A national survey commissioned by Iams® has revealed that only 11% of pet owners in the United States consider the age of their dog or cat as the most important factor when selecting a type of food for their pet. The survey also found that most respondents (36%) considered expert opinion – such as from a veterinarian – as the most important factor when choosing a food to feed their pets. Another 30% of respondents consider the ingredients as the most important consideration. The remaining 25% described the price as being their main concern when choosing their pet’s food.
Iams® did not say which of the four answers it considered to be the most important, but think that the results of this survey suggest pet owners should consider their pet’s age more when choosing food. "When choosing a food for your cat or dog it is important to select a diet that has the right ingredients for that stage of your pet’s life," said Dr. Nelson, a member of the Iams Pet Wellness Council. "Diet requirements – including protein levels, calories and vitamins and minerals – vary over the life of a pet and, in turn, an animal’s needs change as he grows from a puppy or kitten, to an adult into a senior. I always tell my patients that healthy checkups start on the inside. Feeding a high-quality diet specific to an animal’s age, like Iams Premium Protection, which offers specially formulated life-stage specific diets, is one of the most important ways to ensure four-legged family members lead healthy, happy lives." said Nelson.
The company says that as a result of not considering age, pets might not be receiving the right nutrients at the levels which are optimal for their health at their stage of life. Iams® quotes three life stages as being general guidelines as a way to select a food type for your pet:
- One to 12 months: Kitten and Puppy formula includes DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) for brain and vision development
- One to seven years: Adult formula includes HMP (sodium hexametaphosphate) to keep teeth clean during and after meals, as well as balanced omega 6:3 ratio for healthy skin and coat
- Seven years and older: Senior formula with L-carnitine helps burn fat and keep muscles lean