Choosing a pet food
With so many pet foods available in the supermarkets, pet shops and veterinary clinics, choosing the right food for your dog or cat can be confusing. Wilston Vet recommends feeding Hills Science Diet pet foods. Hills also have a range of Prescription Diets designed specifically for your pet’s particular illness. (eg. diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease)
Why does Wilston Vet recommend Hills Science Diet?
Science Diet is a complete and balanced food, providing superior nutrition to help your pet stay healthy for longer, whatever their age or lifestyle. All Hills Science Diet products provide your pet with the optimal balance of vitamins and minerals for lifelong health.
It is important that your pet is fed the appropriate food for its life stage. Hills make it easy with food specifically formulated to meet the needs of your pet whatever age. They have a range of food from puppy and kitten to food for your senior pet. As these feeds are complete and balanced there is no need to add vitamin or mineral supplements to your pet’s diet. The food provides all the nutrients required by a dog or cat, in the appropriate quantities and proportions to maintain good health.
Buying a readymade food is also a great advantage to people with busy lifestyles, as there is no need to spend time in the kitchen preparing homemade food. Besides the convenience of feeding prepared pet food, the fact that it is also ‘complete and balanced’ saves dog and cat owners from worrying if their pet is getting all the necessary nutrients to maintain good health. Although it is easy to cook for your pet, it is hard to know if you are providing a complete and balanced diet.
But I want to feed my pet an organic or natural diet – how can I do this?
Feeding your pet homemade diets or organic based diets, whilst it sounds like the right thing to do, can be problematic. Companies such as Hill’s spend millions of dollars each year researching dietary requirements to ensure their products contain the correct balance of vitamins and minerals for your pet. Often we find pet owners are trying to do the right thing by purchasing diets for their pets labelled as organic or holistic. Here are some facts about labelling of pet foods:
- According to the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the term “natural” requires a pet food to consist of only natural ingredients without chemical alterations; except for added vitamins and minerals.
- The term “organic” was legally defined for human foods by the USDA. While final rules have not yet been made, pet food companies can currently use the term “organic” if they follow the same rules as applied to human foods. Foods that are “100% organic” or “organic” will carry the USDA Organic Seal on the package. Currently Hill’s does not offer an “organic” pet food product.
- Natural and organic are not interchangeable terms.
- “Holistic” has no legal definition. There is no regulation defining what the word holistic means with regard to pet foods.
- The term “human grade” was determined to be misleading by AAFCO. The use of “human grade” or “human quality” is not allowed in pet food marketing unless the food is made in a human food approved plant.
Ultimately, we do not encourage owners to pursue ‘organic’ or a home made diet, as getting the balance right just isn’t simple and the consequences are not worth the risk.
Range of Hills Science diets stocked at Wilston Vet
- Vet Essentials Puppy
- Vet Essentials Adult
- Adult Small Bites
- Sensitive Stomach, Sensitive Stomach, Oral Care
- Active Longevity (senior food)
- Vet Essential Kitten
- Vet Essentials Adult
- Sensitive Stomach, Hairball Control (Adult and Senior)
- Active Longevity (senior food)
Hills also produce a range of prescription diets specifically made for various conditions and illnesses your pet may have. Please consult your veterinarian regarding these particular foods as they need to be specifically recommended to you by a veterinarian or veterinary nurse. These diets include foods specifically formulated for kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, dental disease, food allergies and urinary tract disease.
Premium foods vs budget foods – what’s the difference?
Buying a quality pet food has many benefits over the cheaper priced pet foods. Hills Science Diets contain only the highest quality ingredients, no artificial flavouring, colours or preservatives and use a fixed formulation, ensuring your pet receives the same ingredients each and every time. Hills uses high quality protein sources in its pet foods and contains highly digestible ingredients meaning that the food is easy for dogs and cats to digest. The resultant stool is small and firm, and easy to clean up, compared with the stools of pets fed a diet that is less digestible.. Because the food is highly digestible it also means that it offers far more nutritional value than a bowl of ordinary pet food, so the cost of feeding your pet is less than you might think, as the volume required to meet your pet’s requirements is less.
Other benefits include:
Avoiding excess levels of fat and salt – this can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity
Superior antioxidant Formula – to promote a healthy immune system
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – for a smooth and glossy coat
Great taste – extensive taste tests are carried out to ensure your dog or cat will love the taste
Different foods for the appropriate life stage of your pet
Many of the supermarket brands use less digestible protein sources and contain artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives. To enhance palatability, extra salt and fat is also added to many supermarket foods. This can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity. Using a poorly digestible protein source means you will need to feed more of this food so your pet receives its daily nutrient requirements. What you will see is a lot more stool volume being produced by your dog or cat with many experiencing undesirable flatulence.
By using inferior quality ingredients this also means that although a bag of food may appear cheaper initially, you actually need to feed a lot more of that food than a higher quality diet, which means the daily cost of feeding is not as cheap as you would have thought.
At Wilston Vet we believe that good nutrition is the key to a happy and healthy pet. That’s why we recommend Hills Science Diet. We are so confident that your pet will love Hills Science Diet that we support the 100% money back palatability guarantee. If your pet doesn’t like it, please bring it back to us and we will refund your money in full.