If you had questions or concerns about your own health and nutrition, you’d speak with a doctor—for the same reason, your furry friends need the expertise of a veterinarian.
A licensed vet can provide individualized recommendations, including supplements to add, the right therapeutic dog or cat diets for diseases or deficiencies, and specialized medical attention to address any serious health concerns,
When in doubt, ask a vet. When you need quick, convenient, 24/7 answers, use AskVet.
At AskVet, we take a lifestyle approach to pet wellness. We believe when you live a healthy lifestyle, so does your pet. The hardest part can be finding that wellness balance—we’re here to make it easy.
The perfect balanced diet will look different between pet cats and dogs, and across various breeds, ages, and health conditions. Still, there are five core pillars to strive for when to strive for when determining your dog or cat nutrition plan:
Full of all the essential nutrients they need.
Meals in the proper proportions.
Tasty enough for your pet to consume in sufficient amounts.
Able to be properly absorbed by your animal.
Free of toxins, pesticides, allergens, and other harmful additives.
The recommended cat and dog diet varies as much with pet nutrition as it does with people, but simplicity remains supreme. Pets, like us, are at their healthiest when eating fresh, whole foods.
Pets, just like humans, are creatures of habit. By creating a healthy, consistent feeding routine, you’ll have a happy, healthy pet. For most four-legged friends, that looks like two meals per day, carefully portioned out, on a regular feeding schedule. The exact amount of food will depend on their age, weight, breed, and activity level.
If your pet doesn’t appear to be eating regularly—whether that means not eating what’s in front of them or constantly craving more, including your table scraps—you may need to adjust your feeding routine.
Here are some habitual changes that might make the difference you’re looking for:
Sometimes, we need to change our fur baby’s food to include more nutrients, address a particularTransitioning Your Pet to New Food digestive or urinary issue, or appeal to their changing taste buds. However, a sudden dietary switch can also lead to unwanted health issues (not to mention unhappy or apprehensive animals).
A smooth transition to new food has to be gradual. Try a seven-day schedule like this to ease them into their new diet:
If your pet exhibits serious apprehension during this process, you can prolong each of these transitional phases to give them more time to adjust. It may still take a few weeks for them to fully adapt to their new food, but once they do, they’ll be happily scampering toward their dinner bowl again.
Cats and dogs should eat at least two meals a day, about 12 hours apart. This food intake aligns more or less with a cat’s natural hunting schedule: dusk and dawn. Puppies require more regular feedings than their adult counterparts; most breeds need between three and six meals a day for the first year or so.
As a pet owner, you want to know exactly what you’re feeding your furry friend. However, pet food labels are very different from the nutrition facts on a box of cereal or jar of pasta sauce.
Still, the information you need is available, as long as you know what to look for. Check your pet’s food products for these tell-tale (or tell-tail) statements:
In contrast, seeing these words should be a major red flag: “This product is intended for intermittent and supplemental feeding only.”
Cats and dogs are easily lumped together in our brain’s “pet care” folder, but their dietary needs can vary as much as their behavior.
Dogs are indifferent omnivores. They can digest both animal proteins and plant products with little natural preference. You might notice this in the way that they’ll eat just about any fallen scrap or unattended snack. Grains can therefore be a valuable part of dog food nutrition.
Cats are carnivores. Unlike other household pets, cats are somewhat unique in that they require a diet rich in animal proteins. However, they can—and should—also digest plant-based nutrients to maintain a balanced diet. Cat food nutrition plans should include substantial animal-based protein, which contains the requisite amino acids arginine and taurine, and essential vitamins like niacin and vitamin D3. Cats also need pre-made vitamin A.
In addition to individual allergens, steer clear of these human foods when your feline friend or canine companion:
Cat Foods to Avoid
Foods to Steer Clear of All-Around
Toxic Foods for Dogs
Skip the guessing and chat live with a licensed vet 24/7 to get all your nutritional questions answered immediately.
Work with your Certified Pet Lifestyle Expert to develop a diet that works for you and your four legged friend.
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VCA Hospitals. Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Dog. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/feeding-times-and-frequency-for-your-dog
Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University. How do I switch my pet’s food? https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2019/11/how-do-i-switch-my-pets-food/