5 Common Mistakes Pet Parents Make While Feeding their Dogs & Cats ~ Geet Rao

They say ‘knowledge is power’ and I partially agree with it! I think right knowledge is power, while incorrect knowledge often leads to mistakes! This applies to whatever we are doing in life, including feeding our pets!

Pet nutrition is an underrated subject and lack of knowledge on this subject leads us to make mistakes while feeding our pets. So, I would like to share 5 common mistakes pet parents make while feeding their dogs:

Missing Calcium or Calcium Overdosage:

Determining the right calcium need for your pet is important. Under-dosage of calcium may lead to improper formation of joints in growing pets and poor bone and joint health in adult pets. Whereas, its over dosage can lead to calcification in kidneys and may also cause formation of calcium oxalate stones!

The right dosage of calcium must be determined by a pet nutritionist based on the weight, stage of life, current diet and the lifestyle of your pet. Some pet parents add egg shell powder to their pet’s food on their own. However, as little as half an egg shell can provide the calcium requirement of an adult human for a day! Thus, self-supplementation can easily lead to overdosage of calcium and therefore, kidney stones in the long run.

Feeding any bones:

Many pet parents feed any kind of bones to their pets, such as chicken bones or bones from table scraps. However, cooked bones from table scraps should not be fed to dogs. Cooking the bones makes them soft and they can easily chip-off while your pooch is feeding on them. These sharp pieces may get stuck in your dog’s intestine! This risk is also there if we feed brittle bones such as those of chicken or other small birds. If at all you want to feed bones to your dog, better to feed strong bones of big animalslike a buffalo or not feed them at all!

Free Feeding:

Often times, we leave our pet’s food in his bowl, leaving it up to our pet’s will to eat the food whenever he/ she wishes to! But this will either render the food unfit to eat or make your pooch a picky and an undisciplined eater! So, always let your pooch’s food stay in the bowl for about 20 minutes, after which it must be taken away!

Feeding Table Scraps:

Feeding table scraps is a practice in many households. But table scraps consist of many ingredients which are unfit for pet consumption, especially onions, garlic and salt. Onions and garlic have been known to cause a disease called Heinz Body Anaemia in dogs and cats, while excess of salt can lead to pH imbalance in your dog’s body and cause the body’s cells to release their moisture (just the way pickles are made by adding salt to vegetables). As dogs do not sweat, they do not loose and therefore extra salt can quickly lead them to a seizure. Extra quantity of salt overtime can lead to poor organ health.

Dehydrated Foods:

Feeding dry kibble has become a norm.But can you imagine eating a bowl of dry food as a meal yourself? Feeding dry foods regularly can lead to dehydration and also over-heating in pets. This in turn is a trigger for many diseases. Feed your dog or cat with hydrated food to give him/ her the best of health. Also, make sure that your pet has access to his or her water bowl at all times. Some pets make up for their moisture loss by drinking enough water if they have access to it!

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