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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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9 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.

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