A look at species-appropriate pet food and what to search for when selecting a brand for your dog or cat!
If you’re a natural-minded pet parent, you’ve probably heard the term “species-appropriate”. But what exactly constitutes a species-appropriate pet food, and how do you know if you’re choosing the right one for your fur babe?
What are species appropriate foods?
Simply put, a species-appropriate pet food is a food your dog or cat’s body is designed to eat. This type of diet contains high amounts of meat and other ingredients that companion animals can easily digest and utilize. It’s the healthiest food for your pet!
“If our pets are to reach their genetic potential in terms of health, longevity, physical activity and reproduction, their modern day diet must mimic as closely as possible their evolutionary diet,” says Leslie Charlton, a Franchisee at Tail Blazers Acadia. The further an animal’s diet departs from its evolutionary diet, the more health problems that animal is likely to develop.”
Raw food – more than just a trend
The most species-appropriate pet food available is raw food. Raw diets for dogs and cats have become increasingly popular over the past decade, and it’s no wonder! Some of the benefits of raw diets include:
- Improved digestion
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Increased energy
- Smaller stools
“Cooked food takes longer to digest and therefore requires more of the animal’s energy,” says Leslie. “Heat also destroys enzymes and antioxidants, which are very important for good health. Enzymes are needed for every biochemical activity in our dog or cat’s body, and unfortunately, the body has a limited supply of its own enzymes. It is designed to consume enzymes in raw food which aid in digestion and a healthy immune system.”
What to look for in a species-appropriate pet food
Ready to switch your dog or cat to a species-appropriate diet? Here are five things to look for when choosing a brand you can trust!
1. Transparency – Find a company that publicly publishes where they source their ingredients, as well as a breakdown of the nutritional content of their food and third-party testing results.
2. Meat as the first ingredient – Check the label! A species-appropriate diet will have muscle meat or poultry listed as the first ingredient. Ideally, the first 3–5 ingredients should be meat or meat by-products, such as organs, and should be identified by species.
3. Ingredient quality – Although it’s not a requirement for species-appropriate pet foods to boast the following, it can’t hurt to look for brands that are human-grade, hormone and antibiotic free. Ingredients should not include grain, corn, preservatives, additives, coloring or flavoring.
4. Whole food ingredients – Look for a species-appropriate pet food that includes whole foods, such fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as opposed to highly processed ingredients.
5. Variety – If you can, select a product line that includes various recipe options for dogs and cats. This makes it easier to rotate their protein without risking digestive upset.
Ready to feed your dog or cat a species-appropriate pet food? Learn more and start shopping at tailblazerspets.com!