Feeding with the commercial food
One way or another, each owner of the animal comes to the question "What is the right way of feeding your pet?" What is useful to it and what is harmful? Concerning this question the theme of dry food becomes topical. Is such food a treatment or death? Discussion about this has been lasted among the owners for a long time. And each has his own opinion. Those who prefer feeding with the dry food take Western countries as an example. Their opponents point to fatal cases. Let us analyze this problem.
Nowadays many new products has appeared in our shops, and there are many cat's food among them. It causes many different questions and opinions. We asked to explain the situation the specialist, veterinarian, master of veterinary science, instructor of surgeon department of Saratov State Academy of veterinary medicine and biotechnology S.D. Klochkov.
There are millions of cats in the world which may be classified as pets and which get their food either completely or mostly from their owners. Today many changing have happened in the relations between people and pets. They are our friends and partners. That is why there is nothing unusual that the owners take care of the health of pets as like as of their own one and try to choose that food that can guarantee the longest and healthy life to their pets.
Does the multiple food suit to the normal healthy food?
Some famous companies, for example, Mars Pet Care, which has experience in the industry which produces food for pets, have scientific research centers where the food is elaborated, produced and tested. 110 scientists work in the Waltham center (England), among them veterinarians, biologists, food specialists, chemists and food industry technologists. And, of course, knowledge and experience of the specialists are used in the elaborating and producing of the food for pets from making the recipe to testing the ready-made product.
Does it mean that this food is safety and suitable for the pet?
Of course, it does. This food contains all the necessary useful substances, such as albumens, fats, carbohydrates with the suitable proportion. Multiple food gives to owners the opportunity of feeding their pets during the whole life without adding of vitamins and trace-elements. And, of course, the number of mistakes, which happen while making the menu reduced. Of course, it is hard to those who are not specialists to sum up the necessary quantity of calories, albumens, fats and carbohydrates which are necessary to the animal for compensation of the lost of energy.
In such case what food is better: dry in the packets or "wet" in the cans?
First, the owner must find out which system of feeding he will use: either the ready-made food only, or mixed food, or home-made food.
Second, it is necessary to take into account specialties of the very animal. In general, adult cats are not often run the risk of illness which are caused by the bad food. But the wrong feeding can cause the negative evolution of some genetic signs, such as, for example, the lack of zinc or copper in the food can cause growing fur lighter together with the other negative appearances.
Incomplete food is dangerous to those animals which need maximum of energy, useful substances and also must get more than usually food according to the cat's weight. I mean animals which are growing or lactating and that's why the lack of useful substances causes more negative reaction. So, if you decided to feed your pet with the ready-made food you should know that comparably with dry food canned one has, as a rule, more calories and albumens but less carbohydrates and ballast substances. Dry food has much energy. As the practice shows, "wet" food is more popular and tasty for dogs while the cats first of all take into account their usual food. Choosing or mixing of types of food is connected with the breed, age of the animal and with the number of its wasted energy. During the period of reproducing, especially lactation period, it is recommended to use food with high energy level, for example, "Whiskas junior" for cats. Using of ready-made food guarantees the necessary portions of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium without any additions of mineral chlorides.
But it is expensive to feed with the ready-made food only.
In general, to keep the cat is not cheap for the responsible man. That's why, while choosing the partner and the friend among animals, you should remember that it needs additional expenses for its keeping. The food you cook yourself perhaps may be more tasty but it doesn't contain many substances which are necessary for pet's health. And if you calculate the price of meat, vegetables, greens, grouts and additions which contain vitamins and mineral chlorides you'll understand that such food is not cheaper.
Do vitamins keep their quality in the ready-made food?
Don't worry about the lack of vitamins which your pet gets with the ready-made food. They are not destroyed. For example, vitamins which are destroyed with the hot temperature are added in the food before cooking. As a result, their number in the food after cooking is normal.
What is the raw material of ready-made food?
For cooking of such food the animal raw material is used, such as meat, sub products (lungs, kidneys, liver, heart), fish meat, poultry, bone powder which is controlled by the official veterinary service and the plant raw materials: corn, rice and rye powders, oat flakes, fresh and dry vegetables.
May cats be given the same food as dogs eat?
As characteristic representatives of carnivorous cats have special needs of useful substances, such as taurine and arachidonic acid. Cats are more touched by the plenty of these or those elements than dogs, for example, vitamin A, calcium. That's why food for dogs cannot guarantee all necessary substances for cats.
The owners say that changing of menu to ready-made food often causes indigestion.
Such reaction happens if the owner has changed the food too fast. While keeping the simple rules, as a rule, such reaction does not happen.
What are these rules?
It is good if you begin to feed your pet with the ready-made food since it is a kitten. Don't save your money while your pet is growing. "Whiskas" for kittens is very suitable for the growing animal from the age of 6 weeks. You have to feed your pet at the same time each day.
If you try to change the menu of the adult cat, for example, "Whiskas" or "Royal Canin", than you must do it slowly. The best way to do it is to mix the new food with the old one. Don't change the food suddenly but slowly mix more and more new food each time until it changes the old one at all.
If you decided to choose the mixed menu than divide the food, for example, give to the animal ready-made food in the morning and the cooked one in the evening or vice versa. The food shouldn't be too cold or too hot.
