Choosing the right food for your pet can be one of the most challenging things for a pet owner to do. There are a wealth of pet foods available on the market ranging from the very poor to premium quality, as well as everything in between. There are also at least as many opinions as to what a makes a food good for your pet. The average pet owner is swamped with often conflicting information from well meaning friends, colleagues, breeders, pet store employees and of course Dr. Google. How is a conscientious pet owner to know what to believe??

At Sault Ste. Marie Animal Clinic, we believe in the value of a well researched and tested diet. Large pet food companies such a s Hill’s and Royal Canin have fabulous research facilities world wide that are staffed by world leading pet nutritionists. Extensive clinical research goes into making sure that the right nutrients are present in the right amounts and ratios. In these research facilities they are able to do actual feeding trials – this means that the diets they sell are fed to (very well cared for) dogs and cats before they are sold to the public to make sure that they meet or exceed all of your pet’s nutritional needs and that they have solid scientific proof to back the claims they make about the diet. It is important to recognize that unfortunately this is not always the case with pet food.

So, besides research, what makes a good diet? The ingredients of course! Once again, this is an area where there is a whole lot of confusion and misinformation circulating about. Fads and trends, often spilling over from human diet fads and trends can lead to certain ingredients being touted as super ingredients while others get an undeserved “bad rap”. To help owners make sense of some of this, Royal Canin produced the following infographic.

Click on ingredient name to enlarge.