How to select the right diet for your pet, according to nutritionists

Jul 14 2020, 11:53 am

Selecting the right diet for your pet can be tricky.

For one, the overwhelming variety of available pet foods is enough to have you scratching your head with every visit to the pet food aisle. Plus, it’s not like your cat or dog can tell you what they need — or will actually eat.

But figuring out how to nourish your furry friend doesn’t need to be complicated. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of the animal nutrition pros at Bosley’s by Pet Valu to get to the bottom of things.

Their selection of Canadian-made pet food includes Performatrin Ultra and Champion Petfood’s Orijen and Acana brands, which are made with top-quality ingredients. Think sustainably raised meats, fish, and cage-free eggs.

“We make some of the very best pet foods in the world right here, and we like to celebrate that,” says pet nutritionist Kylie Hogan, MSc.

While that might help narrow down your choices, there are still lots of factors to consider when making sure your pet is getting the nutrition they need.

Ask the experts


When getting started, nutritionist Dave Summers, Ph.D., cautions “there’s no single food for every pet.” Indeed, the lack of one-size-fits-all pet food is part of what can make the experience so daunting. This is why Summers recommends speaking with Bosley’s by Pet Valu’s knowledgeable team about your pet’s lifestyle, preferences, and health concerns to find the right fit.

What works for your friend’s pet might not be the best for your pet – each dog or cat may have their own specific needs,” he says. Sometimes this involves trying a number of different foods for your pet before finding the right one. Rest assured, it’s all part of the process.

Switch it up


The most important thing pet owners should keep in mind when finding the right diet is that you might have to go further than just your standard bag of dry food.

“There are lots of other types of food that can be your pet’s primary diet or added for additional benefits and flavour,” says Summers. Variety is the spice of life and has health benefits as well — wet foods, broths, frozen or dehydrated raw, supplements and treats can all help improve your pet’s overall health and make mealtime delicious and interesting.”

A common pitfall Hogan warns against is overfeeding, with treats being the main culprit. The key to keeping your pup fit is measuring out their food and ensuring treats account for less than 15% of their total intake.

Another mistake is the illusion that your pet should be on the same food their entire life. “Changing your pet’s diet is a good way to find out what foods best support them through different life stages, activity levels, and environmental conditions,” she advises. 

Other issues can be addressed through diets or supplements, including joint problems, obesity, as well as digestive and skin problems. If your animal does suffer from food allergies and sensitivities, you may want to consider a premium Canadian pet food brand like GO! SOLUTIONS or Performatrin Ultra Limited.

Watch for signs of success


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Having your pet on the right diet comes with a multitude of lifelong benefits. According to Hogan, signs that your pet is being fed the right food and portions are “a soft shiny coat, bright eyes, a well-defined waist, consistent activity levels, stool consistency, and a healthy appetite.”

But that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil your fluffy pal now and again. “Remember that treats are also a part of your pet’s diet – selecting and feeding the proper amount is important,” says Hogan.

Above all, a great thing for your pet is to try new and different foods that can be adapted to their phase of life, all while keeping moderation top of mind.

Still feeling like a deer in the headlights when it comes to being your pet’s personal nutritionist? You’re not alone.

Head to Bosley’s by Pet Valu to chat with the team about what works best for your pet. They’ll help you customize your animal’s diet and point you towards their wide selection of made-in-Canada cat and dog food. Buying pet food that’s developed, produced, and packaged in Canada also means supporting Canadian agriculture and minimizing your carbon footprint.

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