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.

Click here for some advice on what is species appropriate food for your pet Plus some tips on why senior pets need a protein boost, go to

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

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