1. Understand what good-quality pet food is
2. Common challenges of cooked pet food
When food is cooked (or processed) too much, it can have the following effect:
- Loss of essential nutrients (e.g. vitamin v or amino acids)
- Loss of nonessential nutrients (e.g. phytonutrients) which can lead to health conditions
- Loss of antioxidants
- Increase in glycated end products, which have been thought to cause cancer in humans.
3. How to tell if food is balanced and right for your pet
There are a whole list of ways to tell whether your pet is getting a balanced diet. You should look for any:
- Skin problems
- Gastrointestinal or urinary problems
- Weight gain or loss while eating a reasonable amount
When any condition is chronic or prolonged, an owner should think about their pet's food.
4. Common misconceptions about pet food
One common misconception is that processing food kills digestive enzymes. In fact, the enzymes in processed pet food have no impact on digestion. Instead, a wide range of nutrients can be destroyed, whereas raw or lightly processed foods retain more of these nutrients. Another misconception is that many dogs have chicken allergies. While some might develop an allergy (when chicken should definitely be avoided), often what happens is owners who notice a pet's condition change their food to one without chicken and notice improvements, yet the difference could lie in the protein or nutrient profile change in the product, rather than the source of protein.
In any case, if you change up your pet's food and it cures any condition, it's a good thing - as long as other quality essential nutrients are also being provided.