We know our pets need a healthy & nutritious diet to live a happy & fulfilling life. To stay fit, they need exercise & an equally good diet. It is important to strike a balance between the two. But how do we know if we are able to fulfill our pet’s nutritional needs? What all needs to be taken care of?
Do pets need a balanced diet too?
Yes. Just like us, our pets also need a balanced diet. An imbalanced diet can cause chronic & severe heart & liver problems in pets. Our pets are carnivores in nature. They have evolved from wild animals but due to their domestication, their needs have changed. Although a diet is usually prescribed depending upon the age, height, weight, breed, etc, few nutrients are essential for their well being -
Dog: - Water
- Moderate amount of Fats
- Minimal amount of Carbohydrates
- Fatty Acids
- - Amino Acids
Some tips to follow in order to maintain your pet’s nutritional needs are as follows:
Check the label of your pet’s food. The first 5 ingredients form the bulk. A simple check would ensure whether your pet is being fed the right kind of food or not.
- Opt for wet food which is made with fresh ingredients like chicken, fish, vegetables & infused with healthy oils like hemp seed oil for dogs and fish oil for cats.
- Wet food should also include healthy ingredients like Probiotics. They are gut-friendly bacterias that keep your pet healthy, their skin shining, and promote their overall well being.
- Avoid any food items which have added sugar, salts, gluten, xylitol, GMO, etc. Your pets don’t need toxicity in their food.
- Apart from the regular food, special attention should also be paid to the treats that are being given to them. Sometimes the treats are loaded with sugar & other nasty items which can be harmful in the long run. Go for healthy treats that are infused with ingredients like Hemp Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Pulp, Probiotics, Ashwagandha, etc.
Peanut Butter is a famous treat amongst dogs and dog parents. It is a highly nutritional treat if given in limited quantities. But before getting any Peanut butter, make sure to look out for a toxic ingredient “Xylitol.” It is an artificial sweetener that is life-threatening to dogs. Instead, look out for healthy ingredients like Prebiotics, Ashwagandha, Rosemary, Olive Oil, etc.
- Sometimes food doesn’t fulfill the nutritional needs of a pet. In such a case, supplements can play a big role.
- For calcium deficiency, pet-parents can opt for a calcium syrup
- To increase immunity, an immunity booster syrup will be a good choice
- And to strengthen liver functioning and increase appetite, a liver tonic will do wonders
- To improve the coat of your pets, a coat supplement tonic should be given
- Another scientifically proven oil which is extremely beneficial for cats & dogs is Hemp Seed Oil. It is derived from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant which is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and bio-actives. It can be used topically as well as mixed with food. When used in the right quantity, it can provide benefits in abundance. Choose one that is 100% natural oil with the lowest amount of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
Can we provide nutrition using only home-made food?
A nutritious diet can be provided by feeding home-made food but it is always better to consult your vet about it. While home-made food can definitely improve the health of your pets, there are some essential nutrients that you might end up missing out on. Hemp Seed Oil, Ashwagandha, Rosemary, Prebiotics are some examples.
These nutrients can be added into the home-made food to increase the nutritional levels and health benefits. Some healthy home-made pet food alternatives are as follows -
(i) Home-made fresh Curd - for good bacteria as it will keep the gut healthy. Don’t opt for yogurt as it contains a high amount of sugar.
(ii) Rice - is a rich source of carbohydrates that provides energy but should be fed in a limited amount.
(iii) Paneer - is another food item loaded with Protein which can be easily mixed with fresh vegetables.
(iv) Fruits & Vegetables - depending upon the taste buds of your pooch, you can also feed them fresh fruits & vegetables as they are rich in fibers.
(v) Cooked Boneless Chicken/Meat/Fish/Eggs.
(i) Meat & Boiled Eggs - for Protein content.
(ii) Whole Grains - like Oats, Corn, Millets, etc are also rich in Protein and will keep their tummies full.
(iii) Cooked Fish - are rich in Omega-3 and Fatty Acids.
While maintaining the nutritional needs of your pets, don’t forget to stay away from food items that are known to be toxic. Chocolates, Onion, Garlic, Xylitol, raw meat, and fish, etc are a big no. Also, it is always beneficial to consult your vet about the dietary needs of your pet. Remember that each pet’s nutritional requirements are different.
If you wish to consult a vet for your baby’s dietary needs and nutrition, don’t forget to call our vets at home! Call us on +91 8431620000 to get all your pet-related queries solved. Visit our website www.wiggles.in to fulfill your pet’s nutritional needs. Happy National Nutrition Week to all!