A healthy diet for your pet needs to be ‘complete and balanced’, meaning a diet that contains just the right amount of protein fat, carbohydrate and essential vitamins and minerals to help ensure that they remain healthy.
According to the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia, commercial foods for dogs and cats must meet Australian pet food standards (Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS5812), which satisfies the nutritional requirements of the animal, so you shouldn’t need to supplement your pet’s diet with additional vitamins or minerals.
Also, some pet foods contain added ingredients, such as Omega fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support and antioxidants for healthy brain function.
Keep in mind, though, that feeding guidelines on pet food labels are ‘guidelines only’ and not to be taken as a strict rule. In Australia, 41 per cent of dogs and 32 per cent of cats are either overweight or obese, according to PFIAA. That’s why it’s important to consult your vet about which ‘complete and balanced’ food and amount you need to be feeding your pet.
If you choose to feed your pet a home-made diet, best to consult a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the diet is safe, consistent and nutritionally adequate to meet their individual needs.
Always have plenty of clean water available, too!
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