Do feed nutritious diets! There are many brands and formulations of dog foods fighting for your market dollars, however not all of them are good for your pet. Buy a quality food! It will be more expensive, but the better ingredients will help insure superior health and lower veterinary expenses.
Feed life-stage diets. Life-stage diets are prepared for the varying needs of animals of different ages. Puppies have higher requirements than other older pets, so their foods must be fortified with protein and vitamin and mineral levels that are not necessary for adults. Adults and seniors have differing needs also, and their individual requirements are met by producing diets that are tailored for the various age levels.
- It is best to feed foods from manufacturers that follow these guidelines since your pet will have a greater chance of living a longer, healthier life because of better nutrition. You may also enjoy reduced veterinary costs as an added benefit. Medi-Cal, a Canadian company established by veterinarians in 1990, has a full line of these superior diets.
- Provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
- House pets must have their water changed daily, and you must check frequently to make certain plenty is available.
- Yard dogs are totally dependent on you for both their food and water during both summer and winter, and often the liquids are more important. Give them access to large amounts of water in large bowls or buckets because they will need it. Hot temperatures rapidly result in overheating of any animal with the possibility of heat stroke and death. In winter, water sources must be cleared of ice during freezing weather so your pet can drink.
- Feel your pet's ribs. If they are just beneath the skin and not too prominent, he/she is near the correct weight. If you cannot feel them, or if it feels as if there is a pad over them, he/she is too fat.
Do not feed your pet any type of animal or bird bones!
- Bones shatter as animals chew and ingest them, and then when passing through their digestive tracts, bone slivers act like tiny knives, slicing and damaging the delicate lining of the intestines. Many pets die because of this.
- Never overfeed your pet.
- Overfeeding results in overweight or obese pets, and this shortens their lives.
- Never feed your pet human foods.
- Once a pet is allowed to start, it often waits to receive those foods and will sometimes refuse the nutritious diet it really needs. This practice frequently leads to obesity and digestive upsets.
- Never allow your pet free access to food.
- Free access to foods frequently is followed by weight gain and obesity. Feeding at intervals is a far better practice. Puppies may be given three or four feedings daily for periods of 20 to 30 minutes depending on their size, and adults may be fed one or two times daily. Once the pets has had access to it's food for the necessary 20 to 30 minutes, remove the food and wait until the next feeding period before offering more.