Don't let the food stay in plate if the cat hasn't eaten it. It must be taken out of plate not to turn sour or be infected with fly eggs.
The drink for cats is water. It must be always fresh, clear and approachable for cat. If the cat eats dry food it needs more liquid than usual. That's why you must put the water so that the cat could get it every time it needs. It should be noted that the milk is not good for adult cats because it contains milk sugar that is bad for stomach.
How to make the food various?
Animals prefer various food. And even if you feed your pet with the same food during the whole life the change of menu is suitable. That's why there are different kinds of food: Royal Canin, Whiskas, 9 lives, kitekat (dry and canned).
Commercial food for pets is very suitable for owners. Those who try to do the best for their pets have the various food and they say that the choice of it is large. How do you know what is better to your pet? The most famous producers of premium and "natural" food for pets mostly agree with veterinarians that the best diet for your pet is that you have made yourself. Such food which has the necessary portions of useful substances is the best what you can do for your pet. But there are many owners who have no time or energy to cook and for those who prefer partly or fully commercial menu there are some recommendations how to choose the diet of a good quality.
COMPONENTS: the smell is seriously regulated and its title shows us what are the components of food. "Chicken for Cats" must contain at least 95% of chicken (except water). As like as "Fish and goose giblets for Cats" must contain more fish (95%) than goose giblets because "fish" is the first in the title. If such terms as "dinner", "platter", "entree", "nuggets", "formula" are written in the title it means that this food must contain 25% of fish or meat written in the title. For example, "Dinner from fish" must contain 25% of fish. If there are more than one component, for example, "The dish from fish with goose giblets", then these two components must contain 25% of food, and the second of them must contain at least 3%. If you read in the title the word "flavor", for example, "Dinner with Beef flavor", then this food doesn't contain beef but beef waste or by-products which give beef flavor to food.
WHAT DOES THE TERM "BY-PRODUCTS" MEAN? Even in the premium types of food, such as Science Diet and lambs, you'll see that the first component in the list is "by-products". By-products can contain meat, but more often they contain intestines, paws, hoofs, beaks, and other organs, spoiled meat and the products of slaughter.
4 D: When the producer confirms that he has used meat as a component, it is not usual sort of meat which we eat. If it were the real good meat the price of such food would be very high. Such food, as a rule, is made of the meat of sick animals or even of dead ones. It may contain malignant tissue or tissue of dead born animals which contain many hormones. It can be even meat of dogs and cats which were narcotized in the asylum for animals. Such fact was noticed by San-Francisco Chronicle and confirmed by the American Association of Veterinarians while producers confirm that it is not true.
COMPLETE and BALANCED. Food can be marked "complete and balanced" if it confirms the standards of control group, such as AAFCO, American Association of Feed Control Officers. Food standards set the necessary quantity of albumen, fat, vitamins, ashes, and so on. They demand wide explorations from the producers. But in fact they research only albumen, amino acids and vitamins. Besides AAFCO makes up standards which point what vitamins and how many of them food for cats must contain. How do they do it? Such investigations are made only with kittens (they are more accessible) and with the other species. Are they exact? We don't know. Besides, while each producer can synthesize food containing exact portions of every component in accordance with standards, at last the animal can starve to death. Why can it happen? Because standards do not take into account adoption and combining of useful substances concerning the animal. Some sorts of vitamins and ashes, for example, can not be adopted by intestines. One of the veterinarians, as they say, made food having used the leather of the old boots, oil and wooden wastes. But that food corresponded to standards by containing of albumen, carbohydrates and fat. It's a pity, but if to take into account some components which many producers use we sometimes agree that "The Old Boot" could be more useful than their productions. The result of the examining is named "the gold standard" and it is the favorite mark for the producer. But when you look through the real standards of AAFCO you'll learn that the producer must feed at least six animals with the food which he researches during six months. The most famous producers of food, including Iams, Purina and other firms, try their food on hundreds of animals during the year or more. But it's easy to understand that the bad producer could test the diet of bad quality during six months without noticing of negative influence for health and then say that his production "complete and balanced". Take into account that the standards are only the set of "minimum" and "maximum" and not the "optimum" but they can not take into account the needs of each pet.
ADDITIONS. In fact, each commercial food contains additions and preservatives. The worst ones include BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is forbidden in human products for their cancer effect. The most dangerous for the consumer chemical products can be added secretly or be used in the field or during the manufacturing of grain and they will never be noticed on the label. Perhaps the most part or even the whole animal fat which is intended for animals is manufactured by the Ethoxyquin.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? When you're choosing the commercial food for your pet read the label. While the per cent of dampness of different components bring into mistakes they are the only accessible information. In general, use the products which confirm that they are "natural": in spite of that they are not perfect they are better than the other products. Some food is consternated with Vitamin E now more often than with synthetically preservatives. You can find them but their number will be less than earlier. Avoid products which are marked "light" or "special formula" because producers do all their best to advertise their product or tries to make the unreal formula. Avoid the most common or well-remembered trade-marks, as a rule, they are repacked by the intermediaries. Daily cats demand damp food to lower the load for kidneys. First of all, add raw meat, boiled grouts and vegetables.
It's your own decision.