Studies show that a lack of a balanced diet in animals can lead to infertility, low weight gain, and low milk production in dairy cattle. In addition to that, a lack of proper nutrition can lead to obesity in pets such as cats. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize the nutrition of animals, primarily if you rely on them as a means of livelihood.

If you don’t know what to feed your animal, especially if they are sick or experiencing slow growth, you could visit a veterinarian for professional advice. Also, they give a personalized assessment, which helps determine the proper dietary requirements for your animal.

This article further elaborates on what you should consider when choosing the suitable animal feed for your animal’s optimal health and nutrition.

1.   Understand The Nutritional Needs of Your Animal

The first thing to do before picking any animal feed for your animal is to understand its nutritional needs. This is because different animals have different nutritional needs. For instance, the nutritional needs of cattle are different for poultry.

Dairy cows need lots of carbohydrates as they provide energy which helps synthesise milk. Therefore, when selecting animal feeds for dairy cows, include lots of grains and forages as they are packed with carbohydrates.

On the contrary, poultry needs a lot of proteins as they are essential in egg production and muscle development. Also, they require energy which helps in their metabolic function. Therefore, if you want your poultry to lay more eggs, choose poultry feeds that are high in soybean meal and fish meal, as they are rich sources of proteins.

2.   Identify The Purpose of The Feed

As stated above, animals need a well-balanced diet to be healthy and develop properly. However, specific animal feeds are tailored to nourish the animal in different ways. For example, you should give a newborn animal feed to improve its growth and development.

Likewise, some feeds are meant to optimize performance in animal performance. These feeds are formulated to enhance milk or egg production in cows and poultry.

In addition, if your animal is suffering from nutritional deficiency, you should purchase animal feeds rich in the nutrients it’s missing. You can restore the animal’s health by effectively addressing the specific deficiency.

3.   Examine The Ingredients List

Checking the ingredients list will ensure that the animal feed has the right composition of nutrients necessary. For instance, a well-balanced animal feed will have proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Some animal feed manufacturers might include various additives in their animal feeds, so check before feeding it to the animal.

Furthermore, examining the ingredients list helps identify potential allergens in the feeds, especially if your animals experience allergies. Besides, some animals have special dietary requirements; therefore, checking the ingredients list will ensure that the needed nutrients are in the animal feed.

4.   Evaluate The Mineral and Vitamin Content

Another way you can ensure your animal has optimal health and nutrition is by evaluating the vitamin and mineral content of the animal feed. Minerals such as calcium and vitamins like vitamin D are essential for animal growth and well-being, as they provide a complete and balanced diet when supplemented with other nutrients.

Moreover, checking the mineral and vitamin content will allow you to get the right animal feed, as animals have different dietary requirements at different stages of life. For example, growing animals need more calcium and phosphorous as it aids in developing stronger bones. Minerals such as magnesium help in metabolism and stimulate the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Trace elements such as zinc play a huge role in cell division, ensuring proper animal growth and development.

Vitamins such as vitamin A are essential as they enable proper animal vision and promote immunity. On the other hand, Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, which are necessary to develop stronger bones.

5.   Check For Any Additives

Finally, you should check for additives before purchasing any animal feed. Additives are mostly added to animal feeds to enhance their nutritional value. Animal feed manufacturers do this by adding essential vitamins and minerals to the feeds.

Also, additives such as enzymes are usually incorporated in animal feeds to improve feed efficiency in the case of poor feeding habits. Furthermore, hormones can be added as additives in animal feeds, as they promote growth and development.

However, checking animal feeds for additives is important as some could cause potential health risks to the animals. In addition to that, some animals are allergic to some additives. Therefore, you should consult an animal doctor if you are trying to decide whether to feed your animal feeds with added additives. The doctor will then help you differentiate between toxic and healthy additives.

Wrapping Up

Like humans, most animals get their nutrients from food. Therefore, if you want your animal’s optimal health, you should choose the right animal feed. This includes checking the ingredients list before purchasing the feeds and checking whether they have additives.

Additionally, you should select feeds with the right ingredients depending on the age of your animals. This is because animals have different nutritional requirements depending on their stage. For instance, a newborn calf will require more proteins as it helps in growth and development, while a grown cow will require more carbohydrates as it promotes milk production.