29 May How to Turn Your Pets Diet from Harmful to Healthy
As human beings, we know that the maintenance and upkeep of our bodies is rather important. Our four-legged friends require the same sort of maintenance, with the difference being that a pet doesn’t know what’s good for them and what isn’t when it comes to food. Therefore, the onus is on the pet owner to ensure their pet gets a healthy meal with every food group accounted for. If your pet is overweight, a diet change will be both a welcome change and a healthy one; a pound or two may not matter for people, but it makes a big difference when it comes to pets.
Plan a Balanced Diet
Choosing the right pet food can be confusing, given the plethora of options available at every outlet and grocery store.
Here are a Few Tips to help with your Decision.
- Choose a reputable, high-quality pet food brand. While a price difference may be observed, this is not the place to cut corners. Cheaper brands often use fillers and low-quality ingredients, which translates to no nutrition and unknown health effects. Reputed pet food brands spend quite a bit of time on the research and development of pet foods to provide balanced nutrition.
- Choose a diet that suits your pet’s current stage of life. An elderly pet has different dietary requirements than those of a younger pet, with different nutrients being required in different proportions. Similarly, a pregnant pet will require a different diet than a puppy who is still growing.
Set a Target for Calories & Stick to It
There is a simple formula for weight gain. If your pet consumes more calories than it burns, it will gain weight, and vice versa. Overfeeding is usually the main reason for a pet being obese since most pet owners aren’t likely to measure out each serving of each meal. Refilling their bowl when it’s empty, also known as free feeding, contributes greatly to weight gain as pets tend to eat until nothing is left to eat.
Visiting the vet is the best thing to do before making any changes to your pet’s diet. Your vet takes several factors like age, weight, breed, and so on to then prescribe a diet which will fulfil your pet’s dietary requirements without loading them with extra pounds. You can ask for this daily intake to be split into easier-to-use measurements, so you know how many cups or scoops to give your pet per meal. You may need a measuring cup for this if you aren’t using one already.
Swap Regular Treats for Healthier Alternatives
Treats are an important part of day-to-day life with a pet, even more so if you’re trying to train your pet. There is nothing wrong with a treat or two, provided you include them in your diet plan and make the necessary calorific adjustments. Since store-bought treats can be high in calories, substitute them for healthier alternatives like apples or bananas. Make sure to ask the vet about snack time while you’re making your diet plan.
Curb Table Feeding
Sharing a few bites of whatever you’re eating with your pet may seem fine, but the truth is most of what we eat as snacks or for meals is not good for our pets, being high in fats. Some food items are even poisonous to pets, with chocolate being a prime example. When plotting a diet chart, it is best to steer clear of human foods and avoid table feeding your pet, as it will only add unnecessary calories and increase the risk of your pet consuming something toxic to them.
To conclude, while a healthy diet may seem like a massive change, the reality is you’ll have smooth sailing once you plan the diet itself. Remember to visit your vet with your pet, and once you have a portion size you can measure out for each meal, stick to it. Healthier treats can supplement your pet’s healthier diet and help prevent obesity, and for pet owners, it is our responsibility to do right by our pets. If your pet is a fussy eater or if you embark on frequent pet travel, you can try mixed feeding for an adequate food intake. Remember, a pound or a kilo may make little difference for a person, but it is a huge difference for a pet. A diet plan is easier than having a pet who is rendered immobile due to obesity.