Tips On Feeding Your Pets

Feeding Your Dogs and Cats

The Best Ways For Feeding Your Pets.

When you first bring a pet home it’s an exciting day. 

The next task is to fully understand their feeding requirements, which is essential for their health and well-being.

Below are some examples of commonly opted-for pets and their dietary needs:

1.    Dogs:  Dogs require a balanced diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. 

a.   Feeding Frequency for Puppies: Up to three months old, divide their daily food into four portions given during different times of the day/evening. 

b.   Feeding Frequency for Adult dogs: Feed them twice a day, with no more than 12 hours between meals.

c.   Food Types:

                                 i.    Dry kibble: Convenient and helps maintain dental health.

                               ii.    Wet food: Higher moisture content and can be more palatable.

                              iii.    Raw or home-cooked diets (BARF): Consult a vet for guidance.

d.   Snacks: Venison Jerky Treats, Bernie’s Charming Chompers and the legendary Schmackos for those of us in Australia. 

                                 i.    Schmackos Treats are specifically designed to smell and taste amazing to dogs. They’re baked and air-dried to seal in the delicious flavour of beef, lamb, pork or chicken.  Typically they are around 95% fat free, don’t have any added artificial flavours and are suitable for puppies over 6 months of age, adult dogs, and senior dogs

2.   Cats:  Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet should be rich in animal-based proteins. 

a.   Feeding Frequency for Kittens: Frequent small meals.

b.   Feeding Frequency for Adult cats: Twice a day.

c.   Food Types: High-quality commercial cat food (wet or dry) and please avoid feeding dog food to cats.

                                 i.    There are many nutritional differences between the 2 types of food and dog food might not have sufficient Taurine, Protein, Vitamin A or Arachidonic Acid that Cats need.

d.   Snacks: Catnip treats, freeze-dried chicken, or dental treats.

3.   Fish In An Aquarium: Fish diets vary a fair bit based on species (e.g., tropical, freshwater, or saltwater).

a.   Feeding Frequency: Follow specific guidelines for each fish type.

b.   Food Types: Pellets, flakes, and frozen foods.

4.   Parrots, Canaries, Budgies: These birds need a mix of seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables.

a.   Feeding Frequency: Daily.

b.   Food Types: Commercial bird food mixes. Fresh fruits and veggies.

c.   Snacks: Nutri-berries, millet sprays, and dried fruits.

5.   Rabbits and Guinea Pigs:

a.   Rabbit Food:

·        Hay: Hay is a crucial part of a rabbit’s diet as it helps them maintain dental health, provides fibre and keeps their digestive system functioning properly. Timothy hay, orchard grass, and meadow hay are excellent choices.

·        Fresh Vegies: Rabbits can enjoy a variety of fresh vegetables, including leafy greens (e.g., kale, spinach, romaine lettuce), bell peppers, carrots, and parsley. Introduce new veggies gradually to avoid digestive upset.

·        Fruits: Fruits should be given in moderation due to their sugar content. Offer small amounts of fruits like apples, strawberries, and blueberries as occasional treats.

·        Pellets: High-quality rabbit pellets can supplement their diet, but they should not be the primary source of nutrition.

b.   Guinea Pig Food:

·        Hay: Like rabbits, guinea pigs need hay for proper digestion and dental health. Timothy hay is ideal.

·        Vegetables: Guinea pigs love fresh veggies! Provide a variety, such as bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini, and leafy greens (e.g., romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro).

·        Fruits: Offer fruits sparingly. Small pieces of apple, pear, or strawberry are suitable.

·        Pellets: Guinea pig pellets should be high in vitamin C (an essential nutrient for them). Look for pellets specifically formulated for guinea pigs.

·        Vitamin C: Since guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C, ensure they get enough through fresh veggies or vitamin C supplements but naturally, don’t go down this path without first checking with your Vet.

c.   Feeding Frequency: Daily.

d.   Food Types: Fresh hay, pellets, and fresh veggies.

e.   Snacks: Timothy hay-based treats.

6.   Hamsters and Gerbils: Provide a mix of seeds, grains, and fresh veggies.

a.   Feeding Frequency: Daily.

b.   Food Types: Commercial hamster or gerbil food.

c.   Snacks: Dried fruits, mealworms, and yoghurt drops.

7.   Turtles and Tortoises: Their diet varies based on species (aquatic or land).

a.   Feeding Frequency: Follow specific guidelines as advised from your Vet.

b.   Food Types: Commercial turtle pellets, leafy greens, and insects.

8.   Snakes and Lizards:  Snakes primarily eat rodents, birds, and other small animals.  Lizards, on the other hand, have a more varied diet that includes insects, small mammals, and sometimes plant matter and they may occasionally consume fish, especially if they are aquatic or semi-aquatic species.

a.   Feeding Frequency:  Varies (weekly or biweekly).

b.   Food Types: Prey items (live or frozen).

