The Skinny on Pet Nutrition

There are hundreds of pet foods on the market, with more and more hitting shelves every year. Are you feeding your pet the best diet it deserves or are you simply confused by all the choices out there?

If so, you’re not alone!

It’s hard to make “best” choices for Fido’s menu when he’s gazing up at you with optimistic hopes you’ll share that cheeseburger. Although feeding pets sounds simple enough, if you browse the web for information about what food to give, how much and why, you will surely end up dazed and confused by the magnitude of sometimes conflicting information available to address your questions.

Take, for instance: Is kibble or canned better? Should you feed a specialty food? How do you know it’s actually a quality food? How do can you be sure what’s on the package is really what’s in each kibble? What food is dangerous for my pet? Why is the food my vet sells “better” than what’s at the pet store? Is this a company with consistent product recalls? What about supplements? Is “prime rib flavor” meaningful? What about raw diets? Does kibble size, shape and color matter? What does “formulated” really mean? Why is this food only suggested for supplemental or intermittent feeding? Why is the information on a company website different than what’s on the package? Isn’t all pet food the same? What’s “organic?” Who is AAFCO and why are they so important? What’s the difference between weight loss, healthy weight, light and lite foods?

Fortunately, feeding your pet a quality, balanced diet is not as difficult as those questions make it sound. The key is recognizing that you are feeding your pet, not a generic idea of a pet or some tv commercial star. Each pet has unique needs and there is no one-size-fits-all rule. Whether your dog is perfectly healthy or has a medical condition that’s mitigated in part by diet, it is important to choose food that benefits your pet’s overall health needs – not wants.

This is beginning to sound just like how you think about your own diet, isn’t it?

It should! Knowing how to choose the right lifestage food and how to read the ingredient label is just as important for what you feed your pet as it is for what you feed your family.

Mountain Aire employees are constantly continuing their education to provide the best information to clients about pet nutrition. We also work together with representatives from food company distributors so that we can be confident in what we pass on to clients. Please bring us your pet food questions and curiosities! We’ll work with you to choose the best diet for your pet as well as help you plan a feeding schedule/amount that promotes healthy weight and maintenance. We will be happy to teach clients how to read pet food labels, figure out pet food fact from fiction, decipher ingredient lists and calculate proper caloric needs.

We also carry a variety of prescription diets and healthy treats for sale at the hospital. Have questions? Call (661) 248-7387 today!