Proper feeding essential for happy, healthy pets
When buying food for our cats or dogs, we often tend to grab the closest food bag off the shelf, and start feeding it to our pets.
Our decisions aren’t motivated by what our animals need to remain in optimum health; rather we think of what is convenient for us. Sometimes we make a decision on cost and that is understandable at the moment. If you use this “Cost per Day Calculator” you can work out the daily cost to feed your pet. It is very interesting to use this to compare brands if you are considering swapping. The more high quality the food the smaller the volume you need to feed, so the longer a bag will last making it perhaps a lot less expensive then you thought.
Feeding an optimum diet which caters to your pet’s specific needs will help prevent certain conditions, increase longevity, and increase quality of life for your pet.
But, before you rush out and buy the most expensive pet food on the market because you believe it is the best for your pet, consider the following:
- What species do you own? The dietary needs of cat differ greatly to those of a dog. They do not have the same feeding requirements, and therefore don’t need the same foods.
- In what life stage is your pet? Is your pet still a baby, or are they a senior animal? Feeding during different life stages is important, but first discuss this with your vet. A growing puppy or kitten will have vastly different needs to those of an adult or ageing animal.
- What type of lifestyle does my pet have? Do you jog with your pet daily? Is he or she a working dog? Is your cat an indoor animal or does it play outside a lot? These are important questions and will certainly influence the food you feed them. The type of lifestyle will influence their calorie requirements, as well as their tendency to gain weight and become obese.
- How big, or small, is your pet? Feeding requirements will vary between small, medium, large, and giant breed dogs. Optimum feeding when they are puppies is especially important to ensure adequate skeletal development.
- Does your pet suffer from a specific health condition? Even when animal are diagnosed with certain diseases, health conditions or chronic ailments, certain diets may help to reduce the side effects of these diseases, and help to keep your animal comfortable and ensure longevity.
- Other factors to consider are whether your pet is overweight or not. If so a weight loss diet may be necessary. If your pet is suffering from arthritis, it may be worthwhile looking into a joint friendly diet, and a renal specific diet may be needed for a pet diagnosed with kidney disease.
As pet owners it is our responsibility to look after our pets’ feeding, and to ensure we give them the correct diet according to their individual needs. This is a very important step in caring for our four-legged friends.