18 Apr 2024

National Pet Month’s Healthy Feeding Guide: Part 1

It’s week three of National Pet Month and this week we’re focusing on diet and health.

During our #NPMLive show across social media last week we chatted with Sarah Hormozi, Head of Science and Education for UK Pet Food, about the importance of good nutrition for our pets. You can watch the show here.

With so many types, brands and formats of pet food to choose from, finding the right one can feel overwhelming sometimes so here are Sarah’s top tips to help you find the right food for your animal companion.

Choosing The Right Food For Your Pet

Firstly, take time to consider the options of dry, wet or raw food. Which one you choose will come down to the particular needs and preferences of your pet and what works well for you as their owner in terms of your lifestyle and budget.

You may choose to feed just one type of food or opt to mix them. As long as you follow the guidelines on the food you will be able to deliver great nutrition for your pet.

Check this out for the full range of food type options.

If you’re a new pet owner and feeling a little overwhelmed with so much choice, the first step is to ask the rehoming centre, breeder or individual you’re getting your pet from, what diet your animal companion is currently on.

It’s really important to start with this same food as any change in diet needs to be done gradually over the course of several days and weeks.

Next, whether you’re a new or existing pet owner, do your research on the right food for your animal companion. Go to a reliable source of information and ask for advice from pet and vet professionals, whether it's a pet store, pet food manufacturer, vet or vet nurse at your local practice.

After this, check in with your pet. Are they eating the food well? Do they seem healthy and happy in terms of their digestion? How’s their dental health and their weight?

Make sure they’re not losing weight, that they’re drinking enough water and that their coat health is good. These are basic, but important indicators that can tell you your pet is doing well on the food.

One of the most important factors in choosing the right food for your pet is making sure you are providing a complete diet.

When a product is advertised as complete food for the species it is intended for, it is, by law, required to have the right balance of nutrients for healthy daily function of that species of animal. This stringent legislation alongside the reassurance of choosing a pet food from a UK Pet Food member ensures your pet receives the very highest levels of nutrition throughout their lives.

So, as a cat or dog owner, always make sure you choose complete pet food. Other pets have different requirements. Look out for more on this in future NPM guides.

Always check the guidelines on your chosen food to ensure you are feeding the right amount and measuring the food by a measuring scale and not by volume. You my need to adjust the amount you feed depending on your pet’s life stage and lifestyle. You can read more here.

You may want to add supplements to your pet’s food. Be careful not to overfeed or over supplement as certain nutrients can be toxic if given in excess, so always seek advice from vet and pet professionals and follow instructions on the product.

In National Pet Month’s Healthy Eating Guide Part 2 look out for Sarah’s tips on pet food storage and feeding on a budget.

National Pet Month: April 1-May 1. #NPM24