In order to keep your pet healthy, it is important that your dog or cat gets enough nutrients. Dogs and cats need a lot of different nutrients. Guido Bosch, animal nutrition expert at the University of Wageningen helps you to put together a good diet for your dog or cat.
There are many different types and brands of feed on the market, divided into complete and supplementary feed. Complete food contains all the nutrients that your animal needs, additional food does not. Dry food and most wet food is complete. Supplementary food also comes in different shapes and flavors, such as a dog biscuit, meat sausage, a can with fish or a vegetable mix. Even if you give different types of supplementary food to your animal, you can never say with certainty that your animal is getting all the nutrients. If you choose complete food, your dog or cat will receive all the necessary nutrients.
Vitamins and minerals
Bosch cites vitamins and minerals as an example. These are nutrients that pets like us need in the right amount and proportion. In almost all complete foods, vitamins and minerals are added, while supplemental food usually does not contain this addition. If you only give your animal supplementary food, your animal will lack these nutrients. Packaging states under the composition of the product whether vitamins and minerals have been added.
How do I recognize complete food?
When reading the label, look for the terms ‘complete’ or ‘complete’ for products that contain all the nutrients your dog or cat needs on a daily basis. Products that are not complete are indicated by the term ‘additional’. The use of these terms is legally defined.
Extra nutrition from the owner
In the production of animal feed, extras that an owner sometimes wants to give are taken into account. Complete food therefore contains slightly more nutrients than is actually necessary. Do not give more than ten percent of the total
energy intake via extras, otherwise the diet is no longer in balance.
Is all the complete food equally good?
Bosses have different ideas about what good nutrition is. Most importantly, the need for all the nutrients of dogs and cats is covered and the food is safe for the animal and its environment. In principle, any commercial, complete food should meet your pet’s nutrient needs. Quality is guaranteed by the guidelines of FEDIAF (The European Pet Food Industry) and by European regulations and supervision by the NVWA. Unfortunately, there is no FEDIAF quality mark on the packaging. Most of the food in the shops is produced by members of the Dutch Food Industry Companion Animals (NVG). The NVG works together to ensure good and safe nutrition in the Netherlands and is affiliated with the FEDIAF. At the bottom of this page you can find the members of the NVG.