HOW SUSAN THIXTON EXPOSES PET FOOD

Since 2006 she is on a mission. Susan Thixton exposes pet food industry injustice and is a fierce advocate for all pet food consumers. That was the year she launched her website TruthAboutPetFood.com. And, in order to stay up-to-date on all aspects of this sector and keep us informed, she regularly attends industry seminars across the USA.

Susan Thixton exposes pet food industry injustice by talking to consumers across the USA
Susan Thixton exposes pet food industry injustice by talking to consumers across the USA

From A Personal Mission

When I met her recently, I asked why she is such a fighter. This was her answer. “When my Rottweiler, Sam, died from bone cancer in 1991, my vet Dr. Bruce Catlett said that the probable cause was her food.” He had mentioned the chemical preservatives in the food, principally ethoxyquin. 

“Sam and I had a mutual worship, we were best friends,” added Thixton. “One of those extra special dogs that could see into your soul.”

To A National Platform

When Thixton speaks, people listen. That’s because she is a pet food advocate who demands the truth. While traveling across the country she is educating pet guardians. The wide range of topics she covers includes harmful ingredients, production failures, manufacturer coverups, associations interference and government indifference.

High Profile Expo Participants

So, why do people listen to her? Because she has earned the respect of her peers. For example, she’s speaking at the next HealthyDogExpo to be held in Albany, N.Y. on April 4, 2020. Susan Thixton and others like her are determined to empower pet food consumers. By fighting for industry transparency and putting an end to negligence and deception, more companion animals will stay healthier longer. That is their goal.

She will be participating at this natural dog health education event together with well-known personalities such as:

  • Dr. Karen Becker, holistic veterinarian, the first vet in the world to give a TEDx talk on species appropriate nutrition 
  • Rodney Habib, film maker, award-winning blogger, founder of Planet Paws, the most followed pet health page on Facebook 
  • Dr. Kendra Pope, veterinary oncologist with extensive training in holistic modalities, and
  • Susan Garrett, world class trainer and agility competitor, and pioneer of online dog training

For more details, go to HealthyDogExpo.com 

The health risks caused by our pets ingesting contaminated food are real, and they are rampant
The health risks caused by our pets ingesting contaminated food are real,
and they are rampant

Susan Thixton Is Exposing Pet Food Contamination

Pet food consumers are worried, and they certainly have every reason to be. When our companion canines and felines ingest contaminated food —dry, canned, raw and treats — the health risks are real. And, sadly, they are also rampant. 

It’s an ongoing discussion I will be presenting to you in the coming weeks and months. For now, however, here are some snippets that will make you reflect and want to learn more. Because, if I haven’t already got your attention, that’s all about to change.

Food Or Feed?

All states in the USA regulate pet food as feed, yet Federal law says it’s food. For it to be called food, however, it must be human grade food made under USDA inspection.

Contaminated Grains

How do contaminated grains find their way into pet food? Quite simple. They can lie in a mound in an open field for three weeks, exposed to the weather, birds and animals.

Consumers Group Files Citizen Petition

The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) has filed a Citizen Petition in the regulatory system. It has requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stop allowing illegal ingredients in pet food.

This is how far 89 million cans of pet food contaminated with Pentobarbital would stretch
This is how far 89 million cans of pet food contaminated with Pentobarbital would stretch

Euthanasia Drug

In 2017 and 2018, the recalls of canned pet food that contained the euthanizing drug Pentobarbital amounted to more than 30 million pounds. Shockingly, this means that the ingredients came from animals that had not been slaughtered.

To Sum Up

Due to the fact that pet food is such a hot topic, please look out for many more articles like this on a regular basis. That way you can stay informed with news you can trust. 

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

DRY PET FOOD FICTION AND EXTRUSION DELUSION

This blog show you that what dogs and cats eat is absolutely not dry pet food fiction
This blog shows you that what dogs and cats eat is absolutely not dry pet food fiction

What better way to introduce today’s topic of dry pet food fiction than show you the first of two videos. This is because I believe in setting the stage so that pet parents can decide for themselves. It’s not an attempt to persuade. There is no marketing agenda. 

