4 Tips For Pet Healthy Eating: #3

The phrase “you are what you eat” applies to your pets as well. Many pet parents have questions about health diets and choices  about food for their pets. Here are some tips for healthy eating for your pets.

How do I know if the diet I buy in the store is of good quality? What should I look for?

It is difficult to judge pet food’s quality by looking at the label. Also “quality” may mean different things to different people and for different pets. For example, many people think that a high protein, highly digestible diet is of better quality, when in fact, excess protein may not be beneficial, and at times, high-fiber foods are more suited for only some dogs and cats.

  • While specific dogs and cats may be sensitive to certain ingredients, such as corn, grains, or wheat, these are not inherently harmful. They provide fiber, vitamins, and energy in the diet.
  • Verify that the pet food label has an adequate Association of American Feed Control Officials.  This claim may be stated in several ways:
    • “This food has been formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog/cat Food Nutrient Profiles for the specific life stage.” (This means that the diet has been formulated by a computer to meet the nutritional requirement for cats/dogs at a specific life stage, but has not undergone trials in live animals.)
    • “Animal Feeding Tests substantiated that the food provides complete and balanced nutrition for the species and the life stage.” (This means that this diet has been tested in animals under the AAFCO feeding protocols and has been approved according to the specified criteria.)
  • The World Small Animal Veterinary Association offers a comprehensive nutrition toolkit for veterinarians and pet owners.

Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog needs a checkup, shots, vaccines, give us a call at 503.666.1600 or visit our website at:

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