CAT OWNER VS. DOG OWNER
Does Your Dog or Cat Need a Different Diet?
How Do I Pick Healthy Food for My Dog or Cat?
When picking out pet foods, experts recommend sticking to a commercial brand that’s been tested on dogs and cats. (Pet foods can legally be sold without animal testing), and has a short list of natural ingredients. Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, PhD, a small-animal nutrition expert at the Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says he has five rules for selecting pet food: The food should be complete, balanced, digestible by your pet, palatable, and safe.
It’s also important to monitor how your pet responds to certain foods, Buffington says. But he cautions that there’s a “placebo effect” between animals and their owners. “If someone is feeding an animal a diet that they’re worried about, the animal will sense worry from the owner, and may not eat the food,” he explains. “If they do something they think is lifesaving for a pet, pets pick up on that, too."
As far as the wet vs. dry debate, experts are divided. Buffington believes that as long as the animal has free access to water, wet or dry food doesn’t make a difference. However, Jennifer Lander, DVM, who is the medical director of New York's branch of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals (ASPCA), recommends wet food because it likely has a higher protein content and helps the animal stay hydrated. “It’s also a myth that dry food helps dogs and cats prevent dental disease,” she says.
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