Before getting a pet, it’s essential to know what their optimum diet is so you can replicate it as best you can in your household. This is a sure way to have a healthy and happy pet with minimal health issues. Read this article for advice on the optimum diets of three of the most common household pets and speak to your veterinarian for any further advice!
There has been wide scientific debate about what the best diet is for dogs over the last 10 years, particularly in relation to the specific question: are dogs carnivores or omnivores? It is in fact a myth that dogs are carnivores – many people feed their dogs a primarily meat based diet, but there is actually no evidence that this is beneficial to your favorite furry friend.
Dogs might be better described as ‘opportunivores’ as they’ll largely eat whatever they are given by their owners – this means there is all the more responsibility for you, as the owner, to feed your dog a well-balanced, nutritionally complete diet. As omnivores, dogs benefit from both plant and meat-based sources of protein and love to eat a variety of ingredients and food groups. Dogs have actually evolved over the years to become more adept at digesting a wide variety of foods, both plant-based and meat-based, so don’t be afraid to incorporate some vegetables or plant-based dog food into your dog’s diet.
The ideal diet for cats is a carnivore diet – cats are actually classed as ‘obligate carnivores’, which means they need a carnivore diet to survive and are strictly meat eaters. Without the meat that your cat needs, they could become severely unwell, so it’s important not to impose any kind of dietary restrictions. It’s best to set an eating schedule for your cat and feed it at regular times during the day. Speak to your veterinarian about the quantity and frequency you should be feeding your cat before you attempt to make a decision about this yourself. Sometimes your cat could be more of a ‘grazer’, preferring to eat their food slowly throughout the day. This is fine as long as you don’t end up overfeeding your cat, as being overweight can pose serious problems to your cat’s health.
Hamsters are omnivores – this means that in the wild they would eat a wide variety of both plants and insects. You’ll need to be feeding your hamsters fresh veg as well as protein treats like mealworms. You’ll want to buy good quality hay for your hamsters to gnaw on too, and make sure to give your hamster the occasional treat, like a boiled egg or a nut. Of course, your hamster will need access to clean water too and don’t forget that hamsters love to store food away so if they hide food around their cage it isn’t because they don’t want it, they’re just saving it for later!
You always want to keep in mind that you should be feeding your pet a diet as close as possible to what they would naturally eat in the wild. Follow this advice on how to best feed common household pets to ensure your pet is physically thriving the best that they can!