Dog and cat food labels can be confusing, to say the very least. It’s important that pet owners know what ingredients are in the food and their nutritional value. Here’s a sampling of ingredients in your dog or cat’s food, what pet nutrition information to look for, and how it helps your pet:
Common Cat and Dog Food Ingredients:
Fresh animal protein - Often including meat, chicken and fish
High-quality protein is essential for muscle tone/development and healthy skin.
Ground whole corn - Essential amino acids, linoleic acid, fiber and carbohydrates
A great source of energy, and is good for lean muscles.
Meat and bone meal – Concentrated essential amino acids, calcium and phosphorous
Helps maintain lean muscles, strong teeth and bones.
Corn gluten meal – Concentrated essential amino acids, antioxidants, linoleic acid
Builds, maintains and repairs tissue. It also helps a pet’s immune system, healthy skin and coat.
Animal fat – Source of linoleic acid and fat
Promotes energy, healthy skin and coat.
Ground whole wheat – Carbohydrate
A great source of energy and fiber.
Meat or chicken by-product meal – Concentrated essential amino acids, glucosamine and chondroitin, antioxidants
For lean muscle, immune system, bone and joint health.
Beet pulp - Soluble fiber source
Aids in pet digestion.
Vegetable oil - Source of linoleic acid
Good for healthy skin and shiny coat.
Brewer’s rice – Carbohydrates and fiber
Rice is an energy source that aids in proper digestion.
Keep in mind, the ingredients should be selected for nutrients, quality and taste. There should be a balance of quality ingredients to meet your pet’s nutritional needs. No one formula is ideal for all breeds. Your pet’s diet should be based on breed, age/life stage, lifestyle or disease status.
For more information regarding cat and dog food ingredients, and to learn what your pet requires for optimum health, consult with your veterinarian for nutrition counseling at a Banfield Pet Hospital. You can also find more online in the Pet Health section.