Nutrition is the building block for health as well as a tool to help during illness. Like us, it is the quality of the food our pets eat that plays a major part in determining how well their bodies function, the quality of their life and longevity. Diabetes, kidney failure, arthritis, cancers, allergies are affecting our pets at ever increasing rates. There are even Veterinary Oncologists specialists now! Just like us it all comes back to the food our pets are eating and environmental factors.
I advocate feeding dogs and cats a Bones And Raw Food, BARF, diet. It does not need to be difficult or expensive. Common sense tells us cats and dogs are biologically designed to eat meat; not corn, cereals or mainly dried food called kibble. Sure they can eat any of these foods, just like we can consume fried foods and soft drinks but this does not mean that they will remain healthy if they eat these foods long term. Have you ever wondered why kibble/dried food can sit in a bowl for days and not go off?
I do acknowledge that with cats that have been fed dried kibble for a long time it may not be possible to transition them to a raw diet, you can only try.
If your pet is suffering from an illness, disease, allergy or digestive issues these nutrition suggestions will need to be adjusted and they woudl benefit from other holistic treatments; so please get in touch.
How much to feed is the big question.
Generally cats should be fed the equivalent of 3-5% of body weight and dogs 2-3%. E.g. A 5kg cat would require between 150-250gm a day.
A 30kg dog would need between 600-900gms a day. Kittens and puppies need 5-10% of their body weight, the higher end when having growth spurts. Pregnant and lactating animals require a special diet.
There are a few factors to take into consideration. Age, lifestyle, are they indoor or outdoor pets. If your pet is very active they may need more, e.g. an active cat may need up to 5% of its body weight and likewise if your pet leads a fairly sedentary life they will need a little less.
Keep an eye on their weight. If your pet is outside a lot in winter they will need more food during the colder months than summer. Ideally you should be able to feel but not see their ribs. As a rule of thumb; If you can see their ribs they are under weight, if you cannot feel their ribs they are over weight.