dearJulius.com

Vets reveal 9 of the biggest mistakes people make when feeding their pets

From how much food to give your dog to how to tell whether you're feeding your cat often enough, here's what veterinarians want you to know.

© Shutterstock

By Sophia Mitrokostas, INSIDER

  • Pet owners may be accidentally feeding their pets improperly.
  • Giving your cat or dog treats might accidentally train them to beg for food.
  • Cooked bones may be dangerous for dogs to chew on.

Taking care of a pet is a lot of work, but there are a few things you could be doing improperly when it comes to your animal's diet.

Insider spoke with veterinarians to pinpoint a few of the biggest mistakes people make when feeding their pets and how to avoid them.


You shouldn't actually follow the suggested serving size on the food bag.

© Shutterstock

Sara Ochoa, a small-animal and exotic-pet veterinarian with Dog Lab, told Insider that the feeding instructions on packages of commercial pet food might have you serving your animal more calories than they actually need.

"Do not follow the feeding instructions on the bag," Ochoa said. "In general, the manufacturer's suggested serving size is a little too much for pets."

She said it's better to keep your pet on the thinner side because an obese animal is at risk of experiencing more health problems.


Giving cooked bones to dogs can actually be dangerous.

© Shutterstock

Ann Eliopulos, a veterinarian and adviser for Wag, told Insider that giving bones to dogs is actually a health risk.

"Cooked bones should never, ever, under any circumstances, be given to a dog," Eliopulos said. "They can splinter and perforate any part of the dog's gastrointestinal tract, or wedge there and need to be surgically removed."


Free-feeding can cause your animal to become overweight.

© iStock

Pet parents who work long hours or are forgetful about feeding times might be tempted to free-feed, which usually involves leaving a large bowl of food out for your pet to graze on throughout the day, or refilling their bowl whenever it's empty.

But Antje Joslin, a veterinarian for Dogtopia, told Insider that this isn't always the best idea, especially if you have more than one pet.

"Though some pets can regulate their dietary calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight by free-feeding, most cannot," Joslin said. "This can easily lead to overfeeding and thus obesity."

If you're looking for the flexibility of free-feeding but want to make sure your pet isn't overindulging, an automatic pet-food dispenser might be a great option. These dispense a pre-portioned meal on a set schedule that you can program, so your pet can eat even when you're not around.


Some owners cook special meals for their pets, but these lovingly made dishes could be doing more harm than good.

© Shutterstock

"My No. 1 pet peeve is home-cooked pet diets," Eliopulos said. "In most cases, these diets are simply not nutritionally adequate."

She explained that each stage in a pet's life comes with different nutritional requirements and that most home-cooked meals do not contain all the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients that pets need.

That said, if you do want to cook for your pet, you might want to speak to a board-certified veterinary nutritionist who will work with you to make sure your animal is getting exactly what they need.


Smaller dog breeds may need more frequent meals than larger ones.

© Shutterstock

Though it's true that smaller dogs may not eat as much in a single sitting as their larger canine cousins, puppies and toy breeds may actually need more frequent feedings throughout the day.

"Generally speaking, you should feed your dog twice a day, with meals spaced evenly throughout the day. However, some small puppies or toy breeds can experience low blood sugar if they are fed too infrequently. Therefore, three to four small meals a day may help keep their blood-sugar levels constant," Joslin said.

Extremely active dogs or animals with certain health conditions could also benefit from multiple meals per day, Joslin added.


Giving your pet treats might accidentally train them to beg for food.

© Shutterstock

"The most common feeding mistake pet owners make is inadvertently teaching their pets to beg by giving them treats outside of mealtimes. I frequently hear things from owners like 'My pet is always hungry,' 'He follows me around the kitchen,' or 'He begs at the dinner table,'" Joslin told Insider. "These are all conditioned behaviors that we have trained into our pets."

She said the best way to prevent inadvertently training your pet to beg is by giving your pet treats only in their bowl rather than from your hand.


Feeding your pet leftovers or scraps of food from the table is never a wise idea.

© Shutterstock

Giving your pet extra morsels of people food can add hundreds of unnecessary calories to their diet.

"Every treat, dental chew, and food scrap counts when it comes to your pet's daily calorie count. These calories add up fast, especially for small dogs," Joslin said, adding that overfeeding a pet can lead to obesity and nutritional imbalances.

Instead of sneaking your pet scraps, consider pre-portioning a daily allotment of treats so you can reward your furry friend guilt-free.


Your pets shouldn't be sharing food bowls.

© Shutterstock

"Animals naturally prefer to have their own food. Even pets who know each other may fight over food," Gary Richter, a veterinarian with Rover, told Insider. "Food aggression is common, and it's easily preventable by feeding in separate rooms or crates."

It's also important to make sure you're feeding your pet species-specific food, as cats and dogs have different dietary requirements.

"Cats are carnivores, which means that they eat meat. Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat meat, grains, and vegetables, so they need a more varied diet than just meat alone to meet their nutritional requirements," Richter said. "Similarly, dog food lacks the vital nutrition that cats need to live a long, healthy life."


Cats should never be placed on meat-free diets.

© Shutterstock

Richter told Insider that putting your cat on a vegetarian diet is downright dangerous since it would prevent them from getting taurine.

"Taurine is an amino acid that is important for normal heart function, vision, and reproduction," he explained, adding that it is found only in animal-based proteins.

COMMENTS



|Featured Content_$type=three$c=3$l=0$m=0$s=hide$rm=0


Made with in NYC
Name

Animals,188,Birds,21,Cats,94,Cows,1,Dogs,264,Featured,10,Features,59,Health,7,Koala,2,Monkey,2,News,3,Panda,3,Penguin,6,Pets,89,Red Panda,1,Squirrel,4,
ltr
item
Pets Magazine: Vets reveal 9 of the biggest mistakes people make when feeding their pets
Vets reveal 9 of the biggest mistakes people make when feeding their pets
From how much food to give your dog to how to tell whether you're feeding your cat often enough, here's what veterinarians want you to know.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Clu68Kz9gxE/XfowK112TcI/AAAAAAABmGo/8VPIYnLvQ4EK1UvdP3IgBD3RASnMjSA2ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/1.png
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Clu68Kz9gxE/XfowK112TcI/AAAAAAABmGo/8VPIYnLvQ4EK1UvdP3IgBD3RASnMjSA2ACLcBGAsYHQ/s72-c/1.png
Pets Magazine
https://pets.dearjulius.com/2019/12/vets-reveal-9-of-the-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-feeding-their-pets.html
https://pets.dearjulius.com/
https://pets.dearjulius.com/
https://pets.dearjulius.com/2019/12/vets-reveal-9-of-the-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-feeding-their-pets.html
true
780598715723239276
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy