10 Things You Need To Know About Pet Food

Have you ever found yourself at the store or scrolling online, confused by all the options for food you can feed your dog or cat?

Every pet owner has likely been in this position at least once before and it is a lot of pressure to choose the right diet, especially when there is not always an obvious answer.

At Lynbrook vet we believe that the best diet for your pet is the highest quality of food that you can afford, that keeps your pet happy and healthy.

We understand that each owners’ priorities when selecting a food for their pet can differ significantly. From value for money, convenience, feeding for a specific health condition or life stage, ethical production or if you simply want to try something different.

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the list below for a few key points to consider when choosing the right food for your dog or cat.

What stage of life is your pet in?

  • How much to feed a puppy or kitten? It is vital that puppies and kittens get all the nutrients they need from their food to grow and develop normally. Always ensure that you feed a food that is designed for puppies or kittens, ideally for the first 12 months of their life or longer in the case of large breed puppies.
  • Large breed puppies require a specific puppy diet to meet their increased nutritional needs when compared to smaller puppy breeds. If you have a large breed puppy, be sure to choose a diet that specifically states it is designed to meet the nutritional requirements of large breed puppies.

What should I feed my dog and/or cat?

  • Feeding either only dry food or a mix of dry and wet food is better for long term dental health, as wet food does not require your pet to chew.
  • Wet food is often more costly to feed than dry food to meet the daily requirements of your pet. For cats feeding wet food can help increase their water intake should they not be good drinkers but do keep in mind their teeth need some type of solid diet to help remove plaque (unless you are brushing your cat’s teeth!).
  • Raw feeding and home cooked diets are growing in popularity as alternatives to traditional wet or dry diets for dogs and cats. These alternative diets can certainly be fed successfully but can be tricky to get right to meet all your pets’ nutritional requirements (especially for cats). More to come on these diets in future blogs.

How much should I feed my dog?

  • Feeding the right amount can be tricky to judge as there are a number of factors that may alter the amount your pet needs. Things to take into consideration include breed, age, medical conditions, body score and activity level.
  • For specific information, CLICK HEREto feeding blog about your pets’ nutritional requirements (especially for cats). More to come on these diets in future blogs.

Nutritional Guidelines.

  • Try to make sure that you select a food for your pet that meets recognised nutritional standards. This will help make sure that every meal your pet gets is giving them the right balance of nutrients to help them stay happy and healthy.
  • Look out for products that meet WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) guidelines or AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines to ensure you are feeding a properly balanced diet.

Nutritional Analysis.

  • Try to choose a food that states it had a “guaranteed” nutritional analysis, as this will mean each bag has the same nutritional contents and there are less likely to be significant changes in the contents of the food from bag to bag.
  • If you cannot find a product to suit you and your pet with a “guaranteed” nutritional analysis then the next best option is one with a “typical” nutritional analysis, however this does mean that there may be changes from bag to bag and there may not be as stringent analysis of each batch during production of the food.

Value for money.

  • Food products that are cheaper per kg don’t always save you money.
  • Products that are cheaper per kg often have higher feeding rates so you end up feeding more of the cheaper food that may end up being more expensive that the lower feeding rate of a more expensive brand.
  • Have a look at the feeding instructions on the product packaging and check the feeding rate that suits your pet. When comparing products, always compare the feeding rate in weight (grams) rather than volume (cups), larger kibble will always take up more space (volume) but may not weigh more.

What goes in must come out.

  • Poop, no one likes to clean it up. If you are feeding a product that has a lower feeding rate then you are likely to have less poop to clean up.

Ingredients - What is important?

