They say that you are what you eat and the same thing is true for your pet. Keeping your four-legged friends looking and feeling their best is a matter of giving them the right types of foods for their needs.

A healthy diet for your animal and a little bit of exercise can go a long way to extending their life and keeping them healthy. The type of animal you have will dictate what you should feed them. Cats and dogs require diets that are high in protein. Small animals, like rabbits, guinea pigs and birds have special needs including grains and high-fiber foods.

You can get a pretty good idea of what your animal needs by going to your local pet store and comparing foods or by simply asking your vet. Once you’ve figured out what types of foods your animal should be eating, it’s time to experiment with brands. Try a couple of different types of food to see what your pet prefers. Maybe they like fish, or poultry or beef.  Whatever it is that they like, you can find a healthy food in that flavor to keep them happy and healthy.

Read food labels carefully and check out dog food reviews, as not all pet foods are created equally. Some will use fillers as their number one ingredients. Stay away from those types of foods. Once you’ve found the right food for your pet, it’s time to figure out how much to feed them. Many pet owners overfeed their animals without knowing it.

For cats and dogs, leaving food down at all times is not necessary. Many animals can’t control themselves and will gorge on food rather than just eating until they are full. To avoid this, ask your vet how much your animal should be eating each day and use a measuring cup to dispense the right amount.

Many dog owners tend to give their dogs scraps and bits of meals. This is actually a very dangerous practice that can lead to serious side effects. Many human foods are considered poisonous to dogs including grapes, chocolate and some types of mushrooms. Dogs that have diets that are too high in carbohydrates can develop flaky, dry skin and ear infections. Watch for these symptoms to determine if your dog is getting too many grains.

Feeding your pet the right foods in the right amounts is an important part of keeping him healthy. Do your research and speak with your veterinarian to determine what and how much to feed your pets. Eating the right diet will play a big role in keeping your pet healthy and active for many years to come