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10 Tips for Feeding Your Pet

pet treats - feeding your pet

Pets, just like humans, have different tastes, allergies, and sensitivities to foods, and your veterinarian can help you choose the best food for your dog or cat. However, when it comes to feeding your pet, you should think about more than what food you choose. Your pet’s age and lifestyle will help determine how often you should feed your dog or cat and how much. With the growing obesity epidemic in the US, it’s important to pay close attention to what our pets are eating on a daily basis and it all starts at the pet food bowl.

Here are a few tips for pet feeding, adapted from a list by Dr. Patty Khuly, DVM.

Things to Consider When Feeding Your Pet

  1. Choose a nutritionally balanced pet food. Be sure to check the ingredients on the label and try to avoid foods with fat listed within the first four ingredients. Speak with your veterinarian for suggestions of the best foods.
  2. Moisten your cat’s food. According to a 2010 study at the Waltham Center in the UK, cats on moistened diets (even if it’s just adding water to their kibble) tended to be more active and weighed less.
  3. Check for allergies or intolerance. If you recently brought home a new pet or are switching your pet’s current food, it is important to monitor them on their new diet to make sure they don’t have any allergies or tummy aches caused by the food.
  4. feeding your cat - best cat foodMeasure your pet’s meals. Free-pouring or “eyeing” the amount of food you feed your pet can make a big difference over time. Be sure to use measuring cups or a scoop with marked measurements so that you can be consistent and ensure that you’re not overfeeding.
  5. Determine whether you are feeding the correct amount of food. At your next veterinary check-up, ask your vet if your dog or cat is too thin or too fat to ensure that you are feeding the proper amount.
  6. Be consistent. Frequently changing the brand or type of pet food can upset your pet’s tummy so it’s important to generally stick to the same food, prepared the same, each day. If you decide to change foods, it should be done gradually by mixing in small amounts with your pet’s current food.
  7. Watch the treat intake. Pet treats can be high in calories and quickly add up. Be sure to moderate the amount of treats given to your pet each day.
  8. Take exercise into consideration. Did you recently start a new jogging routine with your dog? Are your kids spending more time playing with the cats? If your pet’s exercise habits have changed, it might also be time to adjust his food intake.feeding your dog - best dog food
  9. Age is a factor. As your dog or cat gets older, his metabolism (and likely activity level) slow down. Be sure to take your pet’s age into consideration when choosing a food (is it time for a senior diet?) and the size of the scoop.
  10. All pets are different. Each pet has its own nutritional needs based on his individual age, breed, activity level, lifestyle, etc. so be sure to look at each pet as an individual when determining their food needs.

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12 Responses to 10 Tips for Feeding Your Pet

  1. RGW says:

    I take issue with number 6 on the above article for feeding your pet.
    Unless you want your cat to be more susceptible to food allergies, you must feed them a novel diet. I have a 4 to 5 food rotation that i feed my two 1 yr old American Wirehairs and they eat all of them and are beyond healthy. Of course, to each his own, but do your research.

    • Jeff says:

      Pretty common knowledge that this is not best practice. It’s funny that you think your personal experience qualifies as research.

  2. Harold mckinnon says:

    I have been told many times by my vet to do exactly what is said in number 6. Maybe YOU should do some research.

  3. cheryl says:

    My dog is on a raw food diet and the only store to get raw dog food is an hour away so sometimes I just pick up raw meat. I also change the meat he gets. He’s 4 and never had issues. The only thing I stick to is 1 egg with his meat in the morning. at dinner he gets whatever veggies or fruit I have in the house (that’s good for dogs) with his meat. Its actually what the vet told us to do. If we give him the same meat for over a week he won’t eat it. Picky brat. But because everything I feed his has no preservatives I guess #6 doesn’t apply.

  4. Can you tell us more about this? I’d love to find
    out some additional information.

  5. Peyton says:

    I have 5 cats in my house (not all mine) and I am probably guilty of not following #4.

