I've talked about this a lot, but dog nutrition is a big deal here in the household of Gibson. Well, pet nutrition.. it all started with our pet hedgehog, Maeby, who was our first pet. I wanted to give her the best food that was balanced for her needs. I ended up selecting 4 different brands of food to mix together to give her the perfect meal! And then Gibson came along, so I already was a seasoned food researcher.. It took me 4 tries, but I finally found his food after tons of internet searching and trials to see what works with his body. Anyways, moral of the story.. Pet nutrition is super important! And selecting a food that has natural ingredients and balanced nutrients is vital to the health of your dog or cat (or hedgehog ;) )
To elaborate on that point.. Ingredients are chicken, vegetables, fruits, etc. Nutrients are what your pet’s body absorbs from those ingredients. And as ingredient quality increases, so does a pet's ability to absorb and use the nutrients from those ingredients. No single ingredient makes a food better or worse. Too much of one nutrient (like protein) or too little of another (like phosphorus) can be harmful to a pet’s health. A pet food is a sum of its parts.
So, the goal is to make a pet food with quality ingredients that deliver nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals balanced in the right proportions to provide optimal nutrition for your pet.
The interesting thing about this whole topic is the idea that feeding your pet what they would eat in the wild is better for them. Dogs and cats need protein in their diet to meet their requirements for essential amino acids. The amino acid requirement for cats is higher than for dogs. However, once those requirements are met, additional protein beyond what the pet can use for energy is excreted.
A dog’s or cat’s energy requirements can also be equally met by carbohydrates. Using carbohydrates rather than protein to meet energy requirements has the benefit of controlling the level of minerals or other nutrients to avoid excessive levels that are not optimal for a pet’s health.
Therefore, a diet with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from a variety of sources is ideal. Comparing the food of dogs and cats in the wild to that fed to our pets misses the main point that optimum food in the wild is that which allows maximum reproduction as fast as possible.
So, the question is: Are there any natural dog or cat foods out there that have the ingredients you want PLUS the nutrients in the right balance?
The Hill's Pet Nutritionist even has a corgi seal of approval!
Well, there may be others, but the new Hill’s® Ideal Balance® line of pet foods has caught my attention. In these foods, what you will find are natural ingredients that you want to feed your pet with 100% balanced nutrition. What makes me feel good about recommending this food is that Ideal Balance is a true natural pet food crafted by pet nutritionists who know how to perfectly balance natural ingredients for better health for your dog and cat. See for yourself in this video featuring Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, who chooses to feed Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets:Gibson digs it!
Here's what the kibble looks like!
Here's what the kibble looks like!
Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the Try Me Free rebate!
Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.