In order to help your pet maintain a healthy weight we highly suggest regular check ups as well as educating yourself on your pets nutritional and overall health needs.
The exact amount you feed your pet is based on your dog food. Every bag of food has a feeding guide on it that is based on the ideal weight of your pet. You also need to take into consideration your pets activity level and their ability to exercise.
Choosing the right food is so important in making sure your pet maintains a healthy weight. High quality foods like Hills Science Diet and Purina are the foods that we recommend at the Connersville Veterinary Clinic.
If your pet is on a special diet, it is very important to make sure that any treats you give them follow the same dietary guidelines. For example.. If your pet is Diabetic, we would put your pet on Hills Science Diet W/D Canine (prescription). The only treat your pet would be allowed to have would be the Prescription treats made by Hills as well.
Treats you SHOULD NOT give your pet include things like:
- Grapes (cause kidney failure)
- Onions and Garlic (cause anemia)
- Raisins (cause kidney failure)
- Walnuts (attacks the nervous system)
Although there are more "human foods" that your pet should not ingest, these are some of the main ones that can cause major health issues.. If you are unsure whether or not a food will harm your pet please contact your Veterinarian before allowing them to eat it.
If youre going to give your pet "human foods" as a "reward" we highly recommend making them healthy. Treats you can give your pet as a "reward" include:
- Carrots (raw or cooked)
- Green Beans ( drained and rinsed)
- Apples (peeled and cut)
We highly recommend giving treats that are made in the United States. A lot of treats made out of the country are processed differently and tend to have higher sodium levels. This can affect your pets kidneys.
If you want to use a dog or cat treat as a "reward" instead of Carrots, Green Beans, etc. then we as that you just become aware of how many you are giving your pet. This is especially important when there is more then one person in the house that is giving treats. By setting aside a certain amount of treats per day, we can avoid any "over treating".
Feeding Your Senior Pet
When choosing a food, you need to take into consideration that your pets activity level and need for calories is considerably less then when they are young. Most senior pets need less food in order to stay fit and trim. Obesity in your pet can contribute to a shorter lifespan.
Your pet is considered a "senior" when they turn 7 years old... At this point we recommend doing yearly "Senior Blood Panels" and also changing their food to a senior food, which is a specially formulated diet for older pets. A good senior diet will provide high quality protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin for joint health, as well as a balance of vitamins and minerals to keep your senior pet healthy and active.
The main objectives in feeding an older pet should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow or prevent the development of chronic disease, and minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present. Older dogs have been shown to progressively put on body fat in spite of consuming fewer calories. This can be caused by decreased activity or a change in metabolic rate. You may need to adjust the amount of food you feed your senior pet if you notice this happening. Obesity is a very common problem among senior pets and can exacerbate other ailments such as joint pai and kidney problems.
Suggested Exercise for your Pets
Activity is good for our pets. It helps maintain a healthy body weight and keeps their muscles tones and strong.
Making your Cat "work for their food" is a great way to stimulate activity as well. Placing bowls higher (on the counter) where activity is needed to reach it, is ideal.
By keeping toys around the house, it will help with exercise. Cat towers are a great way to ensure your cat has plenty of places to play and it also offers an area to scratch.
Toy mice are also appealing (you have to make the mock movement), as well as feather toys, which replicate a bird which is a natural prey for your cat.
Having 2 cats, that get along well, in the house will help with exercise through their own wrestling and chasing games.
Allowing your dog to play with other dogs they get along with will help with exercise. A group of dogs can create their own games and expend their extra energy the way they choose.
Taking walks, swimming, treadmills... these are all very healthy options for your dog.
You can also exercise your dogs brain! This is just as important as their body! Once your pet has learned the initial commands... teach them something fun! I mean who doesnt love the idea of high-fiving their dog?!