Tips on how to give your pet the healthiest diet

Ensuring your pet has the healthiest diet possible is an essential part of keeping them happy and in good shape. Here at Direct4Pet, we understand that deciding what the healthiest feeding routine is for your pet can often be overwhelming, especially if they have specific dietary requirements. With the wide array of pet food options and health supplements available, determining which type of food is best for your pet can be difficult, which is where we come in.

Our pet experts at Direct4Pet are here to give you all of the information and advice you need to give your pet the healthiest diet possible. Read on to discover the best pet food and supplements as well as all the top tips needed to keep your pet happy and healthy.

What is the healthiest way to feed my dog?

The healthiest way to feed your dog is to strike the perfect balance between establishing a solid feeding routine, providing a nutritious diet and ensuring they are fed the right amount of food. 

To achieve the perfect feeding routine, it is recommended that you feed your dog two meals per day, preferably 12 hours apart - one meal in the morning and one in the evening. The amount of food you give your dog depends entirely on their breed, age and size. It’s important that you do not under or over-feed your dog in order for them to maintain a healthy diet.

The healthiest food to give your pup is up to interpretation and dependent on what type of diet you choose to put your dog on - raw food, wet food or dry food. Generally speaking, the healthiest diet for your dog should consist of food that uses natural, non-artificial ingredients and includes all essential proteins and nutrients your dog needs to survive. 

What should the top 5 ingredients be in dog food?

The top five main ingredients that should be included in your dog’s food are, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Dog’s require a well-balanced diet, just like their human owners, and the combination of all five of these ingredients are what work to help keep your pet healthy. When purchasing dog food, be sure to check the first few ingredients listed on the packaging - the top ingredients should consist of the above-mentioned food groups, and this will help you to determine whether the dog food is good quality and a healthy option for your dog. 

Dog food should always consist of a high quantity of protein. Dogs are omnivores, meaning that they gain their energy from both plant and animal nutrients, however, protein is essential in both their muscle development, immune system health and energy levels. The amount of protein your dog requires daily will differ depending on their age, size, breed and whether or not they are pregnant.

Below we have listed a couple of our best selling, healthy dog foods that contain all of these essential ingredients, available to buy here at Direct4Pet.

Healthy Dog Food

Pro Plan Veterinary Diet Canine HA Hypoallergenic Dog Food 11kg £66.99 and Natures Deli Adult Grain Free Dried Dog Food Duck and Sweet Potato £14.99 

For dog’s that are prone to allergies, Purina offers a Pro Plan Hypoallergenic Dog Food approved by veterinarians to provide canines with complete and balanced nutrition. Made up of a variety of proteins, low allergen carbohydrate sources and essential vitamins, this food is the perfect, simple solution for keeping your allergen prone dog healthy and satisfied.

If you’re looking for a simple, stripped back dog food that includes natural, additive free ingredients, Nature's Deli Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato dog food is perfect for your pup. Made using only the highest quality ingredients, Nature’s Deli offer food that is free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives that promotes healthy digestion and perfectly balanced nutrition.

Lily's Kitchen Cottage Pie Wet Dog Food - All Options £22.69 and Royal Canin Wet Dog Food Specifically For Chihuahua Adult £13.39 

Lily’s Kitchen is also a great dog food option if you’re looking for healthy dog food with uncomplicated ingredients. Made with fresh beef and tasty produce, this Lily's Kitchen Cottage Pie is grain free and full of beneficial herbs and essential nutrients your dog needs for a healthy diet.

Depending on your dog, they may require food that is tailored to the specific needs of their breed. Royal Canin is one of the best pet food brands for dog food that is specially formulated to your canine’s specific needs, whether it’s based on their breed or a dietary requirement, they’ve got a pet food for you. For example, this Royal Canin Dog Food Specifically For Chihuahuas contains highly palatable ingredients that offer a specially adapted kibble size and shape that are easier to pick up and chew, to suit their smaller jaws. Made with premium quality ingredients that help to support your dog’s digestive function and slow down the build up of unwanted tartar, browse the full range of Royal Canin dog food to find the right type for your dog’s breed.

What should I add to my dog's food for health?

Just like humans, some dogs may require a helping hand to ensure they are getting all of the essential nutrients they need in their diet day-to-day. If your dog has specific dietary requirements, whether they are lacking in fibre, vitamins or struggling with digestion, there are many ways you can help. Whether you choose to add natural whole foods or specially formulated supplements to their food, ensuring they are getting the right amount of nutrients is vital for your dog’s health.

On top of protein and carbohydrates, dog’s also require a variety of vitamins in their diet to help support their health, these include vitamin A, C, D, E, K and vitamin B. These essential vitamins can be found in many dog health supplements which can be added to their daily meals to help keep your pet active and their coat shiny. 

Dog Health Supplements

Protexin Pro Fibre Digestive Function Supplement 500G £15.69 and Dorwest Easy-Green® Powder For Dogs £13.89 

If your dog requires a little extra help with the digestion of their food, a fibre supplement may be needed to help things move along more smoothly. The Protexin Pro Fibre Digestive Function Supplement comes in the form of small palatable pellets that contain high levels of beef flavoured, soluble and insoluble fibre made from psyllium and sugar beet pulp. This helps your dog to process stools and promote a healthier gastro-intestinal function. 

