Pet owners are faced with important decisions regarding the proper nutrition for their pets. There has been a lot of discussion over the last few years about the best food, and the form it takes, i.e. raw, wet, dry (kibble), and dehydrated. A recent study revealed 70% of pet parents did not know what is in the food they are feeding their pets. This poll was taken in the midst of a lawsuit against a large pet food manufacturer regarding a controversial ingredient in many of its products. 145Not only do ingredients matter, but the right combination of fat, protein, Omega 3, vitamins and fiber is key, no longer is the standard 30% protein, 18% fat the golden rule. Although protein is very important for your pet, conditions such as old age and liver issues may require a lower protein and fat diet. Many ingredients cannot be divided between good and bad, as it is a choice based on various factors. One may be economics (even though better food may be more expensive, often your pet will eat less — and be more satisfied with — foods lacking “fillers”). Also to consider are the age and medical condition of your pet, as well as palette. There are also hybrid preparations available (which I personally like, and my “kids” love!) which combine dry and dehydrated. Not surprisingly, some experts propose “home-made” as the best choice for pet food. While finding the right ratio to ensure a complete diet can be challenging, a thorough understanding of what your pet can eat is critical. The balance of good ingredients and awareness of any medical problems is key. If you can accomplish that and your pets love what you have prepared… bonus!

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