All pet caregivers are faced with the same decisions when it comes to choosing what to give their dogs and cats to eat. Being informed helps you decide what is best and what is affordable. Each family has its own unique circumstances. Nevertheless, I’m sure you all want your pets to be happy and healthy, and lead the kind of life they deserve.

THE REALITY BEHIND PET KIBBLE

What Are The Ingredients?

Let’s take a look at what actually goes into making pet kibble. The following list shows the main ingredients.

  • meat
  • meat by-products (parts not generally for human consumption, by-product meal either named or unidentified)
  • grains (corn, wheat, rice)
  • pulses (chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans)
  • potatoes
  • vegetables
  • synthetic vitamins
  • synthetic minerals

Please take note that this type of dry food is high in calories. As a result, it’s very easy for a pet to become overweight. This usually occurs if it free feeds (grazes) and doesn’t get measured quantities at specific meal times.

Exactly How Is Kibble Made?

After studying the manufacturing process in considerable detail, I have been calling the marketing and sale of these products dry pet food fiction. That’s because they have really low nutritional value and frequently contain ingredients that cause harmful health effects, both long term and short term. 

As you may have already realized, dry food for both dogs and cats is highly processed. That translates into a diet that does little to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.

With the exception of a very small number of businesses that make commercial oven-baked dry food, around 95 percent of all kibble is manufactured by extrusion. Prepare yourself for what comes next! This is the reality behind pet kibble!

The Extrusion Delusion

In the extrusion process, the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together and pulverized to form a dough-like consistency. It is then fed into an expander for cooking and subjected to extreme pressure and high temperature.

In the next step, the dough is extruded (forced) through a specially shaped die, cut into pellets, and passed through a dryer. The pellets are then sprayed with fats, oils and synthetic additives such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. This step is aimed at replacing these natural substances which the food will have lost during the manufacturing process.

Finally, the finished product is packaged ready for shipping to stores. 

Why Is Dry Pet Food So Popular?

Despite the fact that kibble is not the best option out there, these are the main reasons why people choose to give it to their pets.

  • convenience…open the bag, scoop and serve
  • time-saving…no preparation required
  • relatively long shelf life before spoiling
  • can be used in automatic feeders
  • can usually be left out in the food bowl all day before it starts to go rancid
  • generally more economical than other food alternatives

To Sum Up

This article is just one of many more I intend to write on the topic of mealtime foods, snacks and treats. In a couple of weeks you’ll be able to read about a presentation I attended in Florida given by a nationally-respected advocate for pet food transparency. Her name…Susan Thixton. What she told us is life-changing!

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

THE PET FOOD MEAT FACTS

The Carnivore, Herbivore, Omnivore Quiz

If you’re unsure what to feed your dog or cat, take a look at these pet food meat facts.

What’s The Difference

But, before I really get into this, it’s helpful to understand what comes naturally. And, what our pets need to eat to be strong and healthy and stay that way throughout their lifetime. So here’s a quick quiz.

What’s the difference between a carnivore, a herbivore, and an omnivore?

Carnivores, such as wolves, dogs and cats, eat meat.

Bobcats are carnivores, shown here hunting for prey. Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service South East Region
Bobcats are carnivores, shown here hunting for prey. Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service South East Region

Herbivores, such as deer, cows and sheep, eat plants.

Deer are herbivores, seen here eating a plant. Photo by lwctoys
Deer are herbivores, seen here eating a plant. Photo by lwctoys

Omnivores, such as whales, squirrels and humans, eat meat and plants.

Whales are omnivores, here a humpback feeding. Photo by Murray Foubister
Whales are omnivores, here a humpback feeding. Photo by Murray Foubister

Why is this so important? Because once you understand the basics, you may realize that what dogs and cats need to eat may not, in fact, be what you are giving them to eat. And the purpose of today’s blog is to help pet parents choose the most appropriate diet for their companion animals.

What Comes Naturally To Dogs And Cats

Dogs and cats are not vegetarians. They are carnivores. Consequently, I am laying out here why pet carnivores must eat meat. This is a characteristic that has been handed down from their wildlife ancestors. Their anatomy, including their digestive system, was created for that purpose. The fact is, they are ill-equipped to break down plant fiber. Simply said, they were not created to be either herbivores or omnivores.

