This is a complicated topic befuddled with old wives tales, misconceptions, misinformation and downright wrong information. We also come into it with our own set of biases and beliefs that can lead to bad decisions when it comes to our pets health. It really becomes a maze so complicated most of us ignore the topic or desperately latch on the ‘new best thing ever!’
In this section I will do my very best to ignore my inner bias and just present facts for you to shift through at your leisure. To be frank, working emergency gave me a lot of biases, mostly because I only saw the worst case scenarios, so I will lock up my soap box and save it for more pressing matters.
To start I’ll give you a brief overview of the important so you can delve as deeply in any topic as you choose. Expect this section to continue growing. If nutrition information could all fit on one page, we’d all be experts already! As it is, nutrition is one of the three most important things in life and also, one of the most confusing.
Spend time and energy to pick the right, nutritionally balanced, food for your pet and this should be all you need to do to ensure they are getting everything they need. Yearly or bi-annual checkups at your veterinarians office will help insure that your pets nutritional needs aren’t changing and they are staying their very best!
Learn about stomach sizes, portion sizes and how to tell if your pet is overweight.
There is perhaps nothing as cute as a fat pet lounging in the sun. What that extra weight is doing to the internal organs and joints of that pet isn’t so cute. It is much easier to manage a healthy weight than to lose weight. Strive for a healthy weight from day one so you never have to go through the sadness of a pet who can’t figure out why you aren’t feeding them as much anymore or worse, illness and the grief of loss.
Wet or Dry Food
Which is best? It depends on your pet!
I may say it a lot but it is true. Every pet is different and special. You can’t just say wet is best and get away with it anymore. This section will give you more information so you can make the choice that’s right for you.
A treat given every day at the same time becomes part of the diet and isn’t a treat anymore.
Unless this treat is some kind of vegetable (Carrots, celery, zucchini, peas, beans but not these treats) or comes with high energy activity, it’s time to restrict treats to weekends or holidays.
Most pets aren’t selective about what kid of treat they get, so you can carry a little pouch of their daily allotment of kibble in your pocket and use these as ‘treats’ but really, your time and attention is the best treat they could ever get.
How often? How much? Find a schedule that works best for your life and stick to it.
Schedules help you keep close tabs on your pet and their health. Kids and pets benefit from schedules. If your pet comes to you twice a day for food, you have a chance to connect and do a once over to make sure all is well with them before you feed them. You are also seen as a reliable care taker they can come to for love and munchies. win-win!
No matter your thoughts on poop, it is a very real part of pet ownership. If you ignore it, it will stack up in the backyard until you just stop going out and your backyard becomes a festering infection of woe.
Reclaim your backyard or better yet, keep up on it daily. Prevention really is so much better!
Okay, okay, so why is poop in the nutrition section? Where do you think all that good food goes? You can tell a lot about heath with poop.
If your pet poops all the time, sometimes runny-sometimes not but appears healthy, perhaps your food isn’t quite right.
If your pet has a poop schedule and its poops are always well formed and small, you know you’re doing well.
Clean the litter box frequently and pick up your dog’s waste right away and you will keep good tabs on their intestinal health and well as mitigate disease through proper hygiene.
The truth is in the poop!