29
November
2018
|
17:55
Europe/Amsterdam

Pet foods that are as healthy as yours

Pet+foods+photo

Do you really know what's in the pet food you feed to your faithful companions at home? With the rise of vegan treats for dogs, gluten-free cat food and more - it can be hard to know what's best for our four-legged friends. Here, we take a look at the truth behind these new diet trends and give you some easy tips for making healthy, wholesome pet food at home.

Should you go meat-free?

While vegan and vegetarian diets are increasingly popular, they usually don’t provide enough nutrients for dogs and cats. If you're considering swapping in canned or tinned food for fresh food, always keep in mind that raw meat can be dangerous due to bacteria. So always ensure its thoroughly cooked before serving and aim for a balanced diet in general with a mix of protein, carbohydrate and fats.

How much is too much?

Diet and portion size will depend on the breed of animal and their activity, so it’s best to get firm advice from a vet if you’re unsure. Most nutritionists agree that meat and animal products should make up around half a dog’s meal, while cats need a higher level of protein and can be more picky than dogs. Fish and eggs are good sources of nutrition, as are leafy greens and vegetables such as potatoes, squash and legumes.

Raw vegetables should be pureed first, and some grains can cause inflammation so try to introduce these slowly at first. Be wary of giving table scraps, as human food can often be too salty or too high in protein, although things like cooked white chicken are acceptable as an occasional treat. 

Starting from scratch 

If you’re looking to start making homemade pet food from scratch, it’s best to start with a combination of meat, veggies and wholemeal carbohydrates for dogs. This could be a dish of cooked turkey mince, brown rice, spinach and courgettes for example, while for cats it’s best to have a mix of meat protein, carbohydrates, fibre and fat. Why not combine salmon, peas, cooked sweet potato, and a small amount of fish oil for a tasty, cat-friendly dish? Adding vitamin or calcium supplements can also be a great idea, and aim for small portions of non-fatty meats or vegetables for snacks rather than processed biscuits.

What to avoid 

Finally, certain foods can be toxic or poisonous to pets such as cats and dogs, so always avoid feeding your furry pals the following foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Onions
  • Caffeine products
  • Garlic
  • Raisins or sultanas

Pet insurance

Europ Assistance Italy offers Migliore Amico, the cover you need for your pet, providing you with peace of mind.

It includes:

  • Monitoring and locating services for your pet
  • Assistance at home or while travelling in Italy or abroad
  • Cover of veterinary bills, both in case of accident and/or illness
  • Liability insurance to cover you for damage caused to third parties or received

The Gold version not only covers all said above, but it also gives you the Kippy Vita device for free. Thanks to the specific app, you will be able to check your pet’s daily activities, such us meals and movements.