Key Advice On…
…how to choose pet food: Always seek expert care. As part of responsible pet ownership, choosing the right kind of pet food should be guided by a veterinarian. Through timely check-ups, the vet should be able to assess and evaluate the pet’s health to decide what pet food products in the market are best to feed the pet with, the suggested feeding proportions, and the schedule of mealtime.
Of course, when selecting pet food, the package should clearly indicate the nutritional guidelines and should have the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) approval seal to certify that the product follows the nutritional regulation standards.
Palatability is also a worthy consideration. Some pets prefer specific taste, texture and consistency for them to eagerly enjoy the pet food. Meal time should be a pleasant experience for the pet, and when pet food is left unconsumed, the pet won’t be able to obtain the nourishment it needs.
…how and when to feed your pet: Most experts recommend feeding twice a day—once in the morning and once at night. However, puppies (and kittens) may require more frequency. Best practices in pet feeding will depend largely on the breed of your pet and its age. It is best to seek a vet’s advice to determine the ideal approach to feeding. In general, having regularly scheduled feeding times help establish a routine, and it also allows pet owners to gauge pets’ appetite and health.
Not everyone will be able to stay at home all day with their pet. Pet owners who go to work and leave their pets at home may choose free-feeding and allow pets to eat at their own pace. However, pets who are more problematic eaters may need to be coaxed and monitored more closely.
Cleanliness contributes to the wellbeing of the pet. Food bowls should be kept clean and dry, and separate bowls should be used for food and water. Pet owners should avoid cross contamination between pet food and human food, just as they should avoid cross contamination between the foods they eat themselves.
…how much is too much: Feeding instructions are usually indicated in the packaging. US pet food products are required to list the recommended feeding quantities to prevent a pet dog or cat from consuming too much food. Over-eating, like in people, can make a pet overweight and lead to health problems. The important thing to remember is to follow the feeding instructions on the label.
Generally the recommended feeding amount is in a range based upon the size of the pet. It is important to know the ideal body condition for your pet. If the pet is gaining weight, then the amount fed should be reduced. If the pet is becoming too skinny, then feeding more food generally is appropriate.