So, when our dogs and cats eat high quality meat that comes from a reputable source it will contain the proteins, amino-acids and trace minerals that their bodies require. 

A Balanced Diet For Canines

The wolf is the ancestor of our domesticated canine
The wolf is the ancestor of our domesticated canine

The fundamental component of a well-balanced diet for our domesticated canines is meat, organ and muscle. And the source may be beef, bison, venison, elk, lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and turkey. These are, indeed, the facts about meat for all dog pet food.

No kibble for this stray because dogs are carnivores and must eat meat. Photo by Tiia Monto
No kibble for this stray because dogs are carnivores and must eat meat. Photo by Tiia Monto

Nutritionists also recommend including small amounts of antioxidant-rich, dark green vegetables, such as spinach, kale and broccoli. In addition, small portions of fruits like apple, pear and blueberry will enrich the nutritional value of the diet as well.

A Balanced Diet For Felines

This big cat keeps its prey, a gazelle, away from rival predators. Photo by Leyo
This big cat keeps its prey, a gazelle, away from rival predators. Photo by Leyo

It’s no secret. Cats are obligate carnivores, just like their canine counterparts. Their very existence depends on meat and animal organs. Have you ever watched an outdoor cat in the evening hours? Sooner or later, it will catch a mouse. Why? Because it can only get the fatty acids, minerals and vitamins it needs to thrive from animal tissue. Especially important are calcium, vitamin A and niacin, which plant tissue simply doesn’t have, either in the amount, form or ratio that cats need. So, it couldn’t be clearer. Our domesticated kitty carnivores must eat their meat.

The pet food meat facts show that outdoor cats hunt prey, focus on nutrient-rich organs. Photo by Fabian Köster
The pet food meat facts show that outdoor cats hunt prey, focus on nutrient-rich organs. Photo by Fabian Köster

Another point worth mentioning is that although cats lack the enzymes required to digest plant-based foods, small amounts can provide important benefits. Green, leafy vegetables help them detoxify the colon. In addition, they may also enable hairballs to get pushed through the digestive tract or provoke vomiting to expel them.

A Couple Of Great Supplements

Although I will be writing about food supplements at another time, here are some very brief comments about two of them.

Sardines are loaded with nutrients and both dogs and cats love them.
Sardines are loaded with nutrients and both dogs and cats love them.

Sardines. Fortunately, most dogs and cats love sardines. They are loaded with a whole range of highly concentrated nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B12. This small, cold-water fish provides wide-ranging health benefits from bone support to cardiovascular performance to preventing certain allergies and slowing down memory loss.

Pumpkin is a natural stool-consistency regulator, ideal for our pet dogs and cats
Pumpkin is a natural stool-consistency regulator, ideal for our pet dogs and cats

Pumpkin. I always have a can of organic pumpkin handy in case a client of mine is out of town and their pet is in need of a stool-consistency regulator. Usually, dogs as well as cats like the taste and a small amount added to the food works in one of two ways. It either adds bulk to a loose stool, or it will soften a hard stool. 

To Sum Up

If you didn’t know this before, you now have the pet food meat facts at your fingertips. As a result, the domesticated cats and dogs that are part of your family will have a species appropriate diet. Truly nourishing food that will foster longevity by keeping them healthier, longer.

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


OLDER PETS NEED PROTEIN

Older pets need protein even more than when they were younger
Like this Mastiff, older pets need protein to help the aging process

Contrary to what was previously thought, older pets need protein even more than when they were younger. That’s right. Senior dogs and cats actually need more, not less, protein from a nutritious diet of meat and fish.

Their kidney, liver and immune functions need extra help during the aging process and they get that by eating quality protein that is easily digestible and has sufficient moisture content.

ANCESTRAL TIMES 

The focus today is on meat. Meat is protein. And carnivores, like domesticated dogs and cats, and their ancestors in the wild, eat meat. That said, let’s take a look at protein.

