Grubby Paws - For Your Pets Healthy Eating

Diet and Routine

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The optimum diet and routine for your cat or dog mimic the way Mother Nature intended them to eat — keeping in mind that a domestic lifestyle means your pet requires fewer calories than that of their wild cousins.

Indeed, obesity and diabetes are becoming common threats to the health of our companion dogs and cats, and feeding a carbohydrate-limited and low glycemic foosd can make an enormous and positive impact on your pet's quality of life.

Just like people, dogs and cats benefit from diversity in their diets, but their systems rarely respond well to sharp changes, so routines are modified gradually.

 

Here you'll find simple and proven tips to help keep your cherished pet happy, healthy and strong.

HOW SHOULD I FEED MY PET?

  1. Feed according to your dog's size, breed and stage of life. Consider that puppies require up to twice the energy of full-grown dogs, and that overweight and senior dogs often need smaller meals – just like people!
  2. We recommend that you feed twice daily. Divide the amount suggested on the feeding guide into two meals, spaced eight to twelve hours apart. You may need to adjust portions as you learn your pet's ideal daily "maintenance" amount. Keep in mind that a lean dog or cat is a healthy dog or cat! Fresh water from a clean dish should always be available.
  3. Make sure fresh clean water is always available!
    About 70 per cent of your dog or cat's body is made up of water. It's vital for cell function and tissue lubrication. In fact, water is more important to your dog or cat than any other nutrient. Many health problems result from water imbalance. Urinary tract disease (stones, crystals), liver disease, kidney disease and constipation are often related to water balance. The first line of defense against urinary tract disease is not always a special diet – generally veterinarians will first suggest that their clients increase the pet's water consumption – as urine becomes more diluted, crystals are prevented from forming or turning into stones. When it's hot or if your pet is sick, especially with diarrhea, water is even more important.
  4. Try to provide meals at roughly the same time each day. This helps create a routine for your dog or cat and establishes a comfortable eating pattern.
  5. Don't overfeed! Follow the guidelines on your feed package. Even if your dog seems hungry, overfeeding leads to obesity – the number one health concern among companion dogs and cats today.

CAN I GIVE MY PET TREATS?

We all love to give treats to our dogs and cats. However, treats should be given in moderation, and should represent five percent or less of your cat or dog's daily food intake. The rest should come from a nutritionally complete feeding program. When you do have to use treats, such as during training exercises, try to use the smallest pieces you can.

HOW SHOULD I TRANSITION MY PET FROM ONE FOOD TO ANOTHER?

Dogs and cats are often fed the same food day after day, week after week. This causes their digestive systems to adapt to the single food, making change more difficult. That's why it's important to introduce any new food gradually. This will give your dog or cat time to adjust to their new food, reducing the chance of digestive upset.

Start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food. Slowly change the proportions over the seven days by gradually increasing the amount of new food, and decreasing the amount of old food.

At the end of this transitioning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new diet, and your dog or cat will thank you!

WHAT IS ROTATION FEEDING?

We endorse rotational feeding. Because we believe variety is so important, you will find that the majority of our foods contain multiple protein and fat sources built in.

A simple way to understand the value of rotation feeding is to think about your own diet: would you eat chicken and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Day in and day out? Would you look forward to your next meal? Would it be a healthy and balanced diet?

Biologically Appropriate™ diet means variety.

What are the benefits of rotation feeding?

  • Fewer food intolerances: Most food-related intolerances develop against common ingredients such as chicken, wheat, corn, or soy. These health issues typically develop over time because people consistently feed the same food over and over. Rotation feeding reduces the risk of developing intolerances, because your pet is not fed a single protein source long enough to become sensitive to it.
  • Enthusiasm for meals: Rotational feeding helps maintain interest at mealtime. When dogs and cats become overly accustomed to a single texture and taste, they can become less inclined to try new foods.
  • Balance: While most dog and cat foods claim to be "complete and balanced," rotational feeding provides a variety of essential proteins and fats, promoting a nutrient intake that better matches the natural diet and promotes peak conditioning.

TROUBLESHOOTING DIET

What's the scoop on stool?

The best stool is well formed and regular (once a day or twice a day). Loose or soft stool is often related to a rushed transition or overfeeding. See above for information on transitioning your pet to higher quality foods.

Overfeeding is the most common cause of loose stool, as people often do not adjust for the added richness and enhanced digestibility when switching to a higher quality food. Here's what to do:

  1. Check the feeding guides on the packaging for suggested feeding amounts. Keep in mind that these are a starting point, and need to be adjusted based on the individual needs of your cat or dog.
  2. Reduce feedings slightly, by about 10-15% daily.
  3. Feel free to call us to discuss how to resolve any stool issues your pet may be experiencing.

Uh oh, my pet is overweight. What now?

Many dogs have large appetites and will eat all you offer them. As holistic foods foods are highly palatable, you need to be especially careful not to overfeed. Obesity at any age causes serious health issues. While all of our foods have feeding guidelines printed on the package, every dog and cat is different. Our guidelines are a starting point.

Keep a close eye on your dog or cat's body condition. If he or she looks too thin, feed a little more. If he looks like he is carrying too much weight, scale back, a little at a time. And don't forget to check-in with your vet occasionally.

Remember that while your dog or cat may act hungry, their body condition is the best gauge of how much to feed. If you're having problems, just call us.

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