For pets and their owners, the universal love language is often food. It’s not uncommon for us to give a dog a piece of sandwich, a cookie, or to give them part of their lunch., It seems harmless. Well, not always. So check to see if you are making any of these pet feeding mistakes to change habits for your pet’s sake.
Most pets will not use self-control. If you leave food out all day, every day, it can lead to overweight pets, although cats are better at self-regulation than dogs. Pets often eat out of boredom, even if they’re not really hungry. And it’s not just a matter of getting too fat – obesity can lead to diabetes, joint damage, heart disease and other health problems in pets. Treating some conditions is very expensive, and often impossible. Remember – prevention is better than cure.
It sounds very healthy from a human perspective, but unless it has been formulated by a certified pet nutritionist, your pet’s homemade diet may lack the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and micro and macro elements for your pet. Animals with special dietary needs, such as pregnant or nursing animals, puppies or kittens, can have serious health problems if they are not fed a nutritionally balanced diet adapted to their specific life stage.
Cats are carnivores, which means they need dietary meat to live. Dogs are able to produce certain amino acids such as taurine and arginine, some of the building blocks of protein, so they can be healthy with a meatless diet. Cats, however, do not have the proper enzymes and need a meat source in their diet to get these essential nutrients. That said, cats should not be fed meat alone. They also need carbohydrates and other nutrients for a balanced diet. However, no dog or cat has yet converted to vegetarianism on their own, and it is recommended that animals not be forced into human eating habits.
The milk stereotype
Everyone knows that cats love nothing more than licking a bowl of milk, right? That may be true, but only in fairy tales. Most cats are lactose intolerant, and dairy products can actually lead to vomiting and diarrhea. This in turn causes incredible weakness in the body, and a weakened body is more susceptible to other diseases. If you already care to give milk, it should be heavily diluted with water. However, it is worth doing this only if you want to encourage the animal to drink fluids. Never replace water with milk, however.
Feeding your pet table scraps and treats throughout the day can lead to digestive problems, weight gain and begging, which started the cycle in the first place. Remember: what’s on your plate is not always safe for your pet. Foods like grapes, raisins, chocolate and onions can be toxic to pets. If you really want to give your pet human food as treats, choose safe, low-calorie options such as raw apples or carrots. Treats should also make up no more than 10 percent of your pet’s total daily caloric intake.
Bones can contain various microorganisms, such as salmonella, which can infect pets and humans. Bones are also often harder than a dog’s teeth, and chewing on them can lead to tooth fractures. Broken bones, if ingested, can cause damage to the digestive system that requires immediate surgery. The bone can also get stuck in the esophagus, which manifests as whooping. It is better to buy dried chews that will gradually dissolve.
Just like humans, adult animals have different activity levels and metabolisms. Therefore, the nutritional recommendations on food packages may be too high or too low for some pets. It’s best to consult your veterinarian about the right food and amount. Then watch for changes in your pet’s condition so you can determine whether or not your dog or cat can take the food. It’s important to remember that putting food in your dog’s or cat’s bowl is not enough. The animal needs to be constantly observed to adjust its diet. You feed chicken food, see an allergy, put it back, see if the symptoms go away and adjust the food that won’t cause such reactions. This is a long process, because the food should be changed gradually, so your pet and his body get used to it.
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If you have more than one animal at home – each should have its own bowl. We don’t want anyone eating from our plate while we’re eating from it, either. A shared bowl can also be a reason for aggression, which will end up with one pet overeating because it will greedily eat the food, not wanting to lose it (it’s a bit like people eating one pizza and fighting over the last piece) and the other starving.