THE FACTS ABOUT PROTEIN 

A dog’s and cat’s body is made up almost entirely of protein which also plays a role in vital body functions such as digestion. In the digestive process, substances are either utilized or eliminated. 

Protein needs to be eaten daily because the body doesn’t store it for future use like it does fat. The body needs both sufficient protein as well as good quality protein to perform satisfactorily.

THE POWER OF LIVER 

This organ—not eaten nearly enough by humans, by the way—has enormous nutritional value. It is packed with protein and is rich in minerals such as iron, trace minerals, and amino acids, as well as vitamins A, D and all the Bs.

So now, hopefully, we can all agree on the benefits of feeding our canine and feline friends meat and why older pets need protein from this source. But, do we all agree on when older pets actually become senior pets? Let’s find out.

SENIORS – HOW VETERINARIANS AND GUARDIANS DISAGREE

It’s quite interesting to discover that veterinary professionals and pet parents have different ideas on the age that dogs and cats enter the “senior” category. A study shows that they do not agree. Veterinarians consider it starts earlier than pet parents do. Here’s the breakdown.

Dogs:

  • Most veterinarians and their staff say it is between 5 and 7 years old.
  • More than half of pet parents think it is between 7 and 9 years.

Cats:

  • Most veterinarian professionals say by age 9. 
  • Most pet parents think it is by age 11.

Are you surprised by the stats? I certainly was!

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

SHARING A COMMENT 

After reading a teaser I had posted on LinkedIn about this topic, I received a brief comment from Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, Professor Emeritus at Tufts University, near Boston, Massachusetts, which I would like to share with you. “Unless they have renal insufficiency…”

DO PETS SHARE YOUR DRINKING WATER?

The purity of the water we and our pets drink is essential to stay healthy
Is the water that you and your pets drink safe?

You share your home with your dogs and cats. You share your sofa. Maybe your bed. But do pets share your drinking water?

I am guessing you take precautions to drink water that is safe, but where does your pet’s water come from? Of course, there are plenty of options to choose from. They include tap water, purified water, spring water, de-ionized water, reverse osmosis water, high pH alkaline water, and hydrogenated water. Oh, did I leave any out? Oops! Distilled water.

A Double Standard

A number of people I know, including clients of mine, will only drink H20 if it’s packaged in a bottle. They use tap water for cooking purposes but they would never dream of quenching their thirst with it. However, they seem to think that tap water is good enough for dogs and cats.  They must say to themselves, “Fido and Fluffy don’t know the difference, do they?”

Lots Of Choices

There are plenty of choices when it comes to safe drinking water for both humans and pets. Here are some of them.

More likely than not, water straight from the tap is not the best option but that depends on where you live and where your water supply comes from.  It may also depend on whether your water has been tested, and by whom, and if you can depend on the accuracy of the results you are given.

Many people have a filter installed on their kitchen sink. Some get their water and ice from the refrigerator dispenser. Others use a refillable jug that has a replaceable filter to remove any impurities. 

Then there are those who prefer to buy one-gallon containers of “drinking” water, purified water or spring water from the local store. And, a number of us choose to avoid the bother of shopping for water altogether and would rather have it delivered to the doorstep.

Another option to consider is distilled water. And a growing number of consumers are making this switch because its purity is practically guaranteed.

Impurities To Avoid

Although the Safe Water Drinking Act sets safety standards for 126 contaminants, there are many, many more that are present in municipal water.

The contaminants that all living beings need to avoid include chlorine, fluoride, lead, aluminum, arsenic, radiological and pharmaceuticals. These are few of the potentially harmful substances that can cause cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

The Cost Factor

Now, if you’re concerned about the cost of sharing your drinking water with your companion animals, please check this out. 

I am fortunate enough to have an Earth Fare store in my neighborhood. They are known for their pledge of offering food that is free of added hormones and antibiotics as well as artificial ingredients such as fats, preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors. Now to their innovative water section.

They have set aside a section where customers bring their own containers and use a dispenser to fill up with the type of Fresh Pure (freshpure.com) water of their choice. The added benefit is that it’s very economical because you are not paying for the plastic…just the water.

