Which Pet Food to Buy? Get our Guide to Life Stage Diets

July 7, 2024

You’re not alone when it comes to having trouble choosing the best pet food for your dog or cat. With 10.5 million tonnes of pet food products sold annually across Europe and a 5.1% annual growth rate for this industry*, it’s no wonder you can feel flummoxed!

Our veterinary team at Alpha Vets have crafted a simple guide to help pet owners in Greater London navigate the process of pet food shopping.

Book a Tailored Nutrition Appointment

As vets, we’re often asked about the vast array of pet food choices on the market. From kitten kibble to senior support, the options can be overwhelming. Yet, there’s a straightforward explanation for this diversity: a pet’s nutritional requirements evolve throughout their lifespan. Let’s delve into why life stage matters in pet food, decipher what “complete pet food” means, and underscore the importance of consulting with a veterinary professional for maintaining your pet’s health.

Life stages of your pet

  • Growing Pains: Picture a lively puppy or kitten with endless energy and a hearty appetite, fuelling their adventures and growth. Puppy and kitten food is rich in protein, calcium, and essential nutrients to support their rapid development.
  • The Prime of Life: Once your pet reaches adulthood (around 1 year for cats and varying for dogs depending on breed), their growth rate slows down. Adult pet food provides the balanced nutrition they need to maintain a healthy weight, support their immune system, and keep them active.
  • Golden Years: As pets age, their bodies change. Senior pet food often has lower calorie content to help prevent weight gain, while containing glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.

Our experienced team at Alpha Vets can advise you on all of this – book a tailored nutrition appointment now.

What does “complete pet food” mean?

You might see the term “complete pet food” on packaging. Our vets in Teddington advise that it signifies the food meets all your pet’s nutritional requirements for their life stage, as set by organisations like the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF). This means you don’t need to add any supplements unless specifically recommended by your vet.

Why choose high quality pet food

Think of pet food as the foundation of your pet’s health. High-quality complete pet food, formulated for their life stage, provides the essential building blocks for a long and healthy life. It can also support digestion, skin and coat health, and even cognitive function.

Why consult your vet

While complete pet food offers a balanced base, every pet is an individual. Book a tailored nutrition appointment with one of our vets, who will consider your pet’s age, breed, activity level, and any specific health concerns to recommend the best pet food for their unique needs. They can also help with tricky transitions between life stages and advise on portion control to maintain a healthy weight.

Cats especially need a well-thought-out transition between different foods, as some changes in diet can negatively affect their health.

Our veterinary team at Alpha Vets want pet owners in Greater London to remember: When it comes to pet food, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t exist. By understanding the importance of life stage nutrition, choosing good quality complete pet food, and consulting your vet, you’re giving your pet the nutritional foundation they need to thrive at every stage of their life.

Book a Tailored Nutrition Appointment

Did you know you can buy a range of top-quality, vet-recommended complete pet foods at Alpha Vets? Book a tailored nutrition appointment with our team to discuss your pet’s needs.

*Stats from www.europeanpetfood.org

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