  • Proteins in your pet’s food should come from an animal (meat source) rather than vegetable (peas, beans and legumes), this is what they are naturally designed to consume.
  • Try to choose a food that has its protein source clearly labelled, for example “chicken meal” or “lamb” or “beef by-product meal” rather than a product that states “beef, chicken or lamb”. This is especially important if you have a pet with a sensitive stomach as it means each bag is likely to have the same ingredients as the last.
  • Ideally choose a diet that has a protein, protein meal or protein by-product listed early in the ingredient list on the product packaging (ideally within the first 3 ingredients). Cats are obligate carnivores and do not require any grains vegetable matter in their diets, and dogs are omnivores that require a high protein diet so ensuring that your protein (meat) source is present in high quantities is important to providing a good quality diet for your pet.

Does my pet need a single protein or grain free diet?

  • In most cases the answer is no, most pets are happy and healthy eating a diet containing grains or mixed protein sources.
  • If you have a pet with food sensitivities or allergies your vet may recommend a single protein diet or grain free diet. It is always best to make dietary changes for your sensitive pet in consultation with your veterinarian.

Can I feed my pet a vegan diet?

  • Cats can absolutely not be fed a vegan diet; they are obligate carnivores and must consume meat in order to survive.
  • It is possible to feed a dog a vegan diet however it is strongly discouraged. It is extremely difficult to achieve a properly balanced vegan canine diet and very little research has been done into the long-term effects of feeding a vegan diet to dogs. Some research suggests that some vegetable protein sources used as meat/grain alternatives may be linked to cardiac disease in some dogs.
  • We highly recommend those with concerns about feeding an animal-based diet to their pet, seek a diet that is ethically sourced to reduce concerns around the mis-treatment of animals for food production rather than eliminating animal products from your pets diet which could put their health in serious jeopardy.

There are also a few human foods which we would like to take time to mention that your dog and cat should not eat.

For CATS, CLICK HERE to find a list of foods your cat should not eat.

For DOGS, CLICK HERE to find a list of foods your dog should not eat.

Keep an eye out next month for a nutritional blog about raw feeding and home cooking including our suggestions for how to go about feeding your pet these diets.

  • Remember to always make diet changes slowly over a 7-14 day period and if in doubt, please contact our friendly team for further advice.

Share This :

Get in touch

Our team are ready to take your call. 

Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

4.9 450 reviews

  • Avatar Sarah ★★★★★ in the last week
  • Avatar Rosie Kawala ★★★★★ in the last week
    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
  • Avatar Alfatihah Sateria ★★★★★ in the last week
    Very kind n friendly staff , very helpful and help my little one get solve
  • Avatar Claire Mooney ★★★★★ a week ago
    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
  • Avatar Alex Farani ★★★★ a week ago
  • Avatar Jade Scullard ★★★★★ a week ago
    1000% recommend!!!! This is such a stunning vet, everyone is so friendly and forthcoming, we have been seeing them for the past 4 months with our little staffy boy Stitch! He loves it there as everyone loves him and gives him all the attention … More he needs, we have had nothing but incredible service from all the staff there. Stitch went in today for a procedure and we felt so happy and safe leaving our boy there, everyone cares for your pet, like they are family. It’s truly the best experience we have ever had with a vet.It’s a definite must, as when your little ones aren’t feeling the best they make you feel better because they keep you in the loop every step of the way!We also did puppy pre-school through them which is incredible as well as he now associates the vet with such a happy feeling we never have him worried about the vet visit… and besides that all the love and care he gets when he walks through the Lynbrook vet doors!Truely amazing

You're in good hands

Lynbrook Veterinary Services Primary Care Practice

Lynbrook Vet is a close-knit team of Veterinary professionals dedicated to practising veterinary science in a compassionate, trustworthy, respectful and professional manner.  We care deeply not just for our patients and clients, but for one another as well.

Genuine Care
& Experience

Customised Treatment

Customised Treatment


Ready to book your appointment?

Please fill out the enquiry form below and we will get in touch with you soon. If your enquiry is urgent please call us on 8373 0301.

Contact Us

Contact Your Local Vet

Working Hours

Follow Us On Social Media

Search our site