Choosing the correct food for your pet can feel confusing but reading the label can be a good start. When it comes to protein content, the minimum requirements for growth and reproduction are 22.5% and for Adult Maintenance 18% – both seem rather low.
Points to consider:
Kibble or mixer: ‘Complementary Feed Only’ is NOT complete and balanced and doesn’t even meet the meagre requirements. ‘Complete foods’ with meat or cereal-based with meat means at least 4% meat.
In ‘Complete Foods’, the quality and percentage of meat used varies. Grain-free foods and cold pressed kibble can still be high in carbs.
Freeze-dried raw food is usually high quality but is very expensive
Complete and balanced minced raw food is available with varying levels of carbs and vegetables. A lot of raw foods, however, are not complete and balanced and raw feeding has its own set of problems.
Whilst our vets, Iris and Andreas, are members of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society, they understand that raw feeding is not suitable for some families and their pets.
The good news is research in Finland has shown that a diet with just 20% fresh food shows health benefits.
Home-prepared food can be a very good option for pets especially with certain conditions and if owners can dedicate time to its preparation. A ration calculation is a good way of making sure, over time, that home-prepared (DIY) food is balanced.
Prescription diets can be helpful for clinical conditions.
A.P. Vet ltd. recommends seeking good advice, particularly if your dog has clinical problems. Nutritional advice is a key part of our holistic consults for clinical problems. Please note that clinical conditions, for example irritable bowel syndrome/disease, colitis, pancreatitis and allergic skin problems require a referral.
We also offer affordable Nutritional Advice consults to our Holistic Pet Club members, with the aim of promoting healthy digestion and a good body weight which help form the basis for good health.