Feeding your new pet can be confusing with many questions regarding the type of food to offer and how much to feed. Feeding is not very complicated if you use the following guidelines:
We believe that any name brand commercial food is superior to home cooked diets. According to Consumer Reports and Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, any food, premium or otherwise, should meet the minimum standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If the label states the food is complete and balanced for total nutrition, it is adequate for the vast majority of dogs.
Premium and boutique foods, which include “organic” are not better than foods produced by Purina, Iams and other major companies. We are all influenced by persuasive advertising and testimonials but when we evaluate foods with scientific tests, there is no benefit to more expensive brands. We strongly advise our owners not to feed any raw diets. They can contain deadly bacteria that not only can harm you pet, but can infect people. Also raw diets are not more nutritious than cooked diets.
Whether you feed dry or canned food is personal preference. Dry food is more convenient, less expensive and helps clean the teeth. Canned food can be more palatable but for most pets dry food is a good choice.
Puppies and kittens should be fed three times daily until six month of age, then twice daily from 6 months to a year. When your pet becomes a year old you can feed once or twice a day. Some people choose to leave the food out all day. As long as your pet is not overweight it is acceptable to feed free choice.
The amount to feed is variable and depends on your pet’s body condition. Many pets are overweight because they are overfed. The following guidelines should be used and adjusted up or down depending on your pet’s weight. For dry food, feed one cup per 20 pounds, and for canned food, feed one cup per 30 pounds per day for adults. Puppies and kittens should be fed this amount at each feeding. Another way to feed your pet is leave the food out for 20 minutes and give as much as he or she will consume. Most pets self regulate and don’t overeat when you feed this way.
Feeding pets is an experience that creates a bond. Our pets appreciate the care we give them and we get great satisfaction watching them thrive. How we feed our pets will depend on our common sense and judgment. If your pet seems too thin, feed more, and if he or she seems too heavy feed a reduced calorie diet and feed less. It’s all very simple and your attention to good nutrition will ensure that your pet has a wonderful life.