Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers come with
a commitment to deliver nutritional adequacy, consistency, quality and
safety. There are a wide variety of recipes, varieties and textures to
choose from, and they are convenient to use. This is why the majority
of pet owners in Australia feed commercially prepared pet foods as a
major part of their pet's diet.
Prepared pet foods are an enormously popular and appropriate way to feed
dogs and cats. Pet owners recognise and celebrate that pets are
individuals and owners generally decide on what foods meet their
particular circumstances. Owners consider the likes and dislikes of the
pet and their own view regarding convenience, cost and variety of food
provided to the pets. There is no particular single 'right' way to feed
pets, as long as the nutritional needs of the dog or cat are being met.
Why are prepared pet foods so popular?
What do prepared pet foods deliver?
They can provide the correct amount, balance and availability of
nutrients to sustain physical and mental health and activity.
Sufficiently concentrated to allow the animal to meet its requirements
by consuming the food offered.
Tastiness (palatability) to ensure the food is eagerly consumed, since
an uneaten meal has no nutritional value. Palatability of the food is
important as feeding time should be a rewarding experience for both the
owner and the pet which reinforces the bond between a dog or cat and
A balanced diet
Just like their owners, dogs and cats need a balanced diet which contains
just the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrate and essential
vitamins minerals to ensure that they stay in peak condition. These
nutrients must be present, not only in the correct amounts, but also in
some cases in the correct proportion to each other to provide a
nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Like people, a pet's
requirements for these nutrients varies throughout life and are
determined by factors such as age, whether the pet is active or
sedentary, state of the pet's health, reproduction, and environmental
conditions. In meeting the particular needs of an individual animal the
owner must provide the required amount and correct balance of energy and
essential nutrients in a quantity of food the pet will consume. Since
animals eat to meet their energy needs, all essential nutrients should be
present in the correct amounts relative to the energy (joules or
calories) in a complete and balanced food. Prepared pet foods that are
complete and balanced will have a statement on their label advising this
Choosing the right food for your pet
The choice of food type for pet dogs and cats is very much a personal
matter. While various factors are involved in this choice, the main
points to consider are:
Owner preference for a type of feeding (e.g. canned, dry, chilled or
any combinations of these options).
The feeding habits of the pet, fussy feeders may prefer canned, dog
roll or pouch type foods, over some dry foods.
Lifestyle, economic considerations and convenience.
Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers come with a
reassurance of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety. There is a wide
variety of recipes, varieties and textures to choose from, and they are
convenient to use. Selecting nutritionally complete foods means that
these foods have been developed to provide a balanced diet. These foods
provide all of the animals' requirements for energy, protein, fat,
vitamins and minerals. Members of the Pet Food Industry Association of
Australia (PFIAA) are committed to delivering quality foods that conform
to the Australian Standard for the manufacturing and marketing of pet
food, AS5812, providing additional assurance of quality to discerning pet
It is not surprising that millions of Australian dogs and cats in
Australia are fed commercially prepared pet foods made by members of the
PFIAA. Happily owners can mix and match wet and dry foods which are
nutritionally complete and balanced to provide exactly the preferred mix
for pet and owner, comfortable in the knowledge that they are providing
complete nutrition for their pet.
Feeding guides and recommendations
General recommendations are usually provided 'on pack' for feeding pets
at various life stages, although these are usually aimed at the "average"
dog or cat. These recommendations are intended as a guide only to obtain
an approximate estimate of a pet's nutritional needs. As dogs and cats
vary significantly in their size, activity level and the environment in
which they are kept, the owner in consultation with their veterinarian is
best placed to decide whether to feed more or less and what kind of food
is best suited to their pet's requirements.
Some owners like to prepare at least some of their pet's meals
themselves. As dogs and cats have different nutritional needs to people,
home prepared pet feeding requires a thorough understanding of the
specific nutritional needs of the cat or dog, the nutritive value of
different food types, dietary interactions and methods of preparation and
storage which may affect the availability of individual nutrients. While
it is certainly possible, some knowledge regarding pet nutrition needs
and food preparation are needed to feed your pet a consistent and
adequate diet. A diet of fresh meat alone is not suitable for any dog or
cat. Whatever diet you choose for your cat or dog, make sure that they
have plenty of water available at all times. Keep an eye on the amount
they drink. Pets that are persistently thirsty may be unwell and need
prompt veterinary attention. Give pets their own clean bowls for food and
water - wash them after use and keep separately from the family's
In summary, prepared pet foods made by member organisations of the Pet
Food Industry Association of Australia offer a wide variety of quality
foods to deliver all the important aspects of a balanced diet: nutrition,
palatability, value, easily digested, safety and convenience. They also
offer variety while maintaining consistency of feeding, making prepared
pet foods an ideal way to feed your pet.
This article is for general information only
This information is provided by the PFIAA as general information only.
For advice and information concerning treatment and feeding your
individual pet, we recommend that you seek the advice of your