The old saying “You are what you eat” applies to our pets in the same ways as it does for us. The most important responsibility for a pet parent is to give your dog or cat a healthy diet and good nutrition, ensuring they have a long and quality life.
Better quality foods made with better quality ingredients provide a better quality of life. The results of better nutrition include fewer skin conditions, less itching, fewer ear infections, shinier coats, less inflammatory bowel disease, better muscling and muscle tone, stronger bones, more energy, and better temperament. Healthy pets are happy pets.
Overweight pets inevitably mean a host of health-related problems, which can cost you in the long run, both financially and emotionally. Find out what the healthy weight is for your breed of pet and try to maintain that through a balanced diet and frequent exercise. Many new pet foods are also age-appropriate so read the labels and give him or her the best pet food that you can.
Does your pet eye up your food and beg for a taste off your plate? To limit this you could also try feeding your pet at the same times you normally eat, distracting them from your tableside with their own yummy meal. Caving in and sharing your food gives your pet gives the impression that their begging is working. By saying no every time, you’re showing them that the food on the table is yours, regardless of how much they beg.
In between their meals is the ideal time to give treats. Choose a treat that your dog will enjoy. The treat should be brought closer to the animal’s face, not waved in the air above them. Hold it just under their mouth or at chest level, where they can easily take it from you without jumping or snapping.
Many pet parents become concerned that their fussy-eater will go hungry or will not receive the proper nutrition necessary to be healthy. Unfortunately no 'trick' to feeding a fussy pet but it does help to trying different foods, warm the food to body temperature, and staying with your pet when while they eat. Even petting, in conjunction with vocal reassurance, may be all that is necessary to induce eating.
If your pet has only recently become fussy about their food, or your pet's appetite suddenly changes, this could indicate illness and maybe even disease so a visit to their vet is advised.
If you don't know what is wrong with your pet, but you know he or she isn't feeling well, visit their vet for advice. There are general guidelines for feeding pets that feel poorly. Don’t overfeed them. Feed small amounts frequently rather than a large amount once a day and encourage fluids.