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Mira Mar Vet, your local vet in Albany

Pet foods – The good, the bad, and the marketing ploys

by | Feb 7, 2024 | Latest Monthly Newsletters, Pet Care

With so much contradictory information out there, choosing a pet food has never seemed so complicated!

To help you feel confident in selecting the healthiest, safest, and tastiest diet for your pet, we’ve broken down some key recommendations into bite-sized chunks:

1. Nutritional balance

Ensure that any commercial food you choose for your pet is labelled as “complete and balanced” for your pet’s life stage, which means they meet the international standards for nutrition.

If you choose to prepare your pet’s food at home, it’s recommended to consult a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist first, as research has shown up to 95% of homemade diets are deficient in at least one essential nutrient.

2. Safety

It’s important that your pet food manufacturer complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS5812:2017 and meets food quality and safety standards with regular laboratory testing at various points of the production process. Check this guide to learn how to read pet food labels and make sure the food is up to standard.

Ensure that any meat you feed your pet is fresh and human-grade. In general, it’s best to avoid commercial “pet meat” or “pet mince”, as these may contain sulphite preservatives that can lead to Vitamin B1 deficiencies.

In households with immunocompromised people or young children, it is not recommended to feed pets raw diets due to the higher risk of harmful bacterial contamination.

3. What you and your pet want and need

If your pet has persistent skin irritation or recurrent digestive upsets, a food allergy could be involved, so it’s recommended to consult our veterinarians for further investigation and treatment.

Otherwise, a high-quality commercial diet is the easiest way to ensure that your pet is eating nutritionally balanced meals, especially if you are limited on food-prep time. Whether this is a kibble, tinned food, or pre-packaged pet meal is up to your wallet and your pet’s individual tastes and health requirements.

For more personalised dietary recommendations for your pet, consult our nutritionally-knowledgeable team.