PET FOOD QUANTITY CONTROL

When you don’t follow pet food quantity control, obesity becomes a serious health issue. Photo credit: Karen Arnold
When you don’t follow pet food quantity control, obesity becomes a serious health issue. Photo credit: Karen Arnold

Let’s face it. Pets are very food motivated. They just don’t know when to stop eating, which is why pet food quantity control is so important.

Dogs and cats, but especially dogs, will eat as much as they can because they think it could very well be their last meal, ever. Or they might believe it’s the only food they’ll get in quite some time. 

Of course, centuries ago, this used to be the case when dogs and cats lived in the wild and were forced to hunt. However, today that has all changed. It’s we, the pet parents, who decide the when, what and how much for them and, unfortunately, often times, we get it all wrong.

The How And When Of Pet Mealtimes

When our companion animals have constant access to food and the ability to eat any quantity at any time, problems are usually inevitable. If we don’t feed pets measured meals, they will certainly over-eat. As a result, they become overweight or, worse, obese. And, just like humans, I think we are all very much aware of the health hazards that poses.

But, back to the how and when. I recommend two options, however, this is the preferred one that most pet guardians can manage.

  • Serve the food in person, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
  • Wait for between 10 and 15 minutes. 
  • After waiting, pick up the bowl if the food has not been finished.

How Much Means Controlled Portions

The first part of pet food quantity control is knowing the appropriate amount you should serve your dog or cat at each meal. If you’re not sure, please don’t guess. That would definitely not be helpful. Instead, consult your veterinarian. An animal health expert will advise you what that amount should be based on the weight, age, health, and physical activity of your pet.

Now you’re ready to prepare Fido’s and Fluffy’s meal. Just follow your vet’s instructions and use a measuring cup and/or measuring spoon.

To Sum Up

Remember one thing. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re being kind when you give your pet more to eat than it should. Trying to make it happy, or you to feel less guilty, is not kindness. Rather, it is the contrary. Allowing your furry family member to become overweight or obese is just wrong. It triggers all sorts of health issues, for example, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. In the long run, your pet will love you more for it.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

DISTRACTED DOG WALKERS

This Is About You, Not Fido

This distracted dog walker should change her habits and focus more on pet safety
This distracted dog walker should change her habits and focus more on
pet safety

Pet safety is a huge priority of mine so when I see distracted dog walkers act a certain way, it really concerns me. When you are outdoors exercising a canine, being in control helps to keep your four-legged companion safe. 

It pays to stay focused while you’re out walking dogs and that also includes jogging with them. Furthermore, I’d like to point this out, too.  If you are not looking or listening properly, not being attentive and fully aware of your surroundings, it’s probably time to make some changes.

Definition Of A Distracted Dog Walker

It’s about dog walkers being distracted and how to stay focused. For that purpose I have made a short but really important list of what takes your mind off what should be your priority.

  • cell phones 
  • ear buds 
  • the mail 
  • neighbors and passers-by

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m mentioning these seemingly unimportant things. What do they have to do with safety? Well, here’s what can happen.

First Fact: You use your phone to talk, text or read when you walk your dog.

Question: If you absolutely have to do any of the above, how should you do so safely?

Answer: Step away from the road and hold your dog on a very short leash. Look around you to be aware of your surroundings, and remain stationary.

This next one isn’t exactly a dog walking situation but I wanted to mention it here because I have witnessed many single family home owners doing this.

Second Fact: You let your dog out in your front yard off-leash to potty while you walk to the curbside to pick up your mail. And, as you walk back towards the house, you’re looking at leaflets and envelopes.

Question: You do this all the time. Why shouldn’t you?

Answer: In my world, this is taking an unnecessary risk. You really do need to stay focused. Go out front with your dog on a leash, let him potty, then take him back inside. Now go and pick up your mail.    

Third Fact: You use ear buds to listen to music. 

Question: Is it okay to have the volume turned down low?

Answer: No, it is not okay. This is yet another distracting habit dog walkers have. Leave the ear buds at home. You need eyes to see AND ears to hear what’s going on around you. Beware of cyclists, traffic, verbal warnings, and so on.    

Fourth Fact: You stop during your walk to talk to neighbors and passers-by.

Question: How can this possibly be a potential problem?

Answer: You’re right. It’s quite unlikely. However, make sure your dog is on a short (unretractable) leash and that you stay well clear of traffic. Also, step out of the way of other walkers, joggers and cyclists.

To Sum Up

Dog walking warrants staying fully focused.  That means focused on your dog. Not on yourself. So, please think about the examples mentioned here. Make some changes if that will make your pleasure outing a little safer. Safer for your faithful companion. And safer for you.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

More must-read articles in this category:

How to take your cat for a walk http://petpeevesunmasked.com/walking-cats-provides-enrichment

Behavior awareness tips for dog parks http://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-park-safety-precautions

Daily physical activity for good health http://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-exercise-consistency-is-key

Defensive dog walking is like defensive driving http://petpeevesunmasked.com/avoid-confrontation-walking-dogs