We see the headlines all the time about issues regarding pet food and safety. It can be difficult for a pet owner to know which brands and types of food are best for our cats and dogs. When it comes to proper pet care and feeding, the best advice will come from your South Coast veterinarian. Pet food warnings and recalls are important to continued pet health, just as they are for human food and products. Salmonella, listeria, and other dangerous issues can plague just about any mass-produced food product for humans or pets. Choose a quality brand for Fall River pet nutrition that has a solid reputation. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your veterinarian during your pet’s veterinary check-up. Nutritional needs can change from puppies and kittens to adult and senior pets.
A Case in Point
In February 2018, one popular brand was recalled over a possible euthanasia drug found in canned dog food. A preliminary evaluation performed by the FDA found low levels of the drug pentobarbital in cans of Gravy Train dog food, which is produced by the J.M. Smucker Company. This drug is used commonly as a sedative, an anesthetic, or even to euthanize animals. The FDA released a statement that said, “pets that eat pet food containing pentobarbital can experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, bystagmus, and inability to stand.” They also stated that consumption of high levels of pentobarbital could lead to coma or death.
While the FDA made sure to state that the preliminary tests showed only low levels of the drug in the popular pet food, it should not have been there in the first place. The report stated: “any detection of pentobarbital in pet food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Concerned pet owners should bring their pet in for a veterinary check-up if they consumed food from this brand or if their pet exhibits any of the symptoms listed above after eating any other pet food. If you are concerned about your pet food brand or have any questions about pet care and feeding, seek advice from your South Coast veterinarian.
A Balanced Diet
The best thing you can do for your cat or dog is to provide a balanced diet. Balanced nutrition helps to ensure cell maintenance, growth, and overall health. Pets who have special needs or deficiencies caused by illnesses may require special pet food or feeding instructions. It is important to ensure that your pet gets the nutrients that they need from quality pet foods formulated according to nutritional standards. Younger pets will have different nutritional needs than adult pets. Senior pets may have more nutritional concerns than they did when they were in their prime. It is important to get regular check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure that you are feeding your pet properly.
Nutrients come from food and are used by your pet for healthy living. Fresh, clean water is extremely important, as 60-70 percent of your pet’s body weight is water. Just a ten percent decrease in body water can result in a serious illness, and a fifteen percent loss can result in death. Proteins are essential to your pet’s health, but not all proteins are alike. Animal-based meats have complete amino acid profiles, while proteins found in vegetables, cereals, and soy are considered to be incomplete proteins. Fats, carbohydrates and fiber, vitamins, and minerals must all be provided according to your pet’s nutritional needs.
Proper Pet Food Storage
Once you choose the best option in Fall River for pet nutrition, you need to figure out how and where you will store it. Dry food should be stored in a cool and dry environment that is under 100-degrees. This type of storage will prevent pet food from going rancid. Rancidity occurs when fats become oxidized. Never store your pet food in the garage. Many people do this and it could contribute to health issues. If improperly stored, vitamin and protein breakdown can occur, removing all nutritional benefits and making the food unsafe for consumption. While many pet owners use plastic containers to store dry food, it is not recommended. Plastic containers can transfer a taste and odor to the pet food and won’t prevent fat from accumulating and becoming rancid. It is best to store the food in the original bag, which can be put inside of a plastic or metal container.
Wet food that has been opened should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 48 hours of opening for best results. Plastic wrap or special pet food lids should be used to provide a quality moisture, air, and odor barrier. Never leave moist food out in a bowl for your cat or dog for more than 4 hours. If they don’t eat it all, it is better to toss it out than take a chance on contamination. Pet care and feeding should include knowledge of brands and nutrition, as well as other needs. Storage, caloric requirements, and other Fall River pet nutrition should be discussed with your South Coast veterinarian at your next veterinary check-up. However, if you have concerns about your pet’s diet, contact a trusted veterinarian right away.
Call Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth for pet care and feeding advice or to set up a veterinary check-up. You can contact us at 508-996-3731 or stop by our location on State Road in Dartmouth. Pet care and feeding can be confusing, especially with so many brands and types of food available. If you have any questions about Fall River pet nutrition, contact our office and speak with one of our veterinary team members.