Free Feeding Pets? Not Worth the Price

Work with your veterinarian to determine an appropriate weight for your pet and exactly how much of which food to give him. The guidelines on the bag are a start, but every pet is an individual. You may need to adjust the recommended amount, depending on whether your dog or cat needs to gain or lose weight.

Schedule regular meals instead of leaving food out all day and measure amounts precisely. No guesstimating! Level off that measuring cup instead of heaping it high.

In the Becker household, with both our dogs and our cats, we measure out food to the closest eighth of a cup. And all of our pets, I can swear, are on the thin side and at their ideal body weight. As a result, our five dogs and three cats will have a greater chance of limited health problems and more years on this earth.

If the idea of a regular mealtime doesn’t work for you, I have an even better suggestion. Measure out a day’s worth of your pet’s food and put it inside a food puzzle. He’ll have to “hunt” for his food by pushing or otherwise manipulating the toy. That helps him burn calories, stay alert, revive his hunting instincts and ensure that he doesn’t inhale all of his food at once. Your dog or cat will have a more interesting and “full-filling” day.

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