Many pet owners are just as concerned about what goes into their pet's food as they are about their own food. With so many brands out there, how can a concerned pet lover know that they are feeding the best? How can we know what is going into our friends' diets?
With the health of their pets on the line, pet owners have shown an increased awareness and concern for how commercial pet foods are produced. Many are choosing alternative sources when providing nutrition for their pets.
There are more than 15,000 brands of pet food offered in the United States and the responsibility for insuring the safety of those foods lies with the FDA, the USDA and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Consumers have choices ranging from dry kibble that provides convenience and a long shelf life to canned and semi moist foods that look good enough for humans to eat.
Through a combination of quality ingredient selection, proper compounding, and a cooking process that destroys harmful microorganisms and enzymes, pet food manufacturers help to insure the safety of the pet's food. The benefits derived from this attention to detail are evident in the extended longevity of our dogs and cats over the last few decades.
Home cooked meals have provided a strengthening of the human-animal bond for some pet owners, but veterinary experts agree that people should take time to discuss the possible concerns of this type of diet with their veterinarian. Nutritional deficiencies can be very common when feeding meals prepared at home. Whether discussing the merits of a particular diet or trying to decide which commercial food is best for your pet, the family veterinarian is still the best choice to help you make an informed choice.