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Deciding How to Best Feed Your Pet

Sep 8, 2008
Deciding how much to feed your pet and what kind of food you should feed is one of the most important decisions you can make about your pet's health. Not only do you need to decide how much to feed your pet, you also need to determine how often you will feed your pet during the day and whether you will feed your pet canned food or dry food.

Deciding Between Canned Food or Dry Food

Both canned dog food and dry dog food are good options for your pet, though most dogs larger than 30 pounds should eat mostly dry food or semi-moist food. This is because canned food has more water per cup, which means it can be difficult for a larger dog to get the caloric intake it requires to maintain a healthy body weight.

When selecting dry dog food, it is important to purchase dog food that is of higher quality. Most dry dog food brands contain mostly rice, corn and soybean and very little meat. If you select a dry dog food that contains a higher amount of meat or fish meal, it will be healthier for your pet and your pet will not eat as much food as it would with a lower quality product. Therefore, while higher quality dog food does cost more per bag, your pet will eat less. In the end, the difference in price will be less than you expect.

When it comes down to it, deciding between dry dog food and canned dog food is a matter of personal choice. Just be certain your canine friend is getting enough to eat each day in order to support a healthy size and weight.

Deciding How to Feed Your Pet

When feeding your pet, you have two basic methods to select from: free choice or limited time feeding. With free choice, you simply keep your pet's food dish full at all times and it decides when to eat and how much it wants to eat. With limited time feeding, on the other hand, you present your pet with a meal and it has a certain amount of time to complete the meal before you take it away until the next feeding time.

While free choice is the easiest way to feed your pet, it often is not the best choice. When allowing your pet to eat by free choice, you cannot monitor how much food it eats and it can lead to obesity. In addition, if you have multiple dogs, you cannot be certain if all of your pets are eating well or if one is eating the majority of the food. On the other hand, free choice may be the best choice for those dogs that eat only small amounts of food throughout the day. Toy breed dogs that are at risk for developing low blood sugar are often best served through the free choice method.

When feeding your pet with the limited timed feeding method, you should determine how much food you wish to feed your pet for the entire day. Then, divide this by the number of times you will feed your pet throughout the day. Once your dog is an adult, you may be able to feed it only once per day. For the most part, however, it is best to feed your pet once in the morning and once again in the evening.
About the Author
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at http://www.findapetonline.com. Research over 240 dog breeds at http://www.findapetonline.com/dog_breeds_a_e.html
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