If you have a fur baby, you want them to have the best of everything. That doesn’t mean diamond studded collars or rare silk pet clothes, but pet food as healthy as yours and a happy life. At one time, pets didn’t have nearly the family status they do today. Dog food and cat food that came in bags and cans were good enough as long as the pet was fed regularly. Just as it did with human food, looking toward healthier options has become important for pets, too.

If highly processed foods with chemicals and fillers is bad for you, it isn’t the best choice for pets.

If you’ve ever read the label of many pet food cans or bags, you’ll see a laundry list of additives, preservatives and chemicals you can’t pronounce. If you’re aware how these types of processed foods affect the human body, you have to know they can’t be that good for your pet, either. Many pet owners are opting for foods that are certified-organic, with some even making the food for their pets.

Even some “healthy” pet foods are 4D products.

While the FDA and AAFCO—the Association of American Feed Control Officials make 4D products—ingredients that come from diseased, dying, disabled or dead animals—there are ways pet food industries often skirt the issue. The verbiage is often difficult to decipher. In fact, if you thought the words “by-product” were a give-away, they’re not. They may be quite acceptable ingredients.

New types of pet foods are created with whole food ingredients you can actually see in the mix.

If you look in the bag of many of the new pet food selections, you’ll see chunks of meat, carrots and beans. Some of the new healthy foods come from boutique factories that ship them to your doorstep daily. Others are frozen and sold in pet stores. There’s a whole world of new types of food for pets that come in a range of diets from paleo to biologically appropriate foods from local source. However, many of these specialty foods can cost as much as $50 a month or more per pet.

  • There’s a growing trend for people to create their own meals for pets. Unlike human food, where variety is the spice of life, many pets gladly eat the same foods every day, so creating big batches and freezing the extra is a great option.
  • There is now a trend toward healthier pet foods and many more lower cost options are available.
  • Even if you can’t afford the top quality option for Rover or Morris, you can include the healthier choice in their diet occasionally. Like exercise, something is always better than nothing.
  • Just like people, animals also need exercise. Get active with your furry friends and you’ll both benefit from it.