Like humans, animals too need a balanced diet for a healthy existence. Each of the six nutrients - Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fat, Vitamins, Minerals and water - plays a vital role in the pet’s health. Proteins are the main element of body tissues like muscles, blood, skin, organs, hair and nails. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body’s tissues. Fats absorb, store and transport vitamins and moisturize skin and coat. Vitamins assist in maintaining metabolism of the animals. Minerals are necessary to develop healthy skin, hair, and proper skeletal support and development.

Pets like dogs and cats are essentially carnivorous and hence require a daily diet of animal food. They require the enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients in the raw meat in order to stay healthy. Many skin and coat problems are a direct result of a lack of raw animal fat in the diet. Animals need at least 30% raw fat, and their systems are not designed to handle cooked meat or cooked fat. Hence, readymade dry food, cooked food or processed food should be avoided. Essentially a pet (dog & cat) food should consist of a combination of certain raw meats and raw vegetables.

Excess of nutrients is also not good for the health of pet. Many nutrients are actually toxic in excessive amounts. Every pet has unique nutritional needs based on age, health and activity level and it should be fed accordingly.

In general, Puppies should be fed only as much as they can consume in 5 to 10 minutes at a given meal. Puppies are usually fed 3 times daily when between 6 and 12 weeks old, 2 times daily when 12 weeks to 6 months old, and may be fed 1 or 2 times daily when older than 6 months. For certain large breed of dogs it is recommended that several smaller meals be fed rather than one large meal. Consumption of large meals may result in a serious medical condition called gastric dilatation/volvulus or “bloat.”

It is advisable to feed pets at set mealtimes because intake can be more easily monitored. Canned foods should always be fed at set times, because if left unrefrigerated, they can spoil. It is advisable to feed pets in stainless steel bowls because plastic and ceramic bowls can scratch, leaving crevices for bacteria to hide.