Interesting Pet Food Trends to Discuss With Your Vet

The pet industry is experiencing rapid growth these days. According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), approximately 85 million households own a pet. Further, APPA states pet ownership has gone up 68% over the last 30 years. 

Gen Z and Millennial consumers are embracing a pet-owning and pet-loving lifestyle when compared to the older generation.  The baby boomers account for 32% of pets owned, while our young cohorts account for 62% of the pet owners.

Food is the most critical aspect of our day-to-day lives. And this is true not only in the case for us humans but also in our four-legged family members.

But unlike us humans, who are free to eat whatever our heart desires, our pets fail to do so. They are limited to what we give them, and hence, we need to take care of what we feed our babies to keep them safe, healthy, and fit.

Though our pets are an essential part of our family, they are different from humans physiologically. Thus, we must make sure that whatever we feed them is safe for their health. 

According to a survey conducted by Nestle Purina Pet Care Company, 84% of pet owners are cautious about their beloveds’ food ingredients. Further, it mentioned that 4 out of 5 pet owners made it a practice to read all the ingredients in their pet’s food before making a final purchase.

Cultural changes are taking place across the world and are affecting what consumers want for their pets. Various pet food trends are gaining popularity among dog and cat owners. However, you should always discuss it with your veterinarian before trying it on your pet.

Pet Food Trends Gaining Popularity

Here are some top food trends that are gaining traction among pet owners:

Dog bones and CBD

CBD Products

Cannabidiol (CBD) products, owing to their medicinal and health benefits, have become popular among humans. Like us humans, our pets too have an endocannabinoid system. If you are not aware, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors in the brain, tissues, organs, and nervous system. 

CBD has become a buzzword owing to its holistic and natural health benefits. Though CBD is making its way into human foods and other human-consumed products, there still happens to be a lot of confusion over its safety for your pets.

CBD and its products are known to have various health benefits for our pets too. These products help in relieving pain and anxiety in our furry friends. However, since these products contain some amount of THC, you'll need to consult your vet before including CBD-infused food products in your pet’s diet.

Some of the symptoms you might witness while using CBD for your dog or cat include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Excess Drooling
  • Increase Liver Enzymes (Prolonged Usage)

Accordingly, always consult your vet before making CBD a part of your pet’s daily diet.

Dog and cat eating raw food from a bowl

Raw Food Diet

When talking about a raw food diet for our pets, the first thing that comes to mind is a shinier coat, increased energy, healthier skin, and improved oral health. Though all these benefits do come with switching to a raw food diet for your pets, it also has a set of consequences that can take a toll on your pet's health.

The FDA and many veterinarians agree on the risk of raw food diets with various well-documented studies that have been published in veterinarian journals. Some home diets are high in pathogenic bacteria, which can cause significant and minor health issues. 

These health issues might range from mild stomach sensitivity to rare and severe cases. Raw meat can pose the risk of contamination which in turn can pose sickness among humans as well. 

Furthermore, uncooked bones in the raw diet for your pet can pose a choking hazard. Experts have also found that raw food diets contain more foodborne bacteria, i.e., Salmonella.

Therefore, it's always advisable for pet owners to consult a veterinarian as some vets believe that raw diets are not suitable. The risk of consuming raw food is higher in pets already suffering from some illness or home environments.

Dog taking essential oil from a dropper

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are all the new rage as most of us have made them a significant part of our daily lives. People either diffuse them, roll them on, while some even like to ingest essential oils. However, a large group of people ends up thinking if their pets can ingest essential oils.

When buying essential oils, consider purchasing 100% pure essential oil from a reputed brand. While some essential oils are safe for pets, others can threaten their health. Therefore, it’s vital for you as a pet parent to be aware of  harmful essential oils for your four-legged friend.

Essential oils which are NOT suitable for your pet include:

  • Tea Tree
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine
  • Sweet Birch
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang-ylang

Some of the symptoms of acute oil poisoning to watch out for are:

  • Muscle Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Trouble Walking
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Reduced Body Temperature
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Excessive Mouth or Face Pawing

Since there is a lot of controversy over the ingestion of essential oils by pets, it’s always a plus point to refer to your veterinarian before including them in your pet’s diet. It’s best to be on the safe side by consulting a vet near you rather than blindly following the trend and putting your pet's life at risk.

Pet supplements on dog food in a bowl

Supplements

You might consider adding supplements/multivitamins to your pets’ diet following the latest pet food trends for health and fitness. However, an average dog or cat does not require supplements, especially if your pet is already on a good-quality diet

Your pet's food is formulated for their different life stages and offers them all the vital nutrients they need at that time, like extra protein for puppies and antioxidants for aging cats. 

Also, adding surplus nutrients to your pet's diet can be toxic for them. Hence, it’s better not to follow the trend straight away without having a prior discussion with your veterinarian.

If you feel your pet's diet lacks essential nutrients, you can talk to your vet, who can very well determine the ingredients to add to your furry friend's diet to give them the required boost and energy

Final Thoughts

Though these are some of the pet food trends that have gained popularity, we are sure there are many other trends that pet owners are following. These trends, which might seem reasonable on account of being popular among the masses, might pose a potential risk to your pet's health. 

Therefore, before making any significant change to your pet's diet, it’s always advisable to have a detailed session with your vet to understand the pros and cons of a particular trend and then decide whether to make it a part of your pet's life or not.

Let us know in the comments below what pet food trends you and your pet are following! We look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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