Dogs and cats with a healthy, balanced diet live longer, happier lives.
- A healthy diet can help keep your pet fit and healthy
- 87 percent of pet owners confess to giving their pets treats
- Obesity in pets is on the rise
Healthy eating is something we all strive for, but don't forget: the same applies to your pets.
Dogs and cats need a healthy, balanced diet as much as we do. Not sure what's best to be feeding your pet, and what you should definitely be avoiding? We gathered some advice from the experts to help you keep your canine or feline friends in tip top shape.
The general advice is to provide your dog with a complete, commercially sound type of dog food - this will ensure your pooch gets all his essential nutrients.
It's important not to feed dogs food for humans – they'll receive little to no nutritional benefits, and, depending on what they eat, could get sick (chocolate, for example, is toxic for dogs).
You should feed an adult dog twice a day. As for treats, the experts recommend holding back, unless you're using them as training incentive or you're confident the extra calories will be burnt off.
As for liquids, dogs need constant access to clean drinking water. The RSPCA says without it, a dog can become 'seriously ill within hours'.
As with dogs, the general advice is to provide your cat with complete, commercially approved cat food. This will guarantee they benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet.
Human food for cats is never advised. Their digestive systems are not built to contend with the food we eat, and there's plenty they're allergic to, like onions, which are poisonous.
Ideally, you should feed your cat throughout the day. Cats prefer to eat small, regular portions, rather than one big meal.
Cats don't require treats. They're able to get all the vitamins and minerals they need from cat food and, if free to explore outside, from whatever they scavenge in the wild.
Cats also need constant access to clean water, and the RSPCA advises milk should never be used as a substitute.
Pet obesity is on the riseEarlier this year, The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) released the findings from a study which showed pet obesity remains as one of the top concerns by veterinary professionals.
98% of vets said that there should be more focus placed on preventing obesity rather than treating it.
Owners should always avoid giving their pets leftover food, cut down – or cut out – treats and, if they notice their dog or cat is obese, speak to your vet about getting your pet back into shape.
Finally, it's important to stick to a routine and feed your pets at regular times. This will ensure they know when feeding time is, and allow you to keep track of how much they're eating.
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