For canine’s that may need some added nutrients into their diet, a powder supplement from Dorwest is a simple way to incorporate essential vitamins into your dog’s diet. This Dorwest Easy-Green® Powder has all of the power of ‘super-greens’ to give your dog an all-round health boost. Many dogs struggle to digest vegetables, therefore using a powder that contains all the benefits of vegetables in an easy-to-give powder into your pet's normal food is a great way to give them what they need in an easy to absorb way. Featuring maximum nutrients in a digestible form that naturally boost their levels of iron, vitamin C, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants.

How often should I feed my cat?

How often you feed your cat depends on their age - kittens must be fed twice per day, however, once they reach the age of 1, they can go down to only being fed once a day. This can vary if your pet has any pre-existing health issues such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism or any other health problem, in which case, only your vet will be able to tell you how often and how much they should be fed.

The amount of food your cat should eat is determined by their age, size and breed, however the average recommended amount is 4-5 ounces of food a day. If you’re unsure about how much you should feed your cat, consult your vet to find out the correct amount and more information on how to keep their diet healthy.

What is the healthiest way to feed my cat?

The healthiest way to feed your cat will be largely determined by their age, size and breed, however here are a few top tips to feeding your cat in the most health-conscious way possible. 

  • Choose a balanced food. Finding the right food for your cat is the most important way to ensure they are getting a healthy diet - choose cat food that includes a lot of natural proteins and essential vitamins that suits your cat’s dietary needs. Try to avoid making your own cat food at home as it may not include perfectly balanced ingredients.

  • Strike the right balance between amount and frequency of food. Giving your cat too much food too often or too little food can create an overfed or underfed, leading to unwanted weight gain or loss. Therefore it is important that you are feeding your cat the right amount of food at the right times to ensure they get exactly what they need.

  • Avoid food toxic to cats. It can be tempting to give your cat a little treat from your own plate, however there are many human foods that are actually toxic to cats, including; chocolate, dairy, caffeine, yeast dough, garlic, onions and more. If you’re looking for ways to give your pet a little treat, stick to giving them cat treats alongside their daily meals instead.

  • Be aware of their dietary needs. If your feline has any health concerns it’s vital that you consult your vet to find out how this may impact the diet they require. Depending on their health issue, the type of food you should be giving your cat may change. Although there are many cat foods on the market that are tailored to specific health issues, it’s important that you never guess which is right for your cat and instead seek a professional opinion first.

  • Add health supplements to their diet. Once you’re aware of any health concerns your cat may be facing, adding a health supplement alongside their food may be necessary. Some cats may need a helping hand with getting extra vitamins and essential minerals that they naturally lack and cannot get easily from food. 

  • GWF Nutrition Joint Aid Supplement Support For Cats 250g £12.59

    Just like humans, some cats can suffer from joint pain and arthritis as they age or due to injury. This general wear and tear on their muscles and joints can cause your cat’s pain and discomfort, however this Joint Aid Supplement  is designed to aid in freedom of movement in all cats. Featuring glucosamine, high levels of omega 3 and a unique combination of 22 active nutraceuticals, this health supplement helps to effectively support the formation of cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles in your cat. 

    If your cat requires help with getting some extra nutrition and hydration, Oralade RF Support is here to help. This highly palatable, fast-acting isotonic formula provides all essential nutrition and rehydration support for cats that may suffer from a variety of health issues including, acute intestinal absorptive disorders and chronic kidney disease. Oralade offers a balance of essential electrolytes, simple sugars and restricted levels of high-quality protein, made with a tasty natural chicken flavour and purified water. This health supplement is also suitable for cats with renal or urinary problems and those in recovery from various gastrointestinal issues.

    Browse all cat health supplements to find the right one to suit your cat’s needs.

    What are the healthiest ingredients in cat food?

    The healthiest ingredients in cat food should consist of a balance of protein, fibre, fats and carbohydrates. Cats are carnivores, even more so than dogs, therefore their diet should consist mostly of protein - it is recommended that cats eat 2 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight. The most commonly found proteins in cat food are chicken, fish, eggs, beef, milk and lentils, all of which can be found in wet and dry cat foods. 

    Natures Menu Cat Chicken with Salmon & Tuna 85g x 18 £20.49 and Royal Canin Veterinary Health Nutrition Urinary S/O Cat Food - Various Sizes £58.09 

    If you’re looking for a cat food that keeps it simple yet effective and contains all of the protein your cat needs, Natures Menu offers a range of wet cat food that gives your cat everything they need to thrive. This Natures Menu Cat Chicken with Salmon and Tuna is packed with high quality, natural ingredients that are free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, with no added sugar or grain. All of the ingredients have been carefully selected to provide your cat with all of the nutritional benefits they need to be at their best. Nature’s Menu depicts exactly what is in every tin of cat food, breaking down the percentage of each ingredient to ensure you know exactly how much protein and minerals your cat is getting.