To Sum Up

Finally, all I ask is that whatever is best for you, taste-wise and expense-wise, you provide exactly the same for your pets. You certainly can share your drinking water with your pets. They don’t deserve anything less.   

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

BEST PET FOOD/WATER BOWLS

Feeding bowls made from stainless steel, the preferred material for dogs
Metal food and water bowls on a stand for a rather long-legged dog

Choose the best pet eating/drinking bowls for your cats and dogs
Cat enjoys drinking and feeding out of metal bowls raised off the ground

Have you ever wondered what the best pet food/water bowls are made of? Did you know that there are important differences? If not, just read on to find out how your choices can benefit the dogs and cats in your life.

Plastic Pet Feeding Bowls

This may come as a surprise but plastic is certainly not the best. Some pets are allergic to it and anything made from that material can cause a health episode. 

However, allergic or not, plastic is likely to break down over time causing harmful chemicals—Bisphenal A (BPA) and Phthalates— to seep into the food or water in a plastic bowl. Some researchers have even found traces of lead.

GETTING PERSONAL 

Not too long ago I cared for a family of four cats. One of the trio of white ones suffered from skin allergies caused by anything made from plastic. Yes, anything. Plastic bags, plastic containers, you name it. The cat’s guardians had to make sure it never ever came into contact with items like these. 

When the family was away, kitty care was my responsibility and to keep the felines out of harm’s way. I always made sure to keep my work tote bag zipped shut. When I brought in the newspaper, I removed the plastic lining and immediately threw it away into the lidded bin. Then there were times I might need something stored in a plastic container that was kept in a closet. I had to make sure I never left it out on the kitchen counter unattended, or forgot to put it back in its place after use.

Glass Pet Feeding Bowls

This material is stable and can be sterilized but there is always the possibility of breakage. If you do choose glass, avoid products made in developing countries that often contain lead.

Ceramic Pet Feeding Bowls

Generally this is a reliable material. Just make sure the label says “lead-free.” The reason being that the colors used in glazed items produced in some countries could contain lead and cadmium which are toxic.

Stainless Steel – The Best Pet Eating/Drinking Bowls

This is definitely the preferred material of choice since it doesn’t react to foods and liquids. It is strong, and can be sterilized. Nevertheless, if the bowls were to become severely scratched or damaged, metals could seep out over a long period of time.

To Sum Up

As you can see, it really does matter what you serve food and water in. Most importantly, check out the country of origin and almost certainly stay away from plastic. Despite this, you still have a number of good options available. Choose the best pet food/water bowls for your companion animals. Not just any bowls. And, finally, be the best pet parent possible.

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

UNETHICAL PET FOOD MARKETING

Ingredients + Labeling, Harmful + Worthless

Consumers are getting smarter. Many have had enough of today’s unethical pet food marketing hype and are turning their backs on manufacturers without morals. They now realize that the industry leaders have been seeking maximum profits at their—our—expense. But they are fighting back and expect to be told the truth.

Worthless Labeling Tricks

It’s just not right when caring pet guardians are confused by ambiguous wording in advertising slogans and product descriptions. When shopping for dog and cat supplies at the grocery store or specialty pet store, people see a word or phrase on a bag or can of food and think they know what it means. But do they really? Needless to say we all realize that some advertising claims can be misleading. Even so, I’m sad to say that pet food industry deception is also part of this problem. 

Harmful Ingredients Disguised

To give you some examples, here are the most common words you will read on a pet food label. In addition, this is our guide as to what they really mean and what the use of these words actually signifies.

This cat parent is wondering what "complete and balanced" really means since manufacturers use unethical pet food marketing like this to maximize profits
This cat parent is wondering what “complete and balanced” really means since manufacturers use unethical pet food marketing like this to maximize profits

Natural

The word natural leads us to believe that it is good, harmless, and something that has worth. However, what do these four letters actually tell us? Absolutely nothing. It’s that simple. 

