What are the up-and-coming food categories for pets? How do these foods help pet health?
As pet parents look to make mealtime more akin to healthful recipes for humans, there are several new categories of pet food gaining popularity—categories beyond traditional dry and wet foods. We’re seeing more pet parents ask for grain-free and low carbohydrate options for pets, and looking for human-grade ingredients in their pets’ food. One newer option is foods that are slowly baked at lower temperatures to help retain nutrients. Always talk to your veterinarian about what type of recipes are best for your cat or dog. For example, cat foods should not rely on carbohydrates, such as grains and other starches, as significant ingredients. And you should recognize the name of every ingredient on the label, and understand exactly what it is.
Rumor has it that freeze-dried pet foods are becoming popular. Which freeze-dried foods are healthiest for our pets??
If you are thinking of feeding your pet freeze-dried food or treats, look for recipes with high-quality protein ingredients and a company with high quality and food safety standards.
What natural foods can help your pets maintain ideal health?
Look for pet foods that do not rely on carbohydrates as their primary ingredients, particularly for cats. Some familiar ingredients that may be found in pet foods include pumpkin, which is high in fiber, turkey, which is a source of lean protein, and flaxseeds, which contain essential fatty acids. Seek out pet foods with these ingredients, such as Wellness TruFood.
What common pet food additives should consumers avoid for optimal pet health?
In general many consumers are choosing to avoid artificial colors in both their own foods and their pets’ foods. People are looking for diets that derive their bright colors from natural ingredients included in the recipes to support pets’ wellbeing.
What natural pet foods would you recommend for pets with behavioral issues, such as aggression, depression or anxiety?
When it comes to behavioral issues, pet parents should always check with their trusted veterinarian. The first step is to evaluate for an underlying medical cause. If medical issues are ruled out, owners of pets with behavioral issues should look for a highly-trained animal behavioral expert. To find a veterinary behaviorist, check the website dacvb.org. To find a non-veterinary behaviorist, go to corecaab.org.
Dr. Louise Murray is a highly sought after veterinary expert. She is the author of Vet Confidential, an insider’s guide to protecting your pet’s health. Dr. Murray serves as Vice President of the New York ASPCA. (Photo: © evdoha)