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Choose the Right Food for Your Pet


August 2, 2012 - MISSION, KS

(Family Features) When it comes to caring for your pet, you do everything you can to ensure they stay happy and healthy. And while there are a variety of pet foods on the market boasting recipes made using wholesome ingredients, if pets aren't digesting that food correctly, they may as well be eating the inexpensive fillers you've been trying to avoid.

In fact, many pet owners don't know their dogs and cats have sensitive stomachs, which may make it hard for them to properly digest their current food, and could lead to a host of problems. "Pets need consistency, they need to eat the same food every day to avoid digestive upset," explains Dr. Al Townshed, staff veterinarian with Holistic Select natural pet food, "If pets can't absorb the nutrients in the food they eat, it can lead to malnutrition, lethargy, frequent vomiting and worse."

The good news is there are pet foods on the market that offer well-balanced, easily digestible nutrients. With this in mind, Dr. Townshend shares these tips for choosing the right food for your pet:

Check the Label
Look for natural, wholesome ingredients and avoid fillers. Remember, while proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals all play an important role in the health benefits of your pet's diet, there are other ingredients to consider to help ensure your pet is properly absorbing these key nutrients.

Probiotics
Your pet's digestive tract requires a careful balancing act of bacteria. Probiotics -- or good bacteria -- help keep your pet's immune system healthy. Cat and dog foods like Holistic Select natural pet food contain live probiotics that are added to the food after it has been cooked and cooled. This process assures maximum survival of the probiotics, so that your pet reaps the full benefits of their food.

Prebiotics
Prebiotics stimulate the growth and maintenance of good bacteria, like probiotics, in your pet's digestive tract. Examples of prebiotics include beet pulp and inulin, which is a fructose found in plant roots and is believed to aid in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, according to a 2005 study published by the National Institutes of Health.

Natural Fibers
Just as fiber plays an important role in human digestive health, it also plays an integral role in your pet's digestive health. Fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal and flaxseed promote digestive regularity. Flaxseed, for example, helps with the movement of food through your pet's digestive tract, is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and offers benefits for your pet's cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems.

Easily Digestible Enzymes
Several organs such as the pancreas help break down food within the digestive process by producing enzymes. Adding enzymes to pet food actually helps with this process by ensuring your pet is getting the nutrients from their food, while reducing stress on their organs -- this is especially crucial for aging pets.

When it comes to choosing a pet food for your dog or cat, keep in mind that more than just the main ingredients matter. Ensure your pet is getting the maximum amount of nutrition from every bite by purchasing quality foods such as the line from Holistic Select, which is the only pet food with a complete digestive support system.

To learn more about the importance of digestive health for your pet, visit www.HolisticSelect.com.

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Matthew Barksdale
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