9.   Mice:  Similar to hamsters, provide a mix of seeds and grains.

a.   Feeding Frequency: Daily.

b.   Food Types: Commercial rodent food.

c.   Snacks: Sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and mealworms.

Tips On How to Feed Your Cats and Dogs.

tips for feeding your cats and dogs

It’s important that we take the time to properly learn about the right types of foods for your breed of Cat or Dog, as well as foods that can harm them.

I’ve always thought that we should feed our pets the best-quality food we can afford and establish a specific feeding location and times from the start.

Feeding your pets at the table is bad etiquette, and it raises the chance of accidentally giving your pet something hazardous, especially when it comes to your children, who lack your understanding of what’s safe and what’s not.

The pet food aisle is a bit overwhelming at times; we are inundated by labels advertising that a particular brand is the best for your pet.

However, just because something is vegetarian, grain-free, or certified organic doesn’t mean it’s nutritious. Many of us overlook the importance of portion size and calorie density in their pet’s food.

For example, more expensive brands that promise to be healthy by replacing grains with animal products are usually higher in calories and should be portioned out proportionately.

Instead of guessing at your pet’s serving sizes at mealtimes, use an online pet calorie calculator to get the exact number of calories your pet should consume each day.

Measure out the perfect amount of food for them using this information and the nutritional values on the back of the pet food packaging.

Make sure your pet’s meals are always served first to minimize the chances of them from begging for some of yours.

Establishing a Consistent Feeding Schedule for Cats & Dogs.

As pet parents, we understand the importance of maintaining a routine for our furry friends.

One aspect of their daily routine that often requires attention is their feeding schedule.

Ensuring that both your dogs and cats eat at the same times each day can have numerous benefits for their health and overall well-being.

The Benefits of a Consistent Feeding Schedule For Cats and Dogs.

Having a set feeding schedule for your pets offers several advantages. Firstly, it helps regulate their digestion and prevents stomach upset.

By feeding them at the same times each day, you allow their bodies to establish a natural rhythm, making it easier for them to digest their food properly.

Secondly, a consistent feeding schedule can help with house training. When your pets know exactly when they will be fed, they are less likely to have accidents in the house. This is particularly important for puppies and kittens that are still learning the ropes of potty training.

Lastly, a regular feeding schedule can help you monitor your pets’ appetite and overall health. If your pet suddenly loses interest in their food or starts overeating, it may be an indication of an underlying health issue.

By adhering to a set schedule, you can quickly identify any changes in their eating habits and seek veterinary advice if necessary.

Choosing the Right Bowls or Containers For Dogs and Cats.

When it comes to serving cat and dog food, choosing the right bowls or containers is essential. Cats and dogs have different needs, and their feeding vessels should reflect that.

For cats, it is best to use shallow, wide bowls. Cats have sensitive whiskers, and deep bowls can cause discomfort. Opt for ceramic or stainless-steel bowls as they are easy to clean and do not retain odors. Avoid using plastic bowls as they can harbor bacteria and cause feline acne.

When it comes to dogs, the size and shape of the bowl depend on their breed and size. For small dogs, a shallow bowl is ideal, while larger dogs may require deeper bowls to prevent spillage. Stainless-steel bowls are also recommended for dogs as they are durable and resistant to chewing.

Choosing the Right Room for Feeding Your Cats and Dogs.

Deciding on the best room to feed your pets is another important consideration. Ideally, you should choose a quiet and calm area where your pets can eat without distractions.

This helps them focus on their food and prevents any potential conflicts between cats and dogs.

For cats, it is best to have a separate feeding area away from the litter box. Cats are naturally clean animals and prefer to have their food and litter in different locations. This separation helps maintain their hygiene and prevents any aversion to their food.

Dogs, on the other hand, can be fed in a common area as long as they are not prone to resource guarding or food aggression. If you have multiple dogs, it is advisable to feed them in separate areas to avoid any potential conflicts.

Tips to Limit Begging for Food From Your Dogs.

tips for getting your dog to stop begging for food

Begging for food is a common behaviour in dogs, and it can be challenging to curb this habit.

However, with consistent training and a few simple strategies, you can minimize begging and promote healthy eating habits.

Firstly, it’s important to establish a designated feeding area and stick to the schedule.

By feeding your dog at the same times each day, they will learn that food is only available during those times, reducing their inclination to beg.

Another effective tip is to ignore begging behaviour completely.

Giving in to their demands, even occasionally, will only reinforce the behaviour. Instead, reward your dog with attention or treats when they are calm and not begging.

If you provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation through interactive toys and regular exercise, this can help distract your dog from focusing solely on food.

Also avoid feeding your dog table scraps or human food. This only encourages begging and can be detrimental to their health.

Stick to a balanced diet of high-quality dog food recommended by your veterinarian.

In Conclusion.

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule for your pets is crucial for their overall well-being.

By following the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that both your dogs and cats eat at the same times each day, choose the right bowls or containers for their food, select the best room for feeding, and limit begging behaviour in dogs.

Remember, a routine not only benefits your pets but also makes your life as a pet owner easier and more enjoyable.

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