You should buy a good, premium-quality dog or cat food. Don’t go crazy, but remember that cheaper foods will set you back in the end. They are full of less digestible filler material and artificial colors that offer no nutrients and can contribute to allergies and digestive problems. A high-quality, age-appropriate food results in a healthy coat, more energy and fewer costly trips to the vet.
Although some human foods are simply not appropriate for dogs and cats, table scraps from a nutritious meal are fine. Avoid spicy foods.
This includes resisting the urge to spoil your pets with too many treats! You don’t need to feed your pets as much as people do. One of the things we’re confronting is a huge obesity problem. Serving moderate portions not only saves you money on food ―it also reduces the likelihood of obesity.”
Adult dogs require: sufficient nutrients to meet energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. Activity levels vary dramatically between pets, and will play an important role in determining caloric intake.
As a responsible dog owner, one of the most common pitfalls you’ll have to watch out for is overfeeding. Attempts to shower our dogs with love by means of big meals and tons of tasty treats are sweet, but misguided. In dogs, as with humans, extra weight can lead to health problems. Be sure to indulge your four-legged friend with affection, not food.
Dogs may be fed successfully in a number of ways that meet both the owner’s and the animal’s needs and circumstances. These methods include portion-control feeding, and timed feeding.
- The portion-control feeding entails measuring your pet’s food and offering it as a meal, thereby controlling the amount of food that can be consumed. This method is used for weight control programs and for animals that might overeat if fed free-choice. Food can be provided in one or more meals daily.
- The timed feeding method involves making a portion of food available for the pet to eat for a specified period of time. For example, the food can be placed in the dog’s bowl for thirty minutes. After that time, if the pet has not consumed the food, it is removed.
Cats Are Carnivores
All cats require taurine, an amino acid that is important for normal heart function, vision and reproduction. Although most mammals can make taurine from other amino acids in the body, cats cannot. Since taurine is found only in animal-based protein, all cats need meat-based diets to meet their nutritional requirements.
Milk Does a Body…Bad?
Turns out that you can’t believe everything you see on television! Milk should not be fed to cats as a treat or a substitute for water. Cats do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Feeding milk and milk-based products to cats can actually cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.
Top 10 People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but are actually quite dangerous to our animal companions. If ingestion of any of these items should occur, please note the amount ingested and contact us immediately.
Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.
The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.
Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.
Grapes & Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.
Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella [ital] and E. coli [ital] that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.
Onions, Garlic, Chives
These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.