A balanced and nutritious diet equals a happy and healthy pet, but getting the right amount of nourishment can be a tricky business. Obesity is a problem vets see all too often, due to an unbalanced diet of too many treats and not enough wholesome ingredients.

To keep your pet healthy your vet can help tailor a diet that is appropriate for your pet’s breed, age, weight and lifestyle, and one that they enjoy, too! This article discusses ingredients that have the correct nutrients to make up a balanced diet.

Ingredients that are good for your pet

The mainstays of a balanced diet include high-quality meats, rice and fish oil that contain the 40 essential nutrients your pet needs. A balanced diet will also help your pet’s digestion so that nutrients can be absorbed. Premium pet foods contain these ingredients too.

The benefits of nutrients

Like us, animals can’t make nutrients by themselves – so a balanced diet that has a high nutritional value will meet their dietary requirements. Nutrients will give your pet energy and keep them healthy.

Energy means calories, so a nutritious diet must be coupled with exercise to ensure those calories go somewhere rather than around the belly. The key nutrients your pet needs are:

Carbohydrates: Rice and vegetables are a good source of carbohydrates – giving energy to your pet’s nervous system and powering their brain, as well as being a rich source of fibre.

Proteins: Meat, fish and chicken contain protein – the benefits can be seen in healthy muscles, skin and coat.

Lipids: A fancy word for fats found in meat, chicken, fish and oils – another excellent source of energy and great for healthy skin and coat.

Vitamins and minerals: Vegetables, meat, chicken, fish and grains are a great source of minerals, such as magnesium for muscles, iron for healthy blood, calcium for strong bones, and vitamins for everything from blood clotting to healthy vision.

Ask your vet for dietary advice

To ensure your pet is eating correctly, ask your vet for advice on what food to purchase and the correct portion to feed your pet. They can also provide you with a nutritional plan and help track, manage and maintain your pet’s weight.