Have you ever gone to the pet store and stood in the food isle asking yourself, “Which one do I choose? Is one better than another? How do I know what my pet needs? Are the ingredients really that different? Will he eat it?” So many questions and too many options. Nobody needs that level of stress. Seriously!

I did a little digging and learned some interesting information about pet food.  The food we feed our animals should strengthen their immune and digestive systems, promote a sleek, shiny, and healthy coat, and provide sustained and efficient energy.  What we feed them should be appropriate for their age and breed as well as their size and weight. Any medical conditions should be taken into consideration as well.

The consensus is that whole food-based diets are BEST.  Foods containing nutrients equal to what humans consume, are just as beneficial to animals. Pet food labels list the most plentiful ingredients first, down to the least. Some good options for meats include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, venison, pork, and fish.  Whole grains like brown rice and oats are an excellent source of energy.  Some fruits and vegetables are also valuable sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Some ingredients to definitely avoid include wheat gluten and corn, grain meals and by-products, food dyes such as Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6, and rendered fat and bones. Grapes, raisins, persimmons, plums, peaches, onions and garlic can also be harmful to pets, along with salt, sugar, caffeine, milk and dairy. Regardless what you feed your animals, do your research first!

So, which food do you choose? Listed below are some choices I found with good ratings.  These are only suggestions.  You should always consult with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, especially if he or she has special dietary needs.  You should also make sure you slowly adjust the ratio of old food to new so your fur babies don’t experience digestive issues. No one wants vomit or diarrhea on their carpet or favorite rug.

Mama T’s Favs:  Acana, Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Merrick, Orijen, Primal Pet Foods, Taste of the Wild, Wellness Complete, and Whole Earth Farms.

It’s all about the love…Mama T