Our pets are not just animals that live with us, they are family members and our best friends. We know it’s a good idea to look after our own nutrition so we stay healthy and happy, but what are the options that will help us do the same for our furry friends? As caring pet parents we’re demanding more from pet food manufacturers There’s no doubt that more pet parents are looking around for better food options for their pets than ever before. There have been special diets around for a while, and most manufacturers cater for the nutritional needs of puppies, active pets and older pets, but in the past few years the food options for our pets have increased. According to Pet Food Industry.com, Mars Petcare has seen 84% of their growth come from premium products such as limited ingredients or meals giving pets culinary experiences rather than mainstream products. Sales of pet food toppers or enhancers such as gravies, sauces or pieces of meat to add to your pet’s food increased by 25% in 2018 compared to 2017 and Neilsen and GfK see this growth continuing. What are the best new dog food and cat food options? There are lots of exciting new foods and treats available for dogs at chewy.com. Here are some of the best options, in our opinion. Just follow the links to take a look and buy! Human grade food for dogs and cats Human grade pet food is made from ingredients that are fit for human consumption. If the food is made in a production facility that matches human food production standards the food can be called ‘human grade pet food’, but it is made in a pet food production plan the manufacturer must say it is made with “Human-grade ingredients”. The honest kitchen and Spot Farms are two of the manufacturers featured on chewy.com that offer food made with human grade ingredients. Their flavour choices are great, and you know you are feeding your cat and dog great quality food to help keep them healthy. I don’t think I knew that cat and dog food is usually made from ingredients not fit for human consumption, and why would we feed our perfect pooches’ and our cute kitties’ food that we couldn’t eat? Grain free Food for Dogs and cats I’m pretty sure you’ll know someone who is gluten intolerant and tells you how much better they feel by not eating grain anymore. Gluten free food is pretty widely available for humans these days, and you can get grain free food for your dog and cat too. Historically cats and dogs didn’t eat grain but had a protein rich diet, and so grain free diets better mimic the diet our pets are genetically suited to eat. Grains are added to mass produced pet food to bulk it out and keep the cost down but it’s not necessarily the best option for your pet’s health. Dogs and cats don’t have the gut ingredients to break down grains effectively and so the grains ferment in their gut which can lead to damage to the gut walls, inflamed guts and food allergies. If your pet has wind, is prone to diarrhea, has skin rashes and itching, vomiting or frequent ear infections it’s possible a change to a grain free diet might help their health improve. Talk to your vet before making any diet changes though! ‘Clean’, GMO free and environmentally friendly dog and cat food We’re all aware of the need to do more to look after our environment, and more manufacturers are producing environmentally friendly dog and cat food that helps us do this. ‘Clean’ pet food can mean food with only a few ingredients, fewer preservatives and additives and no GM produced products, all designed to help our pets stay healthy and reduce the impact on the environment. Chewy.com stock GMO free (grain free) Cat food and dog food options from Caru with the meat from grass fed animals. Meal enhancers or toppers for dogs and cats There’s no doubt that moving to a human grade food diet for your dog or cat is going to be a more expensive choice than standard dog or cat food, but there are other options. Adding meal enhancers such as sauces, gravies or pieces of meat to your pet’s meal will give them a better taste experience and provide them with additional great nutrition. Chewy.com stock food toppings for cats and to add flavor and protein rich extras. Is feeding raw food a good idea? There is a trend for manufacturers to offer raw food options for dogs and cats and this has proved very popular with lots of owners. I suppose the thinking is that their ancestors would have eaten raw food in the wild so surely this must be the best option now too, right? Before you rush out and buy raw food for your furry friends it’s important to remember that we avoid catching nasty bugs like E.Coli, Salmonella and Listeria by cooking our food. We don’t pick up tape worm eggs from pork because we cook it before we eat it. Swedish scientists have looked at the risks of feeding raw food to pets as its hugely popular in Scandinavia and other European countries. They found that all 60 samples of manufacturer supplied raw pet food that they tested contained Enterobacteriaceae bacteria. Some samples contained Salmonella and Campylobacter. This means that feeding a raw food diet could put your pet at risk of catching a nasty infection, and they could easily pass this infection to you. Families with young children or older people should seriously stop and think about this type of diet for their pets due to the risk of infection to their pets, themselves and other family members. I’m not sure I would want to risk my pet’s health, or mine either! Whatever you decide is the best option for your dog or cat please remember to talk to your vet before making any change to your pet’s diet, and take their advice. If you do change their diet, make the transition from one type of food to another, gradually, so their stomach doesn’t get upset.