  6. what would be considered a safe food for a Shi Tzu cause they are so many brand of food if any one can tell what’s considered healthy and safe. Thanking everyone in advance

  7. Khloe Dior says:

    After much research I chose orijen and wellness core. Solid Gold was ok but just okay.

  8. Judi Burns - Save Us Dog Rescue says:

    I have 2 shitzu’s that are my own dogs, and also have a dog rescue with large and small dogs. I feed all of my dogs Wellness Dog Food and have been very satisfied with it. They love the food, seem happy, and can’t wait for mealtime. I feed each one of them what is appropriate for their size. Small Breed, Senior, etc. I also always measure their food. I want to know how much they are eating and there is never any left. I feed twice a day. Their fur is gorgeous and because I’m a rescue, some of the dogs come in with terrible fur. But after eating a diet of Wellness, they look beautiful.

  9. Rittu says:

    I have a medium size labradoodle 15months old. He loves to eat fruits but I am concern about the quantity, is one whole banana ok for him.I have been trying different brands of dog food for him. He will eat it for couple of days & then food just sits in his bowl till he is starving some times for 2 to 3 days.I tried giving him all puppy grain free food,Taste of wild, wellness core, signature brand( he likes this) ,Costco organic,I & You & Lov,
    He loves eating human food as an Indian vegetarian I cook fresh food from scratch 5days a week. He loves eating whole wheat roti ( tortia) with ghee ( tiny bit of clarified butter on it)
    Is it ok for me to give him that once in a while I give him fresh roti as he sits in the kitchen & begs for it every morning.
    once we found a tick on him when my son took Leo hiking, since then he seems to be not very active. whe got all the tests done on him ran the long profile of tests everything came negetive except eosonofils (H) & some thing else indicating allergies.

  10. Lilly says:

    I am just a simple dog owner…had the same problem with my dog (American Staffordshire), feeding him “blue” for years and suddenly he lost his stamina while healthy and everything ok!
    Then I got into a research, started feeding him one meat meal with some veggies and little fruits, although not raw meat – I steam it or work it in a pan with a little coconut oil. I give him coconut water, and spring water (or filter your tap water). I will probably never give him raw meat or bones because he is not a wolf, does not hunts and lives in the woods…neither wolfs eat bones they just leave it…but it is very, very, very important for dog to eat real meat! My dog also eats his commercial food…for now…
    -I give him calf liver, chicken breast, turkey, organs, good steak, ground beef…etc.
    – Also chicken or bone broth to increase fluid intake during summer.
    – Veggies: cucumber, sweet potato, pepper…etc. (clean it of all seeds and skin and work it on a blender for better digestion)
    – Fruits: blueberries, strawberries, apples (just the meat, seeds are poison)…1/2 banana…etc.
    – Eggs (not raw) and also eggshells that I grind sprinkle here and there a little powder over the meal.
    # Be sure to take care of his teeth!
    – I give my dog kefir (best from goat milk) which is also good for you too if you can stand the taste (like yogurt) but you should check if your dog is lactose intolerant, if he is then find a probiotic for dogs as a supplement.

    Anyway, you can also do the research online and start gradually, you can even do the detox (consult a veterinarian, best if you have a dog nutritionist in your area)…
    My dog now has so much energy that he doesn’t sleep the whole night like he used to! :))

  11. Lilly says:

    I would like to say something about changing the food! I was feeding my dog for years (5) inside the same brand (blue) different variations/tastes.
    Although the dogs are happier if they eat at the same time the same food …bla bla…they love consistency in their life…etc. we have to be real smart! Commercial food is pushed from many sides, often changes, and sometimes does not have all the necessary nutrition, or evaporates in the air if it is added to the surface (most of the time)…some food has more of this some other more of that…do the research, know your dog and think with your head…
    If you feeding your dog commercial food and you want to assure that your dog gets all the necessary nutrients, it is my humble opinion that you should change between good quality food (do the research about that) every 4-6 months! Of course, you need to do it gradually, so make sure to buy the new bag with different type few weeks in advance and start adding little by little, and don’t forget to mix it with the old food (not just leave it on top) so you wont upset your dogs stomach.

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