A lot of furparents – tend to just “wing” it when it comes to feeding their furbabies, our furbabies at My Vet Animal Hospital, Waterloo, Sydney included! The most common way that people use to measure the amount of food given is by using their hands. This can often lead to overfeeding/underfeeding.
So, how much should you be feeding your furbaby? It all comes down to the brand and type of food that you are feeding. Always look at the back of the food to look at guidelines. Please remember that this is just a GUIDELINE – every animal is different, some may need a bit more or less. Always weigh the food rather than “cupping” it. The only cup that you should be using are the ones that the food brand has provided.
You should not measure the amount of food given to your pets using your hands. This will not give you an accurate amount on how much your pet needs on a daily basis.
Number 2: Frequency of feeding
The frequency of feeding is very important when they are still young. All furbabies under 6 months of age should be fed at least 3-4 times daily (especially for small dogs under 10kg). You should always check with your vet how often you should be feeding your dog if they are larger breed dogs as they have different requirements, especially the giant breeds!
Once they are adults, you can feed them twice daily if you like. Remember, it’s about how much you feed them, not how often you feed them when they are adults.
With large and giant breeds, remember to only feed them after their walks/play time. This is because larger breed dogs especially deep-chested dogs are prone to getting their stomach twisted which can lead to sudden death!
Number 3: Wrong diet
Did you know that it is very important to feed your furbabies food that is specific to the life stages that they are in? There are 3 main life stages: paediatric, adult and senior. This is because all furbabies have different nutritional requirements at different life stages (eg; paediatric stage, they will need more fat and calcium for them to grow). Please check with your vet when you should be changing your woof furbabies over to a senior diet because it is different depending on the size and breed of your dog.
Number 4: Introduction of new food
When introducing a brand new bag of food to your furbaby, it is vital to do it slowly. Always start by mixing in a small quantity of the new biscuits with their old biscuits. The transition should be slow because any sudden change in diet can upset their stomach and often result in diarrhoea. The transition to a brand new food should last around 7 days.
Number 5: Quality of food
It is important to feed your furbabies good quality food/biscuits because not only will they be healthier, it will also ensure that all their nutritional requirements are met. When it comes to feeding furbabies, there is a lot of science behind it (believe it or not!). Major pet food companies spend millions of dollars to ensure that all their products meet the nutritional requirements of your furbabies. It is not as easy as cooking meat, rice, pasta, and vegetables! We always recommend choosing brands that do not contain any meat-by-products and only feed human grade meat. Learn to read the food ingredients and understand them. Alternatively, speak to your vet to which food is best for your furbabies!
Bottom line: Every pet is different and unique just like us. Please remember to always have a chat with your vet to discuss what food/nutrition is best for your pet to ensure that they live a happy and healthier life! Our team at My Vet Animal Hospital is always happy to help, so please do not be shy and give us a call!