Mistakes in pet nutrition

As a pet owner, you might have mistaken ideas about nutrition. One of the most common mistakes is thinking that home-cooked meals are better than commercial pet food.

Commercial pet food is specifically designed to cover all the nutritional needs of the animal species it is meant to feed, but the love a pet owner puts into making a home-cooked meal neither improves nor worsens its final quality. This really depends on less sentimental factors such as the correct selection of the ingredients for each animal species, the quality of these ingredients or the correct nutritional balance.

Another frequent mistake has to do with how often to feed your pet. This depends on its age, activity level and general condition. To avoid making a mistake you should pay attention to the instructions given by the manufacturer on the package and to your veterinary surgeon’s expert advice. The feeding regime will be different if your pet is a cat, a dog, a kitten or a puppy, or over seven years old. It is always recommended to feed your pet several times a day so there are no leftovers and so that fewer problems, such as gastritis or dilation of the stomach, arise.

As to treats, many pet owners feel that using –and abusing- them is not a problem. This is simply not true. If they are used adequately, not to excess, treats are not a problem. But frequently this is not so. Prizes and rewards should average between 5 and 10% of your pet’s total daily intake. If you exceed these percentages you could cause your pet serious problems over time.

Finally, we would like to write about another frequent mistake. Many owners think that it is necessary to give their pets extra calcium and vitamins apart from what is provided by the commercial pet food they feed their pet every day. Actually, if a healthy puppy or kitten eats specifically designed commercial pet foods they do not need to be given any supplements. By this we mean that you should not give extra amounts of vitamins and calcium if your dog eats a product that is specific for its age, activity level and general condition.

Did you know...

Fresh horchata (a traditional drink usually made from ground tigernuts) should be kept refrigerated at a maximum temperature of two degrees Celsius.

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