Pet Food Faqs

How much should I feed my pet?

Choose a high-quality food (Download our dog food comparison chart) and look at the recommendations on the label. Remember, these feeding recommendations are simply guidelines, not absolutes. There is often a wide range listed and there is little consistency in feeding guidelines between brands. You must know your pet’s weight and use the chart on the bag to determine the recommended quantity to feed your pet. You should also know your pet’s activity level. Pets that are more active need more food, like us. But most importantly, use common sense in deciding how much to feed. If your pet is getting fatter feed less. If your pet is getting thinner, feed more.

Which type of food should I feed, dry or canned?

Dry food has some benefits over canned food:

  • Dry food is more convenient to serve.
  • Dry food is easy to store.
  • Dry food has less odor.
  • Dry food is more hygienic and less likely to spoil once placed in the pet’s bowl.
  • Dry food is less expensive.
  • Dry food may help reduce the buildup of tartar.

However, if your dog has certain medical conditions for which you need to increase his or her water intake (such as kidney disease or a bladder infection), feeding canned food may be more beneficial since it has a higher water content. When trying to determine the best type of food for your dog, ask your veterinarian.

Can I mix dry food with canned food?

Yes, you can mix dry food with canned food, but you will lose some of the benefits of dry food. (You’ll have more odor, increased chance for spoilage, and increased expense). It is also more difficult to determine exactly how much to feed. If you choose to mix your pet’s food, be sure to adjust quantities accordingly.

Can I feed my pet free-choice?

We do not usually recommend that you feed your pet free-choice (providing a constant food supply throughout the day). It can sometimes work if your pet is a “nibbler,” and does not overeat. However, most dogs will probably overeat, and you may end up attracting rodents to your pet feeding areas. This can lead to diseases such as leptospirosis (spread from rat urine) becoming a problem in your home. Please note that your pet should have a plentiful supply of water throughout the day.

How should I switch my pet from one food to another?

Normal bacteria in the intestine help your pet digest her food. A sudden change in food can result in changes to the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, a pet needs to be switched to a new food slowly. By ‘slowly’ we mean gradually over the course of 7-10 days. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days, then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Then you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time your dog starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching the food.

One of my pets is on a special diet. How can I make sure she doesn’t eat the others’ food?

If one of your pets requires a special diet, feed her in a room separate from your other pets’ feeding area. If you have a cat with special dietary needs, try feeding her on a surface high above the other pets’ food (such as a counter or table) where the other pets can’t reach it. As another option, place food for a smaller animal (such as a kitten, puppy, small cat, or toy dog) inside a cupboard or closet with the door secured partially open, and make the opening too small/narrow for other pets to get through.

Is it ok to give pets table scraps?

You can give your pet table scraps, provided that they are low in fat, salt and sugar, but treats developed for pets are a much better choice. Just make sure that treats or table scraps do not comprise more than 10% of your pet’s total diet. Avoid fatty foods like chicken skin, or the scraps of fat you’ve trimmed off your dinner steak, as well as high-sugar foods like candy and baked goods. Also, never give chicken bones that may splinter and cause harm to your pet. Be aware, however, that by feeding table scraps, you’ll typically have a lifelong “beggar” at your table whenever you eat.

Do I need to feed my specific breed of pet a specific food?

No. Your pet’s nutritional needs are not based specifically on breed, but rather on age, activity level, temperament, environment, and physical makeup. Therefore, look for a food that fits your pet’s basic health and nutritional needs, rather than breed. And as always, if you’re unsure about what to feed your pet, contact your veterinarian.

Does the amount to be fed in the feeding guidelines on a bag or can pertain to each meal or the daily amount?

It usually pertains to the total daily amount to be fed. If feeding multiple meals, divide the daily amount accordingly.

How should pet food be stored

Heat, light and humidity are the natural enemies of pet food. To best avoid all of them and keep your pet’s food fresh and delicious, we recommend storing bagged food in the original bag with the top tightly rolled down inside an air-tight container. If at all possible, avoid storing your pet’s food in a humid environment such as a basement or laundry room. Partially used canned food should be tightly covered and refrigerated immediately. It should be used within 2-3 days of the date it was opened. Be sure to use both canned and dry foods by the “Best Before” date.