Why does pet food have so many categories?

Adult large breed dog food
Senior small breed dog food
Kitten food
Senior cat food

As pet parents, have you ever wondered why there are so many types of categories for different pet foods? Since some brands have foods for pets of all ages, the question arises: is all of this for marketing purposes? Well, the reality is that picking out the right foods for your furry friends is crucial for their development and health. That’s why there are so many types of pet food! ✅

The first thing pet parents must know about buying their pets food is that cats and dogs need different types of foods for each stage of their development, health, breed, and even lifestyle!

Dogs are omnivores, which means they consume plants and meat. On the other hand, cats are carnivores, which means they only consume meat. Because their nutritional needs differ so much, they shouldn’t eat the same food. Dogs can eat some cat food but it might not be so tasty for them. Cats shouldn’t eat dog food at all. This is because dog food is missing Taurine, which is a critical amino acid for a cat’s well-being.

With each stage of their growth and development, our pets need different varieties of nutrients and sources of energy. For example, foods for kittens and puppies are jam-packed with crucial nutrients for their developing bones and muscles. If puppies and kittens ate mature dog food, there’s a high chance that they will have to eat more food, or not receive the ideal amount of crucial nutrients. 

There’s a lot of variety of foods for animals with specific health problems. You might be wondering why that is, or how that matters. Here’s an example: Dogs that are smaller and have liver problems might require fewer calories. Since dogs with health issues will be less active, compared to when they were healthy. Normal dog food might have excess calories for them, so it might cause excessive weight gain. Small breed dogs with liver issues should eat a high protein and low sodium diet. 

Other than the stage of development and health issues, picking out the right food for their breed, size, and lifestyle is also important. Factors like their lifestyle and level of activity will differ, depending on the breed and size. An indoor cat will use up less energy than an outdoor cat. An outdoor cat will move around, play in the open air and chase all the birds they think they can catch! So an outdoor cat requires more than an indoor kitty.

There are some brands of food that are suitable for pets of all ages. This option might be best for households with many pets who are all in different developmental stages. But if it’s possible, consider getting them food that is specifically made for their breed, age, and activity level. 

These three main points are why there are so many categories for different pet foods! Because food is such an important part of their life, providing your furry friends with high-quality food early on in their development can help lengthen their lifespan and help them stay healthy!

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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