With so many petfood choices on store shelves, consumers may be confused about what type of petfood to purchase for their dog or cat. In a USA Today article, Denise Elliott, a veterinarian who is also certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, answers some of the most common questions she hears about choosing a petfood.
Elliot says when choosing between wet or dry food, consumers should consider their pet's age, lifestyle and other factors. She recommends wet petfood if weight is a problem because it is easier to control portions with a can instead of pouring in extra dry food. She also said that cats with urinary tract issues do better on wet petfood. Dry food, however, is more cost-effective, Elliot says, and it does not spoil if unteaten for a long time, unlike wet food which can grow bacteria.
Treats should only be given for training and are often given out of guilt, says Elliot, who encourages pet owners to reward their pet with interaction time or toys instead of extra calories in a treat.
Another question Elliot frequently receives is whether it is necessary to purchase premium petfoods as opposed to mid-priced supermarket brands.
"There are very good brands sold in supermarkets," Elliot says. "For the majority of animals, we can find something good that will provide complete nutrition at the lower price point."
Consumers can tell if their pet may be eating the wrong food by visual signs, such as dry, flaky skin or a coat that is not shiny, as well as gastrointestinal problems. Elliot urges consumers to talk to their veterinarian about selecting a petfood.