Superior Nutrition and its benefits
There are many different types of commercially available food available for your pet. Understanding the differences and the benefits are important to being able to make an educated decision when purchasing the right food for your pet. At Animates we class nutrition in three tiers: Superior, Essential and Standard.
Superior Nutrition represents the best possible diet for your pet. Superior Nutrition is a growing field that has millions of dollars invested to ensure the food produced is the best it can be for our pets. Through research and innovation, alongside veterinary and nutritional experts, Superior Nutrition contains top quality ingredients (with high quality control standards), extra vitamins and minerals and increased palatability. This comes together to produce tailored nutrition for different age groups (puppy or kitten, adult, senior), breeds (e.g. Pug, German Shepherd, British Shorthair, Maine Coon) and for any health issues (e.g. skin health, stomach health), all with the additional benefit of being readily digestible, with added gut, skin, coat and dental health support. Superior Nutrition is the perfect food to choose to see your pet thrive and flourish. At Animates some examples of Superior Nutrition are: Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet and Eukanuba.
Essential Nutrition contains the two elements from Standard Nutrition, as well as having consistent formulas, a palatability guarantee, added vitamins and minerals, quality ingredients and age- and size- specific formulas. The combination of these factors means that Essential Nutrition helps to ensure your pet is in good health and will begin to show signs of being on a quality diet (such as a shiny coat, or healthy teeth). Examples of Essential Nutrition available at Animates are; Iams, Nutrience Original, and Black Hawk Original.
Standard Nutrition is complete and balanced and meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. To meet this standard, the food must be proven to meet the basic nutritional requirements for pets. Some examples of Standard food at Animates are; Chow, Pedigree and Coprice.
Superior Nutrition and its benefits
Feeding a Superior Nutrition diet to your pet, can result in their teeth, skin and coat and overall health being positively affected. A diet that is well-balanced, with top quality ingredients and stringent quality control means that you know you are feeding your pet a consistent diet (when feeding them the same food) that is also hugely beneficial to their overall wellbeing. A healthy body will mean your pet is able to spend more time giving you all the love they can.
To identify a Superior Nutrition diet at a glance, first look at the ingredients. The first ingredient should always be from an animal protein; often this will be in the form of dried meat or a meal – this means that the product is being weighed after it has been dehydrated, which in turns means it is being represented as the true amount (as opposed to Standard Nutrition options, which will often give you the pre-dried weight, which may overstate the meat percentage content). Next, look to see if the diet has any added minerals or vitamins, such as calcium or phosphorous – both important for healthy joints, bones and teeth. Any added oils will also be great for your pet’s skin and coat and will help ensure it shines. A pet’s health starts from the inside out - this means if your pet has a shiny and healthy coat, their body is using the nutrition it needs to be healthy on the inside, before making the outside gleam.
A great thing about considering a breed specific diet is that everything has been taken into consideration during the formation of these diets, from supporting health concerns such as stomach issues, skin issues and joint support, even the kibble shape! This means that through working with veterinarians and researchers and with innovation from studies, scientists are able to determine the shape of the food that best suits each breed -from picking up the kibble, to how pets chew and swallow.
When selecting a Superior Nutrition diet speak to a team member in-store or at your local Animates Vetcare to help decide which diet is right for your pet; consider their age, any health requirements (including food allergies). There are many different diet varieties available but we’re here to help. After choosing your pet’s diet, ensure you read the feeding instructions carefully. which means you are feeding your pet the best food available to ensure they thrive.
It’s important to know that Prescription Diets are also available. These are diets that are prescribed to your pet by a vet. These diets are formulated to a high degree to focus on treating a specific ailment of your pet’s – from Hill’s J/D (for Joint Defence), to Royal Canin Diabetic food to help prevent insulin spikes. These diets are only available from vet clinics, such as an Animates’ Vetcare, so if you feel your pet needs to be reviewed by a Veterinarian, make sure you visit your local Animates Vetcare clinic.
Transitioning your pet’s diet
Once you’ve selected your pet’s new diet, we recommend a transition period, changing their old food to their new food. This is best done over a 7-day period and involves mixing the two kibbles together until your pet is solely on the new diet. During this period, keep an eye on their stools and behaviour, some pets may need a slower transition due to loose bowel movements, which can occur when changing from a diet with low nutritional value to a diet with high nutritional value as their stomach won’t be used to a highly digestible food.
For the first two days of the transition period, feed 75% old diet and 25% new diet. If your pet is fed multiple times a day, ensure this split occurs at each meal. For days three to four, split the diets 50:50 – 50% old food and 50% new food. If at any time during the transition your pet begins to have a loose bowel movement, stop the transition and take a step back. This means if on day four of the transition, your pet begins to experience runny stools, go back to the previous step of the transition where your pet will again be on 75% old food and 25% new food. This process doesn’t need to be finished within seven days if your pet’s stomach gets upset, take your time and work to what they can handle.
If after day four your pet is looking good, eating the food willingly and has normal stools, then for days five and six feed 25% old food and 75% new food. Then finally, on day seven, feed 100% new food. Your pet is now fully transitioned onto their new diet. After feeding the new food for 6 – 8 weeks, you should start to notice improvement in their overall health, such as a shiny coat or their stools becoming smaller.
If you become concerned about your pet’s health, or the diet choice doesn’t seem to suit your pet, please consult your local Veterinarian.
Mixed feeding of wet and dry diets
For optimal nutrition, feeding your pet a mixture of wet and dry food has multiple health benefits. Introducing a wet meal into your pet’s diet can be a great way to provide stimulation and excitement, through a variety of flavours and textures. Having a wet diet offered alongside their normal kibble will not only invigorate your pet’s desire to eat their food, but it also comes with added benefits.
A wet meal is a great way to add additional hydration to your pet’s daily intake. Some pets may struggle to get enough water day-to-day, particularly in summer or in pet’s that are prone to urinary tract infections (cats and senior pets). The high meat content of wet diets also means that they’re highly palatable – if your pet is struggling to eat their dry diet, mix some wet food in to encourage their eating. We recommend a mixed diet, rather than a solely wet diet, as kibble provides dental benefits, a calorically dense form and additional texture and flavour variety.
If your pet is a little on the chunky side, adding a wet meal to their diet can help to reduce their weight as the wet diet is less calorie dense, you can feed more (leaving your pet satiated) with less calorie intake. This is because dry diets are nutritionally dense, so your pet can easily get their daily calorie allowance in a small amount, which may make them feel less satiated. Adding in a wet meal will help them to feel more satisfied with the amount they have eaten, while still restricting their calories.
Most Superior Nutrition diets have complimentary wet meals available to align perfectly with their dry diets. Consider using the matching food with the wet diet before looking outside the brand you currently feed, as often the two are designed to be compatible in your pet’s diet e.g. the Royal Canin Kitten Instinctive wet food matches with the dry Royal Canin Kitten food.
If you have any additional questions on feeding your pet a combination of wet and dry diets, head in to your local Animates or Animates Vetcare and have a chat to a team member about what’s best for you and your pet.
Choosing the best food for your pet can be confusing with the number of varieties of food available. Remember, the higher the quality of food the more your pet will shine and flourish from the nutrition they are receiving. If you have any questions about nutrition, or specifics about what food to feed your pet please pop in to your local Animates or Animates Vetcare and talk to our team who will be happy to help.
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