Puppies and kittens are different from adult dogs and cats, and so their nutritional needs are very different. Some commercial puppy or kitten foods may be suitable for your pet, as it is extremely difficult to achieve the correct balance of calories, vitamins and minerals in a homemade diet.
Raw meat and fish can be a source of Salmonella and E. coli infection and therefore feeding these to your puppy or kitten is not recommended. Dried food may help reduce tartar accumulation on the teeth, is easy to feed the correct amount, can be used in activity feeders and is often less expensive than wet. Hills Pet Nutrition diets, which we recommend, also helps to prevent urinary tract problems which can be encountered with
some other dried foods.
Use the feeding guide on the label of your chosen food as a starting point and adjust the amount to maintain optimum body weight. The amount of food required may vary depending on age, size, activity level, temperament, environment and health – we are always happy to advise on the individual requirements of your pet.
Puppies should be fed three or four times daily up until six months of age, when one or two meals a day is appropriate.
Cats are naturally grazers eating several small meals each day. But please take care not to overfeed as it can lead to obesity.
Puppies and kittens can suffer from diarrhoea and/or colitis if they are suddenly changed from one diet to another. Ask the breeder which food your pet was given to continue with this diet and change it very gradually over a week or so.
We recommend the Hills Pet Nutrition range of diets as we feel they will give your pet the very best start in life.
Adjusting quantities as your pet grows:
Weigh your pet regularly and adjust the amount of food as necessary. You should be able to easily feel the ribs and backbone of an adult dog. It is usually best not to feed your dog on titbits or table scraps. If you do provide treats throughout the day, remember to reduce the amount of dog food given in the evening meal to compensate!
Many cats are sensible about the amount of food that they eat. Some cats are too greedy and will become overweight if allowed unrestricted access to food so it’s best to keep an eye on their weight and limit the food offered to recommended levels. This is important because obesity puts cats at greater risk of urinary tract disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Activity feeders can be a great way to make meal times interesting and we would recommend at least one meal per day is given in this way. We have a great range for sale in our clinics.
Our trained staff are always happy to give advice about any aspect of your pet’s nutrition, so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.