Feeding your pet with a healthy diet has many benefits in the short run as well as the distant future. A great diet keeps your pet in top shape and protects them from a range of chronic ailments.
Your pet's diet extends beyond what you give them at mealtimes. It is a sum total of all the treats, table scraps, random food tosses, and of course, the main meals too.
Proper feeding is essential to ensuring that your pet lives a long, healthy life. This is why encouraging healthy feeding habits is essential. And here are 4 tips to do just this:
- Establish a Routine
Pups love routine, it gives them something to look forward to. Creating a routine for their meals especially gives them the pleasure of anticipating something that they love. It also helps you accurately anticipate bowel movements.
On average, dogs do best with two meals daily: one in the morning and the other in the evening. Maintaining a routine could also help you detect if your pet falls ill, such as when they skip a meal.
Similarly, snacks in between meals aren't the best idea, this might encourage obesity.
- Measure Out Food
Since you see your pet every single day, it's easy to not observe that they are gaining excess weight. Typically, your pup's feed would come with recommendations from the maker.
Since you're feeding twice a day, divide up the daily recommended amount into two and use a measuring cup to confirm accuracy. Ideally, you should be feeding your pooch roughly the same amount of food both times during the day.
Measuring out food helps control the calories that they consume as well. If your pup is very active, you can increase calorie intake based on your vet's guidance, same goes for if you have a laid-back pup.
- Avoid Table Feeding
Sometimes it is hard to resist those big brown eyes looking up at you while you eat. You might be tempted to give them a piece of your food or feed your pup scraps from the table. However, this doesn't do your pup any good.
Rather, it encourages overeating, and shortly after, your pup might begin to add weight excessively. If you absolutely cannot fight the temptation to feed table scraps, ensure that you're feeding them healthy foods. Rice cakes or raw carrots are ideal.
Another practical tip is to feed your pup before eating your food so that he is content and less tempted to beg.
- Slow Down Eating by Making Mealtimes Interactive
Some pups practically wolf down their meals. This act in itself might not seem all that much of a terrible act, but it might negatively impact your pup's health in the long run. Fast eating implies less chewing and swallowing lots of air.
This would lead to a regularly bloated belly and over time, the stomach walls would start to thin out and could even tear.
Some mechanisms that may help reduce speed rating include:
- Using a slow feeder bowl --- just ensure that your pup can reach the food easily.
- Snuffle mats --- this also boosts mental stimulation and helps them tap into their natural foraging instinct since they have to search for their kibble.
- Reducing meal size and increasing frequency. You can use an auto feeder for this.
Encouraging healthy eating habits should begin as early as possible.