When seeking a healthful food for your family pet there are many options to select from. With all the television advertising and the visually appealing packaging sitting on the shelves how are you to know what choice to make? The first thing to do is read the ingredient list.
When reading pet food labels the first five ingredients can really tell you the composition of what's in that bag or can of food. The first ingredient on the list should be a named protein. The protein should be a named meat or fish and should indicate specifically chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, herring, etc. Dogs, and especially cats, thrive on protein from meat sources. A concentrated named meat protein such as chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, herring meal, etc. are also considered quality meat sources and should also be listed in the first five ingredients.
Look for carbohydrates derived from whole grains and starches such as brown rice, barley and sweet potatoes. There are several grain free pet foods available and many pets thrive on this option. Fresh, whole fruits and vegetables such as whole potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, alfalfa, apples, etc. are important components of the ingredient list.
Our pets need fats and oils. Quality, named fats such as chicken fat, lamb fat, sunflower oil, herring oil, etc., should be listed along with natural preservatives such as mixed tocopherols. Vitamin E is commonly used. And finally antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C, and E, and chelated minerals should also be listed.
By feeding your pet a diet consisting of wholesome ingredients the result will be the utilization of available energy, better muscle tone, a stable immune system, and achieving complete digestion. Ultimately, a healthy and happy pet is the goal.