Are you feeding your pet too much? See my tips on how to prevent it.

cat photo
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Overfeeding! Or as I like to call it, killing your pet with kindness.
That may sound harsh but it couldn’t be more true.
A lot of owners are over-feeding their pets, and this is leading to high numbers of obese pets across the globe.
Are you overfeeding your pet? See my tips on how to prevent it.

Are you feeding your pet too much? See my tips on how to prevent it.

As a vet nurse, this is a battle we face on a daily basis.
The hours spent educating what a healthy pet should look like, and then trying to convince, or motivate owners to help their pet lose weight.
It can be a very sensitive subject for owners, and needs a gentle approach.
All of which can be time-consuming.

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How do we fall into an overfeeding trap?

Owners love spoiling their pets with the latest chewy toys, and delicious treats.
However, they also fall into the trap of over humanising their fur babies and feeding them foods they like to eat themselves. We do this without thinking about how many calories we are allowing our pets to consume.
Of course, most pets are more than willing to gobble up whatever you offer them and they are adorably unaware of the consequences of overeating.
In-fact they will do everything possible to convince you otherwise.
This is how we fall into “killing with kindness”. We feel kind for feeding them what they want, however, the overeating is slowly killing them.

What are the consequences of overfeeding my pet?

An obese animal is more susceptible to so many health issues.
For example diabetes, Heart issues and arthritis are just some of the many conditions that can be caused by or made worse by excess fat on an animal.

How will I know if I’m overfeeding my pet?


We feel good for treating our pets with the various food items that we enjoy. However, our pets don’t need these foods and the consequences of these treats is much higher for our beloved best friends.
If you’re wanting more detail on the calorie needs for your dog or cat.
I have provided links for a dog calories per day calculator. These give you an idea of how many calories your dog or cat should be having per day. https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Calorie-Needs-for-Healthy-Adult-Dogs.pdf
Cat- https://wsava.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Calorie-Needs-for-Healthy-Adult-Cats.pdf

Please also be aware most vet recommended diets will have a how much food should I feed my dog chart on the back of the bag. This is also the same for cat and other pet foods too.

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For example, if an average-sized dog is fed a small biscuit, that is equal to a human eating a whole cheeseburger! So you can see how easy it is to overfeed.


There are so many great vet recommended dog foods on the market.
Veterinary clinic staff are your best dog food advisor, not only can they point you in the direction of great diets, they can teach you which dog food brands to avoid and of course all other household pets too.
Veterinary recommended science-based pet food is designed to give your pet everything they need, in the right amounts, and its the healthiest way to feed your dog or pet.
Please talk to your vet about diets available for your fur child = )

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How can I prevent overfeeding?

Instead of giving your pet that crust off your toast in the morning or the sausage off the BBQ, here are some tips to avoid overfeeding.

  • Instead of using higher-calorie foods like meat, sausage and cheese. Try Using, diet biscuits, and small amounts of boiled pumpkin for training.
  • Save some of their daily food allowance in a bag. Every time you feel they need a treat and you can’t bear not giving them something, you now have a stash of, perfectly proportioned, suitable food there and waiting.
  • Tell friends and family not to feed your pet at gatherings like BBQs.
    It’s very easy for someone to slip your pet a cheeky piece from the grill.
    In reality, its just encouraging begging and overfeeding. In my house, it’s a big no-no and I make it clear when my friends and family are around not to feed my fur babies.
  • Lastly, if you really feel your pet needs something else in their day that’s different from their Am + PM meals. You can make your own healthy treats from their regular dry food.

These are all great ways to avoid overfeeding and giving your pet unhealthy foods.

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While we are on this subject.

It can be hard for owners to notice or determine if their pet even has a weight issue let alone if they’re overfeeding.
Here are some links to body condition score videos to help you determine what body score your pet is.
Dogs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7lHRRbmpBQ
Cats – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14hfMgyDl44

Frequently asked questions answered

  • What time of day should I feed my dog
    Its recommended to feed your pet twice daily Once in the morning and once in the evening. Generally spacing the meals out 10-12 hours is good.
  • What is the best food to feed my dog
    This is something you need to discuss with your Vet! Every pets needs are different, and depending on their life stage or even breed different diets can be required. Please talk to your Vet clinic staff about which diet they recommend for your pet.
  • How to measure dog food portions
    Most bagged food will come with a measuring cup and have a ‘how much should I feed my dog chart’ on the back. However, if you are struggling the Vet clinic staff will be able to show you how to measure dog food portions, Just ask them = )
  • Home cooked dog food
    Now most of us in the Veterinary industry don’t recommend this. No, it is not because were money-hungry salespeople trying to sell you expensive dog food.
    The reason is 9/10 home-made food just isn’t balanced nutritionally and we see the consequences of this on a daily basis in the clinic. The reason we recommend science-based food is because it truly is balanced for your pets nutritional needs.

  • Can I feed my dog 3 times a day
    Adult dogs generally only need to be feed twice daily. Puppy however often require more meals as they are growing.
    If you are wanting to feed your pet more than the recommended twice daily, please make sure you are splitting their daily allowance by 3 and not adding in an extra meal of its own.


As always, Thanks for reading = )

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When to let your pet go? A detailed guide on pet quality of life scale.

When to let your pet go

When to let your pet go

Over the years I have watched many owners go through the process of euthanizing their pets. I have witnessed the struggle to make that decision.


This has inspired me to help explain ‘When to let your pet go’.

