Your Pet Needs a Tailor-Fit Diet Too, Just Like You
Ask any athlete or nutritionist about the perfect diet and exercise regimen, and you're bound to get different answers. That's because there isn't a single, one-size-fits-all answer to that question, and so it's your responsibility to figure out what works best for your body and your goals.
As it happens, the same is true for your furry friends. Any number of factors can determine your pet's ideal diet: breed, size, age, and lifestyle. And their health is your responsibility, too.
Good thing, then, that there's enough established knowledge about pet nutrition, and all it takes is research. But to keep it simple, here are a few general pointers to abide by.
While both cats and dogs are inherent carnivores, cats are considered obligate carnivores who rely heavily on animal meat to fulfill most of their nutritional needs. This means that plant-based diets are out of the picture. (That isn’t the case for the semi carnivore canines.) Felines have higher requirements for proteins and vitamins, too. That’s why, relative to dogs, cats are need more intentional meals.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that you should be making homecooked meals for your cats and dogs. More often than not, pre-packed food found in the market can do much more than a meal whipped up at home. According to the Waltham Pet Care Institute, “diets that are suitable for humans rarely deliver enough nutrients for dogs or cats without excessive overfeeding. It is very hard to make a complete and balanced pet food at home. Most home prepared diets are incomplete and may impair the health and vitality of pets.”
So in practice, creating a tailor-fit diet for your pet is less about knowing what to cook, and more about knowing how to shop. It's about selecting the right store-bought pet food—the kind that suits your pet best.
That's how Royal Canin helps fastidious pet owners like you, who want to take special care of their pet's diet. Royal Canin has a broad range of different pet food with precise specifications—the application of decades-long of constantly studying felines and canines, and formulating products for each of them.
To help you select the right food for your furry friend, start by selecting from Royal Canin's product range based on life stage. In its feline range, there are specific food variants for baby cats (from birth to two months old) and kittens (under 12 months old) as well as adult cats (over 12 months). Meanwhile, its canine range has food for puppies and adult dogs (the specific ages are defined differently depending on the breed).
Beyond life stage, you can narrow it down based on breed. Royal Canin's products are tailored to fit the specific needs of different breeds of cats and dogs. Persians and Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers each have their own nutritional needs, so shop wisely.
Lastly, consider special care requirements. Is your cat coughing up hairballs regularly? Royal Canin has pet food that can help with that. The same goes for more serious health matters, like urinary problems, skin and hair quality, and even the reduction of stool odor, which is perfect for indoor pets.
Based on these three factors, you can find and select from Royal Canin's range of 67 formulas. Yes, there are 67 different formulas—so you're very likely to find something that suits your particular pet. Beyond that, there's also a veterinary range, for with allergies and dental issues.
Think you’re feeding them the right way, then? Well, studies suggest that adult dogs eat up to two times a day in a mostly uniform pattern, and cats in a more sporadic schedule to fit their natural eating behavior.
Next to diet, of course, is the importance of exercise. Like humans, domestic animals need an ample amount of activity every day to stay fit. But the definition of "ample" is obviously relative to each pet—again, it largely depends on their breed, size, age, and lifestyle.
For cats, especially indoor cats, it is recommended they receive at least six minutes of playtime regularly, which could be spread in chunks throughout the day. Some things that could get you and your pet cat started are ping pong balls for chasing, fishing rod-like tools for jumping, and towers for climbing.
On the flip side, dogs need to get an hour of exercise every day on average. This is a general guide that works for most breeds, but not all—what matters is that they remain active in ways that are beneficial for them, and at the same time work for your schedule, too.
Make sure that you’re only giving what’s best for your pets by consulting their veterinarians regularly.