WEB EXCLUSIVE: Nutrition and your pet - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Nutrition and your pet

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - Organic, natural, advanced, premium, pet food has come a long way, but knowing what to feed your four legged friend can still be tricky.

"What's important to know is not all dog foods are the same," says Dr. Mark Tribby, a veterinarian at St. Francis Animal Hospital in Augusta. 

"Now, just like in humans, obesity is the biggest problem, so over nutrition is our biggest problem with dog and cat food," says Dr. Tribby. 

Over nutrition is what the owner of The Bone-i-fide Bakery in Aiken, Carly Jordan says is caused by feeding out pets too much.

"When you love something you want to feed it, you know you have that old sense of feeding your family and such like that and I think a lot of people go that way with dogs," says Jordan. 

Dr. Tribby says the labels on animal foods can often times add to the problem.

"Guesstimating the amounts that they are recommending on the bag labels are usually 20- 25%  more than the average couch- potato dog needs or cat," says Dr. Tribby. 

Depending on activity level feeding your dog twice a day is a good place to start with cats sometimes needing to eat smaller meals more times a day.

"Pets nutrients they need are vitamins minerals proteins and fats," says Dr. Tribby. 

Paying attention to the list of ingredients is important when picking a good food but experts say just because a certain meat tops that list doesn't necessarily mean that's the case.

"A lot of the meats are mostly moisture so you want to look for a product that has something like chicken meal," says Jordan.

With so many options and labels that can sometimes be misleading, the experts say the best thing to do when it comes to your pet is a little research.

"The best recommendation is to stick with a company that has been in business for a long time. A company that you can look up on the Internet search or call up and say do you have a veterinary nutritionist that formulates your diets," says Dr. Tribby. 

Adding a bit of human food to the mix can help less than enthusiastic eaters.

"If a pet has trouble eating or doesn't have a good appetite adding a little food for flavoring is helpful as long as it's not more than 20% of the total diet," says Dr. Tribby. 

Finding the right mix for your pet to keep their energy up and their weight down is what experts say should be the goal. 

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