Food Or Feed?

In the old days – and not so long ago – most of the pets were fed with rice, cornmeal, less noble cuts of meat or even leftovers from lunch or dinner.There are those who say that, in this way, they fell ill and died of old age.Not so:there were not so many means to diagnose and the animals were “healed”, since the level of physical activity was higher.In addition, they did not visit the veterinarian as a frequency.That is, maybe her geek’s “bisa” died of cancer, but no one even knew she was sick.

Health and nutrition are directly related, we know.But how to choose the ideal for your friend in the face of so many possibilities?Dry, moist feed, natural feed … The indication should always be from the veterinarian, from the assessment of the profile of the cat.Dogs who live in apartments and walk once a day have less energy need than those who practice agility or exercise more intensely, and if they eat too much they will gain weight.Cats with kidney problems may benefit from ration with less sodium, more phosphorus and reduced protein, or with functional diets.The choice of type of food – homemade or industrialized – will depend on the owner’s lifestyle, the time available for feeding, the costs and the health condition of the animal.

NATURAL FOOD – FUNCTIONAL DIETS

Natural food must be balanced to provide the nutrients needed for the animal’s welfare – nothing to divide the pasta with the furry, eh?Before opting for it, seek a nutrologist veterinarian to create the menu, since many “human” foods can not be offered to animals.Natural food can also be functional, that is, suitable for certain diseases, such as allergies, heart disease, obesity, etc.

Today there are a number of companies that offer “kettles” in the ideal amount for the furry ones, but you can also prepare meals – as long as they meet, of course, the veterinary guidelines.

INDUSTRIALIZED FOOD – RATION

With so much variety on the market, it is sometimes difficult to decide.There are numerous brands, and many offer options in several categories, from economical to super premium.The main difference is the quality of the raw material, responsible for the digestibility, that is, how much is absorbed by the animal.In the simpler and cheaper rations the use is 77%, and in super premium can exceed 92%.Proteins and vitamins also vary.

The packaging of products for dogs and cats is regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture.Therefore, the manner in which warranty levels and the mode of use of the food are presented should be the same for all manufacturers.Ingredients should be in order of inclusion, starting with the highest amount of ingredient in the formulation.

To know if the ration is of high digestibility, read in the packaging which the ingredients that comprise it.Vegetable protein sources such as soy and gluten do not have high digestibility, and ideally they are of animal origin (beef, chicken, turkey, sheep, etc.).The FOS (fruit oligo saccharides) contributed to the growth of good bacteria in the intestine and better fermentation of the food bolus.

TRANSLATING THE LABEL

PB – Protein Brute:The quality of the protein depends on the ingredients used in the formulation, since some have higher digestibility, that is, they are better taken advantage of by the animal’s organism.High protein percentages do not mean that one serving is better than the other.

EE – Ethereal extract:It indicates the minimum amount of fat present in the diet (in percentage), but the quality also depends on the ingredients used in the formulation.

UM – Humidity:Declares in percent the maximum amount of moisture (water) that may be present in the food.

MF – Fibrous matter:Expressed in percentage the maximum amount of fiber of the ration.It may be higher in specific feeds, such as for obese animals.

MM – Mineral Matter:Declares the maximum amount of minerals that may be present in the food, expressed as a percentage.In this item are included all the minerals of the food.

Ca – Calcium:A food with a lot of calcium can lead to bone problems.It is also very important to obey the relationship between the amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the food.

P – Phosphorus:Declares the minimum quantity that must be present in the food, expressed as a percentage.

ECONOMIC OR STANDARD

By using low quality products in their manufacture, they are the cheapest on the market.As a rule, it contains bone meal, soybean, feathers and ground noodles, wheat and corn, which makes the digestion and utilization of nutrients much more difficult for the hairy, that is, he has to eat more to feel satiated.As nutrient absorption is low, stool volume increases.Preservatives, dyes, palatabilizers and other chemicals are used to improve the taste of this type of feed.

PREMIUM

Considered the best in cost x benefit, the premium rations are balanced, rich in protein and have a use around 87%, that is, the animal is satisfied with less quantity, which decreases the cost and also the volume of feces.Its formulation is fixed, there is no substitution of ingredients in the lack of some.Some brands use dyes and palatabilizers.

SUPER PREMIUM

The “top” of the market are more expensive and have more animal protein, which facilitates nutrient uptake and digestibility, which can exceed 92%.Its formulation is fixed, there is no substitution of ingredients in the lack of some.Thus, the animal feels satiated with smaller amounts of feed and, consequently, the volume of feces also decreases.In addition to the essential nutrients, super premium foods provide functional nutrients, avoiding bacterial plaque formation, protecting joints, etc.

SPECIFIC

There are also functional rations, recommended for obese hairy, with renal or cardiac diseases, diabetes, allergies etc.

P or EXG?

To meet the nutritional needs of furry, manufacturers segment the rations: puppy, adult, senior, small, medium and large breeds, with long hair and so on.Puppies need more protein and nutrients than adults, but in the “old age” the energy requirements decrease, that is, if the animal continues to be fed the same ration and quantity, it can gain weight due to excessive calorie intake.Small dogs have the relationship between body size and body mass higher than that of large dogs, that is, they have faster metabolism and consume more energy, demanding rations with high amounts of high quality proteins, carbohydrates and fat .The diet of big boys, in turn, requires controlled measures of calcium, phosphorus and minerals to maintain the bone structure and ensure the proper development of the joints.As their metabolism is slower, the fat content is also lower.

Size of grain

Choose according to the size of the dog, that is, small grains for small dogs, medium to medium dogs and the larger ones for the big ones.

How to change the ration

It is important to make the food transition gradually, so that your best friend does not suffer from cramps and other intestinal problems.

1st and 2nd days:
75% of the previous diet and 25% of the new
3rd and 4th days:
50% of the previous diet and 50% of the new
5th and 6th days:
25% of the previous diet and 75% of the new
Last day:
100% of new diet

How many times a day?

The vet should guide the frequency and quantity, but as a rule, adult dogs eat twice a day, three or more puppies.Many owners, especially those who spend all day outside, tend to leave food at will, believing that their friend may starve to death, which is not true.Establishing schedules is important for:

– Avoid obesity, since you control how much it eats – the rule is even more important when there are more animals in the house and one can be more hungry than the other.

– Reinforce obedience.

– Control the toilet trips (and the poop out of place, of course).

– Exposed rations all day ferment and lose nutrients, besides attracting insects, pigeons, rats etc.(creed!).It is also important to keep the bag tightly closed.

Wet rations

While the dry ration contains approximately 10% water, the moisture content is between 80% and 85% and can be offered as a complete meal, to give the hairy “grate” that deserves rewards or for the older ones with fewer teeth or jaw weakenedIt is worth remembering, however, the need for toothbrushing (in all age groups), since wet ration favors the formation of tartar.

Cats benefit even more from the moist feed, which has protein as the main source of energy.The high unit content of these rations (80%) also helps prevent urinary diseases, caused by cats’ habit of drinking little water.

It is important to be aware of conservation: in addition to the wet ration can not be available to animals, as it dries and can attract insects, should be kept capped in the refrigerator for two or three days at most.

Is it easier or harder to choose your partner’s food? Remember that if in doubt you will always be able to count on the veterinarian and even with the customer services of the feed manufacturers. It is important to invest in the quality of hair feeding to avoid diseases in old age. Bon appétit!