Much like humans, the quality of the cat or dog food you provide for your pet impacts their lifespan. Most pet owners are very well-intentioned and typically want what's best for their four-legged friends. However, many people unintentionally feed their pet's food that can cause problems later on in life and shorten their lifespan. Cats have maximum lifespans of 20-30 years. A dog's maximum lifespan varies based on its size. Smaller dogs live longer - upwards of 15 years - than do larger dogs, which may top out at eight years or less. Many pets do not live as long as these theoretical maximums. The vast majority of cats pass away around 15 years. Many dogs depart this Earth earlier than their maximum life spans as well. There are reasons for this that are unavoidable. Accidents, cancer, and other illnesses can sometimes, sadly, shorten a pet's lifespan considerably. Other problems, however, are entirely avoidable.
A UK study revealed that you could classify 60% of the dogs in that country as overweight or obese. They also found that many owners feed inappropriate foods, such as table scraps, to their dogs that contributed to their obesity. Additionally, many producers of pet foods can get away with inferior quality ingredients. There are foods on the market that contain antibiotic residues and other toxins. These amounts are often subtle enough to pass inspection, but over time they add up and wreak havoc on your pet's body
Furthermore, these foods often contain many extraneous chemicals that improve the look or nutritional profile but are not very good for them. There was a particularly poignant example of this in 2007 when the FDA started investigating reports of dogs and cats experiencing kidney failure. They determined the cause was a supplier in China that began to add chemicals to these foods to make them appear like they had more protein. Unfortunately for these pets and pet owners, once it got into the pets' bodies, these chemicals would form crystals in the kidneys, which would prove to be fatal. Most animal food will not have a significant disastrous effect on your pet as the 2007 example, but it does highlight the importance of being able to trust that the food you are providing your pet is of high-quality.
The dog or cat that you consider to be part of the family is a carnivore that would eat real meat out in the wild. If the food you are feeding them reads more like a list of chemicals as opposed to a list of good food choices you might eat, then it isn't perfect for them in the long-run.
Our beloved pets are a lot more like humans than we sometimes care to admit. Just as high-quality food like vegetables and whole grains allows us to live longer, on average, than eating junk food, making your pets eat better food has the same effect. If you want to ensure your pet is active and healthy for longer, provide them with the food that will allow them to live their best, most vibrant life!