Just like people, pets rely on a proper diet to keep them healthy. And also like people, many dog and cat foods on the market are not good for your furry friend. We can help owners learn about pet nutrition and how it can affect health.

Dogs and cats are both mainly carnivorous. This means that they are built to eat a lot of protein and fat, and not so many carbohydrates. A good quality pet food ingredient list should start with a high-quality protein, either animal or vegetable. All dog and cat food should come with an AAFCO label that says it is approved for "maintenance" or "all life stages." This means that the manufacturer made sure the food met certain nutrient, vitamin, and mineral content requirements. This is the minimum standard, however, not a guarantee of a high-quality food.

Pet’s Health

The first step to preventing pet obesity is to choose a high-quality food. When your pet's nutrition needs are being met, their body is healthier and obesity is less likely to occur. However, overeating on high-quality food can still cause weight gain, particularly in susceptible breeds.

The second part of a healthy diet is to feed measured, regular meals and take into account any treats your pet may have gotten throughout the day. Some pets can be successfully free-fed without becoming overweight, but keep in mind that if you free-feed your pet you may not notice a decreased appetite, which can be an important sign of illness.

If your pet is prone to gaining weight, there are a number of diet foods on the market. Just like regular foods, they come in varying qualities, but most have reduced fat and increased fiber content. Unless your pet has a medical necessity, diet food should not contain less protein than normal food. In some cases, wet food might help your pet feel fuller since the moisture content means that there are fewer calories than in the same volume of dry food.

There are some good basic rules to narrow your choices when it comes to pet food, but after you've narrowed the options, you still have to find the right food for your pet. Pets have medical conditions, allergies, and likes and dislikes. Lifestyle factors such as age and activity levels play a part in the choice. Even things like choosing the right size kibble for a very small or very large dog are important. We’ve found that nutritional counseling is one of the most valuable services that Finn Hill Animal Hospital offers to maintain your pet’s health.

We're here for all of your pet's needs

Finn Hill Animal Hospital offers animal nutritional counseling in the Kirkland, Mill Creek, Woodinville, Bothell, Kenmore, Kingsgate, Mountlake Terrace, Totem Lake, Redmond, Lake Forest Park and the surrounding communities.

Located in Kirkland, our full service pet clinic offers everything from wellness exams for dogs and cats to emergency veterinary care.

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