PET FOOD BASICS
How important is pet food to pets?
Complete and balanced pet food is one of those miraculous innovations of 20th century that has changed the way people care for their animal companions. Pet food gives pets the energy they need throughout the day. Today’s pet food products support long, healthy lives for pets, because these provide the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.
(How about table scraps?) The nutritional needs of pet cats and dogs greatly differ from human needs, so it is not advisable to give them food that has been left over from the family’s table, especially since many dishes are typically cooked with oil, infused with aromatics like garlic, onions, and pepper, or seasoned with various flavor enhancers. Some human food is even toxic to pets. (Are cat and dog food interchangeable? My cats like my dog’s food!) Dogs and cats each have special dietary needs and should be fed the appropriate pet food. Pet food is designed to be species-specific. Hence, it is not appropriate to feed dog food to a cat, because dog food does not provide all the essential nutrients a healthy cat needs. Likewise, it is not appropriate to feed cat food to a dog.
Nutritional content also varies between products, so it is important for pet owners to follow the feeding instructions on the product label. The feeding instructions should provide a guide to the amount of a particular food to feed and the frequency of feedings.