a natural dental chew every day.
Dental chews help clean your pet’s teeth and gums, allowing them to fight off oral health issues that create discomfort. This way, you can rest assured that you won’t spend much on oral disease treatments.
Wash pet bowls and containers regularly
Clean pet bowls and plates before and after eating. You should wash dry food and water bowls in soapy water once weekly. Scum accumulating in the bottom of dirty bowls can invite mold and bacteria, making food smell and taste bad and making your pet sick. Cleaning food and storage containers prevents infections and diseases.
Feed wet food after an annual dental cleaning
Most pet owners know the essence of sending their cats and dogs to the vet yearly for checkups. However, many overlook dental cleaning. Dental cleaning is necessary for most pets at the age of 3, so find out from your veterinarian when yours should take its cleanup. This should be done regularly just like regular grooming.
You can reduce plaque, tar, and bacteria by combining at-home cleaning with professional dental cleanup annually. This will reduce your pet’s risk of experiencing tooth loss, gum disease, and kidney problems. However, this process can make their teeth sore, and dry food may be difficult to consume. In this case, wet food will be the best option, so keep this in mind.
Include oils for essential fatty acids. For instance, fish oil is healthy for dogs as it contains essential fatty acids to boost immunity and improve inflammatory conditions like allergies and arthritis. Adding oil will beautify your pet’s skin and coat.
Review your pet’s meal plan with your veterinarian
Feel free to consult your vet for specific nutrients and supplements for your pet to ensure they eat healthily. Vets can make nutritional supplement recommendations according to your pet’s age, breed, and overall health.