Pets’ lifespan has been increasing over the years and this is thanks to a new quality of life philosophy in pet owners today. Dog's lifespan today is between 10-12 years where as cats can live up to 12-18 years. Some animals can live even longer, and diet plays a big role in their longevity

Most health problems from the past were caused by poor diet and deficiencies. Cats develop heart disease if they lack the essential amino acid taurine. Cats can also suffer from blindness if they don’t get this amino acid in their diet. Dogs suffer from deformities in bone growth if they don’t receive bioavailable calcium during their early growing stages.

The right food for their time of life

Just as babies eat different foods from adults, so puppies and kittens need different nutrients while they are still little. As they become adults, their nutritional needs change, and so too should the food they are given. Senior pets also need special food to keep them healthy, so your old dog or cat will need yet another change in diet.

Home cooked or commercial dog food

When the dog eats home-cooked meals. Pet parents who prefer to prepare homemade foods for their fur babies can find it delightful to provide nourishing, healthy meals. Preparing them at home by yourself is one of the extra efforts you can give your dog, and can rest easy that the food is fresh and free from contaminants as long as you have prepared it properly.

However, home-cooked meals are the ones that have the highest tendency to lack precious vitamins and minerals because they ingredients do not have these nutrients to begin with or the vitamins and minerals are destroyed during the cooking process.

Remember that there are vitamins and minerals that are sensitive to heat, and their potency can be reduced or totally removed during the preparation and cooking process. This concern can be covered by multivitamins that will be recommended by your veterinarian.

Human vitamins  vs. Dog vitamins

One of the biggest questions about supplementation for dogs is whether dogs can take human vitamins. The answer to this is a resounding no. Although dogs can tolerate capsules, tablets, and syrups, and although they share similar vitamins and mineral requirements, it is too dangerous to give them the food supplements and vitamins that we humans take. For one, the dosage is definitely different because we have different levels of metabolism. The weight computation also has a huge difference.

One of the most common supplements that pet parents are giving their dogs with the hopes of helping them are calcium supplements intended for human consumption. This very dangerous action may put your pet’s life in danger.

Fat pets aren’t healthy pets

Isn’t it wonderful how dogs and cats still look gorgeous even when they are fat? All the same, being overweight is bad for them. They can get heart problems or diabetes, just like humans do. Unfortunately, a lot of pet foods consist of “empty calories” that make our pets fat without giving them the nutrients they really need. 

Choosing a really good pet food means you may pay more than you would at the supermarket, but you will save on vet fees by keeping them healthy. It’s satisfying to know that you are doing everything you can to give your pet a good, long life with you.

Is your pet fat?

If you look at your pet from above, you should be able to see a “waist”. If you don’t, your pet is probably overweight. If it bulges outwards, they could even be obese. Ideally, you want a good amount of flesh covering the ribs, and a visible waist. 

If your pet is overweight, ask yourself about its lifestyle. Are you giving it enough exercise? Just reducing food could be a bad idea if the main reason for them getting fat is a lack of exercise. If you do “free feeding”, just keeping the bowl full at all times, change to weighing out the food as the instructions on the packet suggests and having set mealtimes instead. 

Here’s to a long, healthy, and happy life for both you and your fur friend!