If you’ve read any of the reviews on this website you should have a fair idea of what’s good and what isn’t by now. But how do you know if a food is right for your dog (or cat)?

cat and dog dietSome pets take to foods where others don’t. I often hear of people with a few cats, where one will love a food but the others won’t touch it. Sometimes, especially when changing from one food to another, it can take a few weeks for the animal to adjust.

A lot of people believe their pet hates a food because they don’t eat much of it, which could be far from the truth. Unlike humans, animals only eat enough to satiate their appetite and nutritional requirements. If you give a dog a food largely made up of filler they may eat more of it to extract the nutrients they need. That means they’re eating a lot of waste which could lead to obesity, sickness, and other medical issues.

Ingredients like salt and flavorings may attract a dog to a poor quality food, so be wary of that too. If you feed an animal the right food, then you may find they eat less of it – that’s a good thing!

Here’s a short check list to ensure you’re feeding a right food:

  • Skin and coat should look healthy. The coat should have a glossy sheen.
  • Stools should be firm and brown.
  • Energy level should be appropriate to their age and breed.
  • They should seem to be in overall good health.

Most manufacturers create foods for different life stages, from puppies and kittens, adults, to old age. Always try and feed a food specific to your pets age. Puppies and kittens for example need a higher protein food, more calories, and more nutrients than adults.

As a general rule, your pet should have two meals a day. How much they eat is dependant on their size and energy needs. You should also ensure they have a suitable water intake, with fresh water being available every day in a clean bowl.

Never feed your dog chocolate. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs.