Trick or Treat: But to What Extent?

JOLLYES TEAM

Dog Health Cat Health Dog Food Cat Food Halloween

Questions

  • How many times a day should I feed my pet?
  • What’s the correct portion size for my pet?
Halloween is a time for giving, or at least giving everyone in the area toothache and filling the cupboards with enough sugar to last all the way through until Christmas! Usually, you eat it in the space of a few days and spend the next month regretting your decisions! More and more, we are including our pets in special events. We celebrate their birthdays and we now even dress them up every year as something spooky like a bat or a ghost or failing that, the talking dog from Up!
Just like us, our pets can overdo it so we have some handy information on how to hit the right balance this Halloween and have a healthy amount of tricks and treats, not solely one or the other. You should be aiming for tricks and treats, not just tricks or treats.

How many times a day should I feed my pet?

It’s generally recommended to feed pets twice a day due to the speed of their metabolism. This prevents them from getting too hungry and can keep them satisfied and not searching or getting for food throughout the day. There is some wiggle room for individuals though. Some conditions may require you to feed your pet more often; if they’re on medication that needs three doses with food per day then it’s sometimes best to split their meals into three. Overweight pets can also benefit from three smaller meals a day so they don’t get too hungry while they lose weight.

There are also graze feeders like dogs or cats who don’t like to eat a full meal in one sitting so it can make sense to give them their daily intake of food in the morning and let them pick and choose when to eat it throughout the day. This can only cause issues if it’s wet or raw food as they can spoil quite quicklym, so for graze feeders or pets who only need a single meal in a day, they’ll need a dry diet that can sit out all day and not go stale. Any leftover food should be thrown out in the evening so they start every day with fresh food.

What’s the correct portion size for my pet?

Portion size varies a lot depending on species, choice of diet and lifestyle of your pets. It’s generally recommended that dogs get between 2 to 3% of their body weight in dog food per day however you must also take into consideration how valuable and nutritionally dense their diet is. Every type of food you buy will have a feeding guide so you will know the exact amount for your pet’s body weight by following the brand specific guide.
The amount of food they should get depends on how many calories are in their diet and how quickly they burn off those calories. A pup that goes on multiple walks a day and spends it running around with no break will need more food than a pooch that weighs exactly the same but only goes on one gentle walk a day where they stick to their guardian’s side like glue.
It’s recommended that cats will need to consume between 150 to 250 calories per day depending on their size and activity levels. An indoor cat will need less food than a cat that spends most of their day roaming around outside. On every bag of dry cat food or on the back of cat food pouches will be a feeding guide that gives a good estimation of how much to feed them based on that specific food and your moggy’s body weight. It does vary with activity levels and how many extra calories they consume through treats, so it’s important to maintain a balance.

What’s the correct amount of treats to give my pet?

Pets should only be consuming a limited number of treats per day. Treats can be in the form of treats specially made for your pet like Good Boy Pawsley & Co Chicken Strips or it can be a nice natural chew like a pig’s ear or a carrot. It doesn’t matter what that treat is, it should still only make up a small amount of their total diet. It’s recommended that treats should make up no more than 10% of their total diet. This means that if your cat gets 150g of dried food in a day, they can have 15g of treats. You just have to be sure that you balance their meals and give them a little bit less to account for the calories they get from treats.
It’s difficult to be absolutely exact with measuring food but 15g of treats would look like one of these Webbox Cats Delight Lick-E-Lix with Chicken Cat Treat per day as the servings they come in is 15g. That doesn’t mean to say your pet needs to have that amount of treats per day, it just means that you won’t throw off the balance of their complete diet with just 10% of treats. Anything more though and you may find that their daily intake of food is no longer balanced and they’ll be lacking in some nutrients.

What are the dangers of overfeeding my pet?

Overfeeding your pet can be just as harmful as underfeeding. We tend to react to skinny animals in a different way to seeing a pudgy puppy or a fat cat but in reality, they are both just as damaging. If you’re feeding a pet too much in one go, they can quite easily get gastro issues. Loose stools, bloating and general discomfort around their abdomen are common signs of overfeeding. If you have a puppy it becomes even more obvious with their big pot bellies. If your pooch wolfs down their meals, they need more than one meal a day as eating all of their calories for one day in just a few short minutes will be too much for their stomach to process.

Long term overfeeding can lead to obesity and when a dog or cat is overweight, it can inhibit their organs from functioning normally. More weight puts extra strain on their joints, for older dogs with arthritis, it’s even more important to keep the extra weight off. If your pet ever needs surgery, being overweight puts them at a higher risk of going under anaesthetics. So, they would either need to lose weight first or it would make an emergency procedure more risky than it needs to be.
All pet parents who want to spend as long with their beloved fur babies as possible should aim to keep them happy and healthy to help them live longer and avoiding too many extra snacks can really help.

What foods should I avoid giving my pet too much of?

Any food can become an issue when you give too much to your pet. While we know that giving too much human food like table scraps or things that are bad for them can be harmful, any food if fed to excess can be bad for them. Too many treats will add too many calories and throw their balanced diet off, but at the same time, giving them more of their usual diet because they look hungry can be just as damaging. Getting your pet’s food right is a balance between making sure all the nutrients they need are available in a complete and balanced diet and giving them the calories they need to sustain energy throughout the day and no more.
You should avoid giving your pet too much food beyond the diet that keeps them fit and healthy! To find a diet that your pooch loves enough to make it a treat they will even consider doing tricks for, check out our wide range in store and online.