BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) -- Statistics show that pet owners spend more than $18 billion on foods for pets each year.
However, it is not always easy to choose what food products are the best for the animals.
Veterinary nutritionists say it is important to look at the labels to make sure they say "complete and balanced."
Pet owners should also look for foods that meet the standards of the Association of American Feed Control officials.
Veterinarians advise pet owners to use caution when purchasing products that are listed as natural, gourmet or premium.
"The premium foods have a premium tag associated with them, but not necessarily higher quality ingredients," Dr. Lisa Weeth, a nutritionist with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital says.
Vets add that it is important to know the pet's ideal weight in order to make sure they are not over fed.
Pet owners should also watch out for grapes, raisins, onions and garlic, because they can be toxic for animals.
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