Feeding Cats and Dogs

posted: by: AAC Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Q.        How often should I feed my pet?
A.        Puppies and kittens should be fed three times a day from weaning (at about 6 weeks) up until four months of age.  After four months, they should be fed twice a day.  Most dogs and cats should continue to be fed twice a day throughout their lives, although some pets do well with once-a-day feedings.

Q.        How much should I give my pet to eat?
A.        The amount depends on your pet's age, size, and activity level.  Begin with the recommended daily portion according to the manufacturer's feeding guidelines and adjust the amount as needed.  Remember to divide the portion appropriately if you feed him more than once a day.

Q.        How do I introduce a new diet to my pet?
A.        Be sure to introduce a new food slowly.  Start with a daily portion of approximately 25% new food and 75% old food.  During the next 4 days, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old food.  Observe your pet as he/she makes this transition to insure adequate consumption.

Q.        Should I feed canned food, dry food, or both?
A.        The crunchy texture of dry food promotes healthy teeth and gums.  Canned food can be fed by itself, used as a treat, or mixed with dry food.  Avoid switching back and forth too often because constant change can lead to a finicky eater.

Q.        Will it hurt my cat or dog if they eat each other's food?
A.        Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements and should not eat each other's food on a regular basis.  However, an occasional venture into each other's bowls is not harmful.

Q.        How many biscuits can I give our dogs each day?
A.        A good rule of thumb to follow is tow small biscuits per cup of food.  Keep in mind that when you supplement treats or biscuits to their daily diets, calories are added, so you may need to reduce the amount of food you feed.

Q.        How do I get my pet to eat dry food after he's eaten scraps from our table?
A.        Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and will often resist change when you switch their diets.  You and your family members need to stop feeding him from the table completely.  This is best accomplished by removing your pet from the kitchen or dining room during meal times.  Be persistent when offering dry food - he may refuse to eat for several meals before giving it a chance.  You can try mixing some canned food in with the dry food as an additional incentive.

Q.        What should I do if my pet is constipated or has loose stool?
A.        Your pet's stools should be small and firm.  Most cases of constipation or loose stools are temporary and are caused by dietary indiscretion.  Loose stools can also be due to an abrupt change in diet, overeating, parasite infection, medication, viral or bacterial infections, and stress. If constipation or diarrhea persists for more than a day, please contact us.