When Joyce adopted Shelby, her Labrador retriever, he was an active little puppy, never sitting in one place, always running around the house. Now Shelby is almost eight years old and has grown up to be a healthy dog, or so Joyce thought. Until one day Joyce realized that Shelby’s no longer active like he used to be and would spend most of his time lying down. Suspecting something is wrong, she took him to the vet, and then it was discovered that Shelby is suffering from obesity and that’s why needs a balanced diet for pets.
Well, this little story could be the reality for many people. Whether you have a dog, a cat, a bird or a rabbit, not maintaining a balanced diet could result in severe consequences and impact your pet’s overall health. So as pet parents, you must never be ignorant of their food intake.
On that note, let’s look at some helpful insights on how to ensure a balanced diet for your pet, so that they can lead a healthy and active life.
- Being aware of what to feed them (and what not to)
When we first get a pet into our house, our first instinct is to train them well and be strict with them. For instance, they are not allowed on the sofa or the bed and we do not allow them to have morsels of food off of our plate.
In reality, however, within a few weeks of getting them home, you’d find them comfortably snuggling on the new couch, or feasting on the leftovers on your plate.
This can result in bad habits in your pets and it becomes difficult to manage your pet’s weight, elevating the risk of obesity. Also, what’s good for you may not be good for your pet.
That’s why letting them eat from your plate, or feeding them the leftovers isn’t always a good idea. Try and keep your meal times regular, and offer them pet specific food and occasional treats to keep your pet in the best shape (literally!).
- Get organic vegetables and fruits when possible
Often, non-organic vegetables and fruits available in the market are genetically modified, and it’s practically impossible to know exactly what we and our cats or dogs are eating.
Even though it’s approved for human consumption, research indicates that genetically modified foods aren’t exactly safe.
So, if you care for the well-being of your family and the pets, then it’s best to make healthy food choices.
However, if you can’t always afford organic produces (specifically if you live in places like Dubai, where you have to pay an extra 5% tax after the VAT in UAE), then you must clean the food items properly before serving it to your pet.
- Adopt the portion control system
You may have heard about this phrase from your dietitian. Well, guess what? It goes for your pet as well. As responsible pet parents, you must implement this portion control system with them.
You need to consider how active your cat/dog is, in accordance with their weight and their age, and then measure the portion appropriately. If your pet is considerably young and slim, then you can feed them more. If your pet is old and indulges in limited physical activity, then you need to limit their food intake.
In case of any doubt, you can have a word with your vet about appropriate food portions, and they will be able to provide the right information to keep your pet in good neurontin without prescription health. After all, it’s better to restrict their food habits, than watch them suffer from an illness.
- Opt for fresh, wholesome foods
Fresh wholesome foods, like different fruits and vegetables, contain live enzymes, which prove to provide an added boost to your pet’s health.
Wholesome foods are also packed with fiber, which alleviates digestion, and encourages proper bowel movements for your cat or dog. So make sure to conduct a thorough research on the safe whole foods for your pets.
In fact, you’ll be amazed to discover the most nutritious parts of the vegetables. You can also consider making a puree of the vegetables for maximum absorption of the nutrient.
- Feed the furry friends with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory rich foods
Inflammation is a major reason for many diseases, so it’s significant to have knowledge about the ingredients that go into your pet’s food, along with the manufacturing process. Inflammation is the primary cause of premature aging.
Now, you probably know that commercial foods are inherently inflammatory. So if you must feed commercial food to your pets, you can minimize its ill-effects by mixing a generous amount of anti-inflammatory wholesome food.
- Don’t be over-indulgent with food or treats
Feed your pets depending on whether they need to gain or lose weight. If they are overweight, always feed them earlier in the day so that they have enough time to work it off.
If your pets need to gain weight, then feed them at regular intervals and particularly before bedtime, so that they don’t burn off those calories.
Also, you need to know that it’s alright for your pets to be skinny, specifically in their younger, more active years. As they grow older, they’ll gain weight easily, so don’t make them vulnerable to health conditions by trying to make them heavier too early.
Another crucial thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be too generous with the treats. Some of us don’t realize the implications of feeding them with unhealthy treats. In the process, your pets become susceptible to conditions like Diabetes or Obesity. So, if you really want to see them happy and healthy, cut back on the treats.
- Bring variations into the bowl
Would you like it if you had to eat the same food day after day, every day? Well, the same is applicable to your pets as well. Since variety is the spice of life, so why not sprinkle some variety to your pet’s diet? For instance, incorporating the occasional bit of veggies, fruit, or cold meat will not only make the meal more savory for your pet but also help in maintaining their health.
In this case, you need to ensure that you’re offering your pet is good for them. However, if you have any confusion, then it’s better to always liaise with a vet who can advise on what’s suitable for your pet to consume.
Wrapping it up,
As pet parents, you are probably willing to go all out to ensure that your pet leads a healthy and active life. That’s why you must keep a close watch on what goes into their tummy.
Author Bio: Harry Jonson is a veterinarian who has been in the field for close to a decade. He is renowned for company formation in UAE. She has been also been associated with many philanthropic organizations and has worked for many animal rights causes. Presently, she is associated with vat services in UAE as an academic expert for the past two years.