Many people come to the Hopital Vétérinaire Ste-Rose with several questions in relation to the food they should or should not give their companion. Certainly, everyone tried to get the best for their pet and ideally without paying too much.
This article will focus in informing you in better understanding what you actually get when you buy commercial diets found in the big surface stores. The packaging of each food can give us more information, simply by properly deciphering it.
Make sure to first provide a food that suits the current life stage of your pet. When it is written on the bag 'suitable for all life stages', that means 'puppy or kitten food'. Indeed, a growing animal is an animal with the most demanding and complex nutritional needs ! The foods are designed so that the animal has no deficiency. By cons, little emphasis is placed to avoid excess. In this vein, if a food can meet the nutritional needs of growing animals, it can also meet an adult and geriatric animal.
Unfortunately, excess are as damaging if not more than deficiencies. By giving a pediatric food to an adult animal may explain the phenomenon of obesity, more and more present in our domestic animals.
Moreover, it is possible to know if the product has really been tested, allowing you to know for sure that it will be balanced to adequately meet the needs of your pet. When it is written on the bag that diet was 'formulated to meet' then it means that it meets the AAFCO criterias, but there were no tests. Otherwise, it is recognized that it has been tested.
Everything is a question of law and sales strategy and a lot of companies play on words.
Please bring us your bag of food if you have any questions about it. While often it's not a brand of foods we sell so we do not necessary know them well, we can try to decipher the words on the bag with you.
Other articles will follow on foods.
Catherine Lapierre, Certified Veterinary Technician