With hundreds of different types of pet foods on the market, particularly for cats and dogs, the choice is often overwhelming. There’s dry food, wet food, food that’s somewhere in between, foods for special breeds, conditions or diets, raw food and the occasional story of people cooking up beef, chicken or tuna steaks for their dogs or cats. Even for small animals there are dozens of different types of food.
Complete foods for dogs and cats are the most popular choice for pet owners as they include all of the different nutrients that your pet needs and come in a choice of wet or dry. Wet foods are generally slightly more expensive, but have set portion sizes as they come in pouches or tins and some pets find them more appealing. Dry foods tend to be cheaper, are less messy, and come in large bags, giving you control over portion sizes.
Fnding a food your pet enjoys can be a difficult process. If you have a particularly fussy pet, it’s important not to try to entice them to eat with treats, gravy or other additions to their dinner as they will associate turning down food with getting treats and may fall into a cycle of refusing food and expecting rewards.
This only applies to pets who are consistently fussy – if your pet’s appetite suddenly drops, take them to your vet.
Rabbits and most other small animals need a diet that consists mostly of grass and hay. Their teeth continually grow, so they need mainly low-energy, high-fibre foods to grind them down. Mixes and pellets are useful as diet supplements, but as they can satisfy energy needs with a far smaller volume of food, they can lead to dental problems and obesity. A good guide is that around just 5-10% of their diet should be mix or vegetables.
If in doubt about what to feed your pet, if their appetite has suddenly dropped, or if you’re concerned they are over or under weight, our vets and nurses can advise on the nutrition for your pet. To book an appointment, call us on 01453 752555.