Is there anything more heart-warming than bringing a new puppy or kitten home? While adding a new furry friend to the family may be slightly daunting, especially for those keen to keep their furniture and slipper collection intact, there’s no doubt that having a pet can change your life for the better.
If you’re counting down the days until your new companion comes bounding or strutting into your home for the first time, here’s a useful guide to feeding puppies and kittens.
Pawsome tips for healthy pups
As a new puppy owner, it’s natural to want the best for your new best buddy, and it’s essential to be aware of how much food your puppy needs, and what kinds of products to buy. Puppies are the cutest creatures in the land, but don’t let those giant, innocent eyes fool you into parting with your dinner on a daily basis. Much as Fido may convince you that pies, mashed potato, and fish and chips are great for them, it’s advisable to get into the habit of keeping your meals and your dog’s dishes separate.
If you succumb to that gorgeous little face, you may find that you unwittingly give your pooch something that could be dangerous. When you’re shopping for food for your puppy, look for natural ingredients, and stick to puppy foods until your fur-ever friend is big and strong enough to move onto adult products.
When feeding puppies, you’ll find that they get hungry throughout the day. Puppies expend a lot of energy tearing around homes and chewing toys (or sofas!), so feeding them small amounts on a regular basis is often the best course of action.
Always follow the feeding instructions. The amount of food you give your puppy will depend on the breed and how active your canine companion is. Larger dogs that are always on the go will need more in the way of sustenance than those who prefer to reside on your lap. Dogs should always have a supply of fresh water.
As your puppy grows and matures, you can reduce the frequency of mealtimes and increase the size of those portions. Most adult dogs eat either once or twice a day. Make sure you keep tabs on your dog’s weight and combine nutritious, tasty meals with plenty of exercise.
Raising a kitten with cattitude: handy hints for feeding kittens
Kittens grow quickly, and they’re prone to mad half hours, which see them whizzing around the house usually attached to a shoelace or a toy mouse. With this in mind, it’s really important to ensure your kitten has access to high-quality food, which is designed to support growth and development. Like us humans who are partial to elevenses and a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, many cats like to graze, and kittens learn from their mums.
Once they have been weaned, and they’re taking an interest in meat and biscuits, you’ll probably find that they head over to their bowls whenever they get a little peckish and they fancy a snack. To keep food purrfectly fresh and appealing, try and avoid filling bowls too full and top them up during the day. If you’re introducing a new kitten food, give your feline friend a chance to get used to their new diet.
Cats are notoriously pernickity, and you might find that they turn their nose up to begin with and then change their mind. Like dogs, cats should also have a fresh supply of water.
Many kittens enjoy both wet and dry food, and providing a combination is a good way to introduce different types of food, make the menu more vibrant and yummy and cover all nutritional bases. Kittens grow like weeds, but don’t be fooled by their appearance.
Your once-tiny and impossibly cute kitten may look like a fully-fledged cat at the age of 7-8 months, but they are still developing, and ideally, they should be provided with kitten food until they celebrate their 1st birthday.
Foods to avoid giving puppies and kittens
As humans, we are programmed to fall for those massive, docile eyes and slightly-cocked faces that follow our forks longingly. Our cats and dogs look at us while we’re tucking into an evening feast, and we can’t help but think it’s our civil duty to share.
While there’s nothing wrong with the odd bit of meat or fish, there are lots of human foods that simply aren’t designed for dogs and cats. If you can get into the habit of staying strong when you’re under the glare of puppy dog eyes or you have Ronaldo-esque paws hovering around your plate ready to pounce, this will save you time, energy and a whole lot of guilt when your puppy or kitten gets older.
Here are some common staples to avoid giving to your pets to keep them feline good:
- Onions and garlic
- Raw eggs
- Grapes and raisins
- Fatty, processed meats
- Salty foods
- Raw fish
If you’re a self-confessed softie, and you can’t bear to dismiss your sidekick without offering a titbit of some sort, offer them a puppy or a kitten treat.