There are a growing number of pet owners in the Philippines as indicated by a rising trend in pet events and pet-friendly establishments. Recent market indicators from Euromonitor also show a steady increase in consumption of pet food in the country from 2005 to 2010, demonstrating that pet owners are now opting for commercial pet food brands rather than home-made food or table scraps for their pets.
With a growing consciousness on responsible pet ownership, due in part to various campaigns by the government and pet welfare advocacy groups, Filipino pet owners are paying greater attention to the proper care of their furry household companions, most importantly, pet nutrition.
Feeding pets the right food is a key component in ensuring pet health and wellness. The Pet Food Institute (PFI), the U.S. trade association for the makers of cat and dog food, encourages Filipino pet owners to supervise their pets’ diet carefully and seek professional advice from veterinarians regarding the overall care of their cats and dogs.
“Veterinarians and animal nutritionists have determined that table scraps are not balanced meals for household pets,” said Duane Ekedahl, president of the Pet Food Institute.“When pet owners mix leftovers into a balanced diet, they can inadvertently add extra calories, throw off the nutritional balance of the diet, and can even introduce foods that are detrimental to the pet's health.”
Ekedahl explained that many of the foods people eat are harmful to pets and can even be deadly, such as chocolate, onion, caffeine and alcohol. Even if a type of human food does not contain a harmful ingredient, it may contain too much fat, salt or spices that can upset a pet’s stomach. While people enjoy variety in their diet, cats and dogs actually do better on a consistent diet. Switching foods quickly can cause messy, digestive issues for pets.
Pet nutritional needs are different from the needs of people, so pets should be fed the appropriate amount and type of food, not leftovers of food for people. It is also important to feed products to the type of pet they were designed for (i.e. cat food only to cats and dog food only to dogs) because cats and dogs have different nutritional needs as well.
When buying their pet's basic diet, pet owners should look for products marked “complete and balanced” or similarly labeled, as they are designed to provide all the nutrition a pet needs. It is important to use products as they are intended or instructed on the label such as food for special use or
- more - supplemental feeding. Make certain that the pet has plenty of water to drink and do not overfeed. If for any reason a pet owner feels that their pet is not doing well on a particular diet, he or she may want to seek help from a veterinarian or change to another product.
“Good nourishment is important, and with today's wide assortment of commercial pet foods fully formulated for all stages of pet growth, it is easy to find well-balanced meals for pets,” adds Ekedahl.
Complete and balanced commercial pet food has been hailed as one of the 20th century’s revolutionary inventions that, along with veterinary care, resulted in longer, healthier lives for pet cats and dogs.
Commercial pet food began in the 1860s when James Spratt devised a preparation of wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot and meat, thereby creating the world’s first pet food which his company sold to English gentlemen for their sporting dogs. Since then, decades of research havebeen conducted in the area of canine and feline nutrition, resulting in the carefully formulated products found in the market today that are designed to meet all the complex nutritional needs of cats and dogs. With just a small can of food or scoop of kibble, pet owners are able to fulfill all the nutritional needs of their family cats or dogs.
About Pet Food Institute
Since 1958, the Pet Food Institute has been the voice of U.S. pet food manufacturers. PFI is the industry's public education and media relations resource, representative before the U.S. Congress and state and federal agencies, organizer of seminars and educational programs, and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of all dog and cat food in the U.S. marketplace. PFI is dedicated to promote the overall care and well-being of pets, support initiatives to advance the quality of dog and cat food, support research in pet nutrition and the important role of pets in our society, inform and educate the public on pet proper feeding and pet care and represent the pet food industry before federal and state governments.