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Old 1st October 2009, 11:56   #1 (permalink)
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Post Nutrition for your pet

NUTRITION FOR YOUR PET (more.. didimvet.com)



Why should I know more about proper nutrition for my pet?

Proper feeding is a very important part of pet care.Proper nutrition is essential not only to the daily health maintenance of your dog or cat, but is also vitally important in the management of many diseases.

By knowing and understanding what your petís nutritional requirements are, you can make sure that it will remain healthy and active throughout its lifetime.

How to feed your dog
HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY DOG?

The amount of food your dog needs depends both on the nutritional value of the diet and your dogís individual requirements; such as presence or absence of stress, level of activity, health status and stage of life (growth, pregnancy, etc.). Many pet food labels indicate amounts that should be fed based on the animalís weight, however, this may be misleading, since your pet may require more or less food, depending on its needs. Your dog should only eat whatever amount is necessary to maintain its optimal body weight and condition. Most dogs should have little fat under the skin and the ribs may not be visible, but are easily felt. If your dog is overweight, feed less. Obesity can cause a variety of health problems and shorten your dogís life.



HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY DOG?

There are two ways to feed your dog, free-choice or scheduled-feeding. Free-choice feeding (food is left out all the time and your dog can eat as much, and whenever it wants) is not recommended. Besides contributing to obesity, free-choice feeding may lead to skeletal and bone disorders in puppies during their growing phase. The preferred method of feeding is scheduled feding (a specific amount at certain times). Puppies should be fed 2-3 meals a day until they are adults (about 12 to 15 months of age), at which time they are reduced to one or two meals daily. Fresh water should be available at all times. Table scraps and between meal snacks should be avoided.



How to feed your CAT

HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY CAT?

Like dogs, your cat should only be fed as much food as it needs to maintain its optimal body weight and condition.Pet food labels usually list suggested amounts to feed by body weight. The amount of food required depends on the individual catís needs based on level of activity and life stage (growth, pregnancy, etc.). Ribs are not visible, but should be easily felt. There should be no excessive fat which is most noticeable between the back legs in the abdominal region. Feed less if your pet appears to be overweight.


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY CAT?

Cats can be fed by either free-choice feeding or scheduled-feeding. They will usually eat every few hours all day long if left to themselves. Cat owners may prefer to feed set amounts twice a day. If obesity is a problem, or only canned food is fed, scheduledfeeding, that is, feeding a specific amount of food at specified regular mealtimes, is recommended. Fresh water should be available at all times. Table scraps and between-meal snacks should be avoided.

Why are homemade diets not recommended?

Homemade diets are not recommended because

there is a good chance that all the necessary nutrients

or the proper proportions will not be provided.

Incorrect preparation and cooking may also deplete

certain nutrients and result in a deficient diet.

As well, homemade diets are usually more expensive

to produce, without necessarily providing better

nutrition.



Before choosing the right pet food for

your pet, keep the following points in mind:


ē Choose a brand that is consistently available where

you shop. Changing your petís diet abruptly can

cause vomiting or diarrhea. Any change in diet

should be introduced gradually.


ē Read the label or package to ensure that the diet is

suitable for your pet. A puppy food or high protein

food may not be appropriate for an adult dog who

is exercised only moderately.


ē Does the product meet your petís nutrient requirements?


. Never feed cat food to a dog, or dog food to a cat.

They each have very different nutrient requirements.


ē Monitor your petís eating habits. If your pet shows

signs of extreme thirst or loss of appetite, consult

your veterinarian.


ē Remember, your pet depends on you for proper

nutrition!
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