There is a type of animal abuse that is prevalent amongst many different kinds of pet owners: overfeeding. When you hear the term "abuse" you tend to think of beating your animal or underfeeding, but indeed overfeeding your animal can lead to health problems as well. Now, this isn't to say that owners who give in just a bit too frequently to their animals' pleas should be stripped of their furry friends and stoned in public; it's mostly a crime of innocent ignorance. This should provide you with knowledge of the dangerous effects of overfeeding as well as information on how much you should feed your pets daily.
Perhaps the kings of scavenging and begging for food are dogs. Who can resist those puppy eyes peering up at you from underneath the dinner table at night?! Dogs seem to have an insatiable appetite, and that's probably the exact truth of the matter. However, overfeeding your dog can be quite hazardous to their health. The biggest risk with overfeeding your dog is obesity. Many health problems can plague an overweight dog such as diabetes, muscle and ligament strains, joint deterioration, and arthritis. Your dog can also develop high blood pressure or even congestive heart failure from the overexertion to the heart caused by carrying around the excess weight.
The amount of food that a dog requires varies with breed:
- 10 lbs. or less - You should feed no more than 1/3 - 1 cup of dry food or if mixing canned with dry food you should feed ¼ can and ¾ cup dry food.
- 10-25 lbs. - 1-2 ¼ cups of dry food or ½ can and ½ - 1 ½ cups dry food.
- 25-50 lbs. - 2 ¼ - 3 ¾ cups dry food or 1 can and 1 - 2 ½ cups dry food.
- 50-75 lbs. - 3 ¾ - 5 cups dry food or 1 ½ can and 1 ¾ - 3 cups dry food.
- Over 75 lbs. - 5-8 cups of dry food or 2 cans and 2 ½ - 5 ¼ cups dry food.
Portion size is important for dogs. It may not look a lot to you and if you are following the manufacturer's guidelines you will not go too far wrong. Better still watch your dog, and make sure they have regular health checks.
Any good vet will weigh your dog and let you know if they are in the correct weight range. If not cut down on food and increase exercise it will work like a charm.
Treats as Snacks
Some humans like to snack during the day or evening, so naturally we assume our pets do too. While a snack is not a bad thing, giving dog treats many times throughout the day is. Too many biscuits could turn your pet off to their food. Instead, set a specific snack time each day. This could correspond with a convenient time for you, such as in the evening after dinner or later in the afternoon when you are done working. Your pet will soon learn the schedule and remind you when it is snack time. This will also help you control the number of calories and fat your dog is taking in each day to avoid health issues later in life. You can get the Actijoy Food & Water WiFi bowl can help you control the amount of food your pet eats. www.actijoy.com
Reassess Your Dog's Eating Habits
Are you feeding your canine friend a balanced diet or are you overindulging him with "people food"? Improper feeding and table scraps are two of the main reasons for dog weight control problems. Select a balanced food for your pet and feed them the proper amount. The general formula for determining food quantities is 1.5 cups per twenty pounds of body weight for small breeds and 1 cup per twenty pounds for larger breeds. Avoid giving your pet leftovers or table scraps. Not only will they make weight control difficult, high-fat foods increase your pet's risk of pancreatitis.
Reevaluate Your Dog's Exercise Habits
Any dog that lies around all day is going to have problems with weight control is that they likely will want to eat much. Make time in the morning for a brisk thirty-minute walk with your furry friend and an additional one in the evening if your schedule allows. Other ways to get them more active is to teach them to play ball or frisbee and play daily. Regular trips to the park or a doggie daycare facility are also excellent ways to motivate them to be more active. Not only can regular exercise help with their weight control program, it may also help your pet live longer and happier!