We love our pets however this can cloud our judgment.
When a client asks me how they will know when it’s the right time, I will often refer to the “Pet quality of life scale and daily diary”.

A lot of us in the veterinary industry turn to these guides to evaluate a patient’s quality of life.
If you have an elderly or terminally sick pet its good to ask yourselves these questions when considering euthanasia.

When to let a pet go

Pet Quality Of Life Scale And Daily Diary

Happiness

Is the animal happy? are they still engaged in the family and their day. Does the pet continue to play, go outside, and do things they normally love to do?
If the pet appears more turned off to life then the quality of life is compromised.

Pain

Is the animal’s pain managed well, if they are on pain medication/s and they are still struggling to move or be comfortable then its time to contact your vet and discuss euthanasia?

When to let a pet go

Appetite

Are they eating? If your pet isn’t eating that is a clear sign something is wrong.


If you are having to hand feed roast chicken every day just to get a few bites in then the animal is not engaged in its meals.

Mobility

Is the animal able to move freely, can they get up and go outside on their own or are you having to assist your pet on a daily basis?

If you have to help your pet with basic daily movements then their quality of life is compromised.

Hygiene

Is the animal soiling itself and are they able to move away from it?


Are you finding your pet soiled more often than not?
Hygiene is then an issue, no-one wants to find their pet soiled and worse they can develop sores and scald from excrement being left on the skin.


It is much nicer to let your pet go before they get to this stage.

More good days than bad?

When there are too many bad days in a row, quality of life is compromised. Bad days may mean nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, frustration, unrelenting pain/discomfort, or inability to breathe.

Not every day needs to be a bad day to make a call on saying goodbye.
You don’t want to wait until your pet is at the stage that every single day is a struggle.
If you start to notice that more days are seeming harder than they should then its time to make that decision.

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If you are finding yourself answering yes to these questions then please make an appointment with your vet.
Your Vet is there to help you with this and there are many options for Home euthanasia or a peaceful clinic appointment.


We are so lucky to have the option of euthanasia for our pets. Even though it feels impossible its the best gift you can give an animal that is ready to leave this world.


As always thanks for reading.

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Consequences Of Over-Grooming Explained, How to Wash A DogThe Right Way.

how wash dog

How Wash Dog

Owners love caring for their dog’s needs, however, we tend to over humanize our furry friends.


I want to explain Why owners should wash their dogs less and what the consequences of overwashing are.

How often do you wash your dog?
With so many lotions and potions on the market to make dogs smell like all sorts of flavours and treat various skin conditions.


Owners are over grooming their pets!
What I’m about to tell you may sound crazy but washing your dog less is better!


However, before we start, if your animal is under the treatment of a veterinarian and/or an Animal dermatologist then their treatment plan and advice is best.

Certain skin conditions may require regular washing with a prescribed shampoo, please always follow your Vets advice first.

Chihuhua dog being washed
how wash dog



The information I’m giving is based on my opinion.
Having worked in the veterinary industry for over 10 years, the last 2 of those being in a special interest dermatology clinic.


I’m here to tell you why washing less frequently is better for your best friend.

1. Shampoo and soap/s

Strip away your pets natural oils and skin barrier protection. This leaves the skin dry and more vulnerable to UV damage, atopic skin flares, infections and more

2. If your dog has a skin condition already

washing frequently with the wrong product may cause the skin to get worse and make flares more severe.

3. Human shampoo and soap/s

Are too strong for dogs always use a veterinary recommended shampoo designed for your animal.

4. Drying

Rubbing, towel drying or using a hairdryer irritates the hair follicles.

5. Pet smells bad all the time?

If Your pet is needing to be washed regularly because they smell bad all the time, it could potentially be because they have an underlying skin condition that needs your vet’s attention.

The Itchy Dog Skin Journey:

If Your dog suffers from ongoing skin problems or is itchy all the time, check out my numerous posts on canine skin disease’s and how you can help manage your dogs skin longer term.

The Start – Is Your Dog Consistently Itchy? Heres Where To Start

Food Allergies – Cause Itchy Skin, Heres How To Trial Your Dogs Diet.

Environmental Allergies – One Of The Most Common Causes Of Itch Issues In Dogs

Does Your Dog Only Get Itchy In Winter? – Here Are 5 Reasons Why!

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how wash dog

Washing your dog too frequently with the wrong products can cause skin irritations to develop. This can confuse owners into thinking something is wrong with their dog’s skin when in reality they are just over washing them.


Don’t get me wrong washing your dog less is best but that doesn’t mean you need to leave them covered in mud or smelling up your home!!

Wash your

pet the right way!

1. Less is best

Only wash your fur baby when needed eg: they have rolled in something foul as dog’s love to do occasionally

2. Always use a pet friendly product

Always use a product recommended by your vet or a professional.
Pet shampoos exist and are available at your local pet stores and vet clinics.

3. Rinse well with water

Rinse them well with water
Make sure you rinse all the product off their skin this can take 5-10 mins of rinsing to achieve, Leaving the product on the skin to dry can cause irritations

4. Let them dry all natural

If you can let them air dry naturally, pick a nice warm day to wash your best friend, pat the excess water off using a towel and then leave them to dry all-natural style.


This will be the least irritating way for the skin to dry.
Try to avoid vigorous rubbing and hair dryers.

So there you have it, owners, wash your pet less!
I hope this post can educate and help prevent pets from developing irritations caused by over washing.

As Always,
Thanks for reading

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