Catering to the Pet Palate

One can safely assume that a large percentage of the people in the world own a pet or two – be it feline or canine. They pull out all stops when it comes to taking care of them, whether it is grooming or feeding them. Specialized pet stores are stacked with all sorts of delicacies and gourmet offerings. With such a vast array to choose from, what should influence your choice?

Perhaps these are some things to look out for:

• First, the manufacturer has to adhere to industry guidelines stating that the product is complete and balanced in its nutritive value. You should find a label on the package saying just this. If this statement is missing, do not buy the product.

• The first few ingredients listed should give you an idea of the quality of the product – whole meat includes water and is preferable over meat meal, this does not include water. The list should include whole grains and vegetables.

• Look for the expiry date on the label.

• A high quality company will provide you with a website and phone number so you can call if you need to, for further information.

• Your canine pet needs a high percentage of protein in its diet, and this will be found in the form of chicken meal, lamb meal or beef meal.

• If there is grain content, make sure it is whole grain. Whole grain supplies fibre, vitamins and minerals. The best grain is rolled oats, barley, quinoa, millet and brown rice.

• Your pet, quite like you, has different nutritional requirements. Your vet should be able to help you figure that out. Do also keep in mind that what is appropriate and appealing to you, need not be suitable for your pet! By all means enjoy your chocolate, but it is poison to your pet.

While it is much easier to step out and buy all this off the shelf in your supermarket or the pet store, a home cooked meal for your pet is definitely more sensible. This way, you are sure of what goes into it, and you can figure out your pet’s preferences while serving it up all fresh! Of course, that would depend on how rushed your schedule is. There are a whole lot of websites that give you recipes of anything delicious you would like to dish up for your beloved pet. If however, your only option is store bought meals, it is best to stay with reliable brands.

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