    Royal Canin offers a variety of pet food, including cat food, that is specially formulated to fit the health needs of your feline. Cats are known for their predisposition to urinary tract infections and disease, therefore choosing a cat food or supplement that contains ingredients that can help to relieve symptoms of this is a great way to prevent potential illnesses. The Royal Canin Health Nutrition Urinary Cat Food is specially formulated with the nutritional needs of your adult cat in mind. The ingredients in this food help to dissolve different types of struvite stones that can form in your cat’s bladder and have a high moisture content to help your cat produce an increased amount of diluted urine. 

    Browse our full range of cat food to find the right fit for your feline.

    How to control overeating in your pet

    Overeating is very common amongst pets, especially cats and dogs, and it can lead to weight gain amongst a number of other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Although the simple solution to control overeating may seem to be reducing the amount of food you feed your pet, this is not necessarily the best method for your feline friends. 

    Reducing the amount of food you give your pet may help them lose weight quickly, however, it can also lead to a variety of nutritional deficiencies or other internal issues. Therefore, it’s important that you continue to feed your pet their usual amount of food but follow these below steps instead to help prevent overeating and weight gain.

    • Decrease the amount of treats. One of the main ways pets can be overfed is by giving them excess treats, although it seems harmless, feeding your pet too many treats can lead to weight gain just as easy as feeding them too much of their usual food. Try giving your pets smaller treats than usual or less frequently to help reduce the potential of overeating.
    • Increase exercise. An easy way to help control overeating is to give your pet more exercise. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit or hamster, ensuring your pet gets more than their recommended amount of exercise each day can help to control potential weight gain from overeating. 
    • Use slow feeding accessories. Overeating can often happen if your pet eats their food too quickly, this can often lead to owners giving more food once finished and, in turn, can lead to weight gain. A great way to prevent this from happening is to use a slow feeding accessory such as a Lickimat. Lickimat’s are silicone feeding mats that allow you to spread your pet’s food in a challenging way to encourage more slow eating.
    • Talk to your vet. If you feel like you’ve exhausted every option for controlling your pets overeating or simply want more specialist advice, contact your local vet for their help. Your vet will be able to weigh your pet, give nutritional advice and help you put in place a plan to reduce weight gain and prevent overeating.


    Lickimat Casper Boredom Breaker Slow Interactive Food Meal Feeder Mat £6.99

    For cats, the Lickimat Casper Boredom Breaker is an interactive slow feeder mat designed to not only help with weight gain and food control but to also enrich your cat’s life. Boasting a fun fish shape in a variety of colours, this mat offers a variety of textures that, when combined with your cat's favourite food, helps to stimulate their mind and taste buds. The design of the mat mimics your cat's natural predatory feeding, whilst stimulating saliva to aid in digestive health and helps to make all meals last longer.

    Dogs can also enjoy the benefits of Lickimats for feeding with a range of options including the Lickimat Slomo Boredom Buster Slow Feeder. This Lickimat feeder not only helps to slow down your dog’s eating but also encourages the release of a natural calming hormone due to the increased amount of licking required to eat their food. Available in a variety of colours, shapes and textures, Lickimat’s are a great way to help control overeating and aid in weight loss.

    If you’re worried about your pet gaining weight, there are also a number of specially formulated foods designed to help weight reduction. These foods include less fats and more fibre and offer a nutritionally balanced meal made to encourage weight loss.

    Dechra Specific FRW Weight Reduction Wet Cat Food £10.09 and Royal Canin Dry Dog Food Light Weight Care For Mini Dogs - All Types £24.99 

    For cats, the Dechra Specific Weight Reduction Cat Food is low in fat and calories but high in protein and fibre. Made up of pork, white fish, egg, maize and vitamins, this food is made to satisfy your cat’s appetite and fulfil their hunger needs whilst still encouraging weight loss. With added L carnitine (a fat burning amino acid) and high levels of Omega 3, this cat food helps to not only aid in weight loss but also keep your cat's skin, coat and joints healthy. Available in alternative formulas made for dogs too, Dechra specific offers a variety of pet food catered to your pet’s specific needs. 

    For dogs, the Royal Canin Light Weight Care dog food is specially formulated with small, overweight dogs in mind, to provide them with the right amount of nutritional value needed for a balanced diet. Made up of low fat and high protein ingredients, this dog food includes poultry and vegetable proteins alongside fibre and omega 3 to provide a range of health benefits for your dog. The blend of all of these ingredients creates a dog food that will help to encourage weight loss whilst also keeping your dog satisfied between meals. 

    Both Dechra and Royal Canin are available on our Direct4Pet Subscribe & Save service so that you can ensure your pet always has the exact food they need to hand.

    Keep your pet healthy and happy with the help of Direct4Pet

    Now that you have all of the tips needed to give your pet the healthiest diet, you can browse the Direct4Pet website to get your hands on must-have nutritious pet food and health products to keep your pet healthy and happy.