Tip 3 – Provide a nutritious and well-balanced diet

The dietary requirements of your pet will depend on their species, but providing a good quality, appropriate food is important for all animals’ health and wellbeing.  Overfeeding and underfeeding can both cause problems, although by far the most common problem at the moment is overfeeding, with obesity being a major welfare concern for our pets.

Dogs

Golden Retriever puppy sitting in food bowlDogs need a balanced food suitable for their breed and life-stage.  Puppies who will grow to more than 25kg adult weight need particularly careful feeding to make sure that their bone growth is controlled.  The wrong food can lead to severe joint problems.  Dog food is generally divided into wet food, dry kibble or raw food.  Each has their pros and cons and there are various types of each food ranging from poor quality to good quality.  Do your research carefully and chat with your veterinary practice about the best food to feed your dog.  For more information, visit our dog nutrition pages.



Cats

Ragdoll kitten eating from bowlCats need a balanced food aimed at their life-stage and activity level.  Kittens need higher calorie food for growth.  There are some diets which reduce hairball formation and these are great in the longer-coated breeds.  Indoor cats have lower activity levels and therefore require fewer calories.  Diets aimed at older cats can help to reduce the strain on the kidneys.  In general, feeding cats a mixture of wet and dry food is advisable, although if your cat suffers from urinary tract problems or kidney disease, a wet food only diet can help.  Some types of kibble can help to reduce dental disease.  For more information, visit our cat nutrition pages.



Fibrevores

Rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas are known as fibrevores because high quantities of indigestible fibre (e.g. hay and grass) should form the main part of their diet.  Muesli-type diets are unhealthy for these animals.  They should eat mainly hay and grass, supplemented with smaller quantities of fresh leafy vegetables and small quantities of concentrated nuggets.  For more information, visit our rabbit nutrition and guinea pig pages.


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