Floridawild Veterinary Hospital is celebrating July as Nutritional Awareness month.

nutrition01Feeding our pets a nutritious, balanced, species appropriate diet is one of the top essential building blocks to maintain their robust health. This said however, there is no such thing as a “best” diet, and the pricier pet foods don’t always guarantee equally high quality. With the whopping number of pet food products on the market, being able to choose the most appropriate and genuinely nutritious products can be a daunting experience. However, it can be a lot easier to be able to select the optimum food for your pets by following some of these simple suggestions.
When choosing a pet food, if the marketing of the product sounds "too good to be true" and if the manufacturer cites research studies that are not provided to the purchaser, or makes claims that they cannot substantiate, this throws up a red flag and that product should be avoided.

Pet owners are constantly bombarded with TV and magazine ads that depict mouth-watering pictures of juicy red meat or taste-tempting roast chicken on the package. It’s important to read labels carefully since these yummy appearing pet foods that list meat by-products and/or chicken meal as first ingredients are generally made from poor quality protein.

Some pet food manufacturers advertise their products as providing pets the “finest” possible nutrition. But in the final analysis many of these pet foods are not all that healthy. Today many pet owners are aware that many common conditions such as allergies, obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, dental disease and poor coat condition may actually be the result of diet that is lacking “species appropriate” ingredients and may even trigger these conditions.
For example: Cat food containing grain may be responsible for causing some digestive problems in felines, and an excess of carbohydrates can lead to putting on those unwanted pounds. For dogs, a low-quality food containing ingredients that are hard to fully digest can cause flatulence. Some dogs may be lactose-intolerant and may also have allergies and food sensitivities so it's important to be aware of what your dog's stomach can or cannot easily digest.

It’s common knowledge today that the natural species appropriate diets of canines and felines contain almost no carbohydrates, with the primary source of these carbohydrates being predigested grains, fruits and veggies which are often found in the stomachs of prey animals. The most appropriate food that you feed your pet should be suited to meet the needs of your dog or cat. While some pet foods may be nutritionally "complete", feeding them “cat or dog chow” is equivalent to people drinking a meal replacement shake three times a day for the rest of their life. While it may be convenient for the guardian, it is certainly not a nutritionally sound diet.

To be certain that your pet is getting the highest quality food, read product labels carefully. Choose products that have named meat protein sources as first ingredients, contain no by-products, contain no fillers such as corn, wheat or soy and no artificial ingredients or preservatives. In fact, species appropriate raw pet food that is nutritionally complete and manufactured under the strictest safety conditions has become very popular.

Scheduling a nutritional consultation with your veterinarian can help to ensure that your pet is truly receiving his or her optimum diet. The Funky Mutt Market at Floridawild Veterinary Hospital carries a wide assortment of species appropriate pet food from which to choose. Included are the highly rated Fromm Cat and Dog food, SoJos Raw, Instinct Raw (Cats), Primal (Dog and Cat), Rick’s Dog Deli Raw (Dogs), and Chuck Harris Raw (Cats), and Nature’s Variety Instinct (cat)

And to celebrate July as Nutrition Awareness month, Floridawild Veterinary hospital is giving free treats with a food purchase, and half-off on the cost of a nutritional consultation.