Grain Free

When pet food is labeled grain free, that is good. The reason is that dogs and cats do not have a digestive system that enables them to process the cellulose found in plants. Nevertheless, there is a down side. Manufacturers replace these grains with other substances, such as soybeans and potatoes, to provide the required consistency. Unfortunately, such ingredients aren’t good either. However, they are considered acceptable if they are kept to a bare minimum. That said, other alternatives would be more costly which is why they are not part of the formula.

Protein

High quality meat and fish protein is beneficial, very beneficial, in fact. On the other hand, though, proteins that comes from sources that are potentially harmful to carnivorous pets, need to be avoided. 

No By-Products

On its own, this phrase is very misleading. That’s because liver is classified as a by-product yet it is highly nutritious. Road kill and euthanized animals also fall under this heading and continue to be used in the manufacture of pet food with deadly consequences. This should truly shock every single pet parent.

Scientifically Formulated

What? I would certainly hope that pet food companies rely on food scientists to formulate the products they sell and that this task is not done by some amateur in their home-based kitchen. So, is scientifically formulated supposed to convey that the nutritional benefits claimed by a company are scientifically supported by clinical studies? I guess we’d have to ask them to find out. So, this is just another instance of unethical pet food marketing hype.

Complete And Balanced

Really! According to whom? “Complete and balanced” in the eyes of the manufacturer? Or in the eyes of a nutritionist with a university degree? I hope all my readers can see through this nonsense since it’s a clear cut case of pet food industry deception aimed at driving sales.

Reliable Sources

It really is no wonder that most pet parents are confused. But, on top of that, some are downright angry. It takes effort and it can be time consuming to be properly informed. However, pet guardians have to do their research. They need to pick out reliable sources that are independent experts. These are definitely not people paid by powerful manufacturers who want to perpetuate their persuasive misinformation and profit-driven agenda.

To Sum Up

This article is just one of many more I intend to write on the topic of mealtime foods, snacks and treats. I’ll also orient you on where to go for unbiased publishing and news reporting. After all, a nutrition-rich diet will allow your dogs and cats to have the kind of lifestyle they deserve. So, please start today, if you haven’t already. See you soon!

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

WELL-HYDRATED PETS STAY HEALTHIER

Whether water comes from a bowl or drinking fountain, well-hydrated pets definitely stay healthier. Photo credit: TrainSimFan
Whether water comes from a bowl or drinking fountain, well-hydrated pets definitely stay healthier. Photo credit: TrainSimFan

As we all know, without water there is no life!  Besides, we can then logically conclude that well-hydrated pets stay healthier. In fact, just like us, our companion animals need it not only to stay alive, but must consume this precious liquid in the right amount. That’s because adequate hydration is an absolute necessity to help protect against illness and disease.

Hydrating Naturally

Water is a vital commodity that regulates body temperature, transports nutrients via the bloodstream, and eliminates waste and toxins. It also supports the organs (including the skin) and assists in every single one of the body’s complex functions.

In the wild, animals need water to maintain their basic body functions and stay strong to survive. They obtain it mostly from the different kinds of foods that they eat. In the case of carnivores, this comes from their prey.

Similarly, adequate hydration boosts pet health. Certainly, the dogs and cats that share our lives should be hydrated to a large extent by the food we give them. However, very often they are not. A diet of dark meat, chicken and fish has an abundance of moisture whereas it is obviously lacking in dry food.

How Much Water To Drink?

In order to be well-hydrated, most dogs should drink between half an ounce and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.

And when it comes to cats of average size and weight, adequate hydration translates to between 5 and 10 ounces of water per day.

However, there are exceptions. Some pets require greater quantities than these.

  • puppies and kittens
  • toy breed dogs 
  • brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds of dogs and cats
  • senior dogs and cats
  • pets with certain medical conditions

Kitties Are A Little Different. But Who Knew!

When they are thirsty enough, kitties will drink from a water bowl. However, take another look at the photo at the top of this page. As you can tell, felines much prefer the constant trickle of this vital liquid when it comes from a pet water fountain.

To Sum Up

Pets that are well-hydrated generally stay healthier longer. So, if you are drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, then kudos to you. Now, you need to ensure that your companion animals are getting the amount that’s best for them, too.

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

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!