Proper nutrition is vital to your pet’s health.
Dogs are omnivores. They eat both plants and animals to survive and their bodies are capable of getting nutrients from both plant and animal sources.
Cats are obligate carnivores and they have a more difficult time digesting plant material. This does not mean that they can not get nutrients from plant material, but it does mean that when it is used it must be altered in ways that allow the cat to access the nutrients. In addition, cat foods high in carbohydrates tend to pack on weight in the typical house cat, which can lead to many health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
Always Measure Food!
One of the most important things to remember about feeding your cat or dog is to always measure the food. Do not allow your pet to eat as much as they want from a large, full bowl of food. Most pets will overeat and gain weight over time. Measuring your pet’s food will help your veterinary team when advising you on making food changes, if needed. In addition, without measuring, it is difficult to tell when your pet’s appetite has decreased. A decrease in appetite is often an early indicator of illness and can help you catch when your animal is getting sick much sooner. Most pet foods have a guideline on the side of the bag or can that will help you determine a starting point for the amount of food to feed your pet. Remember, that this is a guideline and some pets will need more or less than the “recommended” amount of food.
We Know Pets Love Treats, But…
Treats should be fed in moderation. Treats are fun to feed and often help us bond with our pets since we feel like we are giving our pets a little something extra, but they can be a very large source of extra calories that can really pack on the pounds if offered too frequently.
Tip: Ice cubes, green beans, carrots, and plain popcorn are all good, low-calorie treats that can be used if your pet is particularly food motivated.
The most important thing is to keep your pet in good body condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s weight or body condition, please call SouthPaw Animal Clinic.
There is never an office fee or charge to bring your pet up and get it weighed. We will be happy to advise you on your pet’s weight and dietary needs.