Posts Tagged ‘food’
Dogs are a great delight to have around. They provide companionship, unconditional love, and a warm greeting when you walk in the door. They can also be a real pain in the neck at times. If your beloved Bela is a picky eater, you know what it’s like to pull your hair out over a dog. When she turns her nose up at brand after brand of dog food, what are you supposed to do? Let her starve?
First of all, you will want to give some thought to the underlying cause of Bela’s pickiness. Take her to the vet to rule out any physical problems. If her pickiness is new or if she is displaying any other unusual symptoms or behaviors, a trip to the vet is especially important. She could have a hormonal imbalance, a parasite, or she could have swallowed something she shouldn’t have.
If your vet tells you that Bela is perfectly healthy, look in the mirror to find your culprit. Dogs are not naturally choosy about what they eat, so if Bela is physically well and turning her nose up at kibble, it’s probably your fault. You are letting her get away with picky behavior in some way. Maybe you feed her too many table scraps and now she insists on eating your food. Maybe you have let her get away with eating wet food and now you can’t get her on kibble again. Whatever you have done to encourage her, rest assured you can change it.
Turning around Bela’s picky eating habits is important. You need her to eat well and to eat the right foods so that she will be healthy and live a nice long life.
1. No more treats! Stop giving Bela treats, both human and doggy. She can survive a long time on a few table scraps and tasty treats. She is not going to starve if she keeps getting these and therefore, she will continue to turn her nose up at the kibble.
2. Make a schedule. Dogs love a routine, so turn eating into one. Dogs respond very well when they know what is expected of them. Create a feeding schedule for Bela. Feeding her two times per day is best.
3. Serve the right amount of the right food. Find out from your vet exactly how much Bela should be eating each day for her weight and activity level. Also get a recommendation for the best type of food.
4. Take a walk. Giving Bela a vigorous workout before her meal means she will be more likely to eat. Take a nice long walk or play a rousing game of fetch before each meal until she gets into the swing of things.
5. Change it up. Because you are correcting a behavior, it helps to change the eating area. Bela associates her food bowl and its location with not eating. Get her a new bowl and feed her in a new spot to create new associations.
6. Make it fun. Make mealtime fun by treating it like a game. Feed her the first few bits of kibble as a reward for doing tricks. Or, try getting a toy that dispenses food. If she has to work for it, she will be more likely to eat it.
7. Be patient. Most important of all, be patient with Bela. She is not trying to annoy you and getting irritated or upset does not help. It may take several days or even a couple of weeks before she starts eating regularly.
Dealing with a picky eater can be very trying. For Bela’s health and well-being, you must correct her behavior and get her on a regular diet.
By Dr. Jan Bellows
As animal lovers, we naturally want our pets to enjoy all of the things that we enjoy. Many of us remember giving our dog a little bit of leftover food under the table, or wanting to cook a homemade meal for the family pet. However, unlike human beings, most animals are not able to eat any food that is given to them. Few animal stomachs are as adaptive to new foods as ours are, and so there are several foods that you must avoid in order to reduce the risk of your animals getting illness.
Toxic Foods to Cats
Cats are notorious for eating some particularly disgusting things from garbage cans and dumpsters. Yet cats have a variety of very common foods that they cannot eat without risking serious illness. Below are a variety of different foods that can be toxic to your cat.
Perhaps one of the most well known toxic foods, onions contain a chemical known as N-propyl disulphide, which can destroy your cat’s red blood cell count. This can cause serious health problems including causing your cat to become dangerously anemic. Keep your cat away from onions, as well as garlic and other types of root vegetables that contain the chemical.
We may love chocolate, but a cat’s stomach finds it highly toxic. Cats are very prone to the toxic effects of Theobromine, which is highly present in darker chocolate, moderately present in milk chocolate, and almost non-existent in white chocolate. Still, it is best to keep your cat away from all chocolate treats.
- Raw Potatoes and Tomatoes
Many different types of cat foods contain ripened versions of both potatoes and tomatoes, and these are perfectly acceptable for your pet’s stomach. However, the unripened (green) versions of these vegetables can cause terrible gastrointestinal problems. The main toxin is known as Glycoalkaloid Solanine, and the effects of the toxic ingredient can be fairly devastating.
- Macadamia Nuts
The toxins in macadamia nuts are not quite well known, but they have been known to cause harm to a cat’s digestive system. While research continues to be conducted, it is best to avoid these nuts altogether for safety.
- Raw Meats (especially pork)
Your cat may eat raw meat in the wild, but in general you will want to avoid feeding them any type of raw foods, especially mean like pork. These meats are notorious for containing high levels of bacteria that may cause significant health problems for your cat. Cooked meats tend not to share this problem, so if you are going to make your cat a meaty dish, make sure it is cooked thoroughly as if you were feeding it to your own family.
All Foods Can Be Dangerous
One thing to note is that cats require a very balanced diet in order to enjoy greater health. All human foods – regardless of toxicity – are not going to be balanced for your cat’s specific dietary needs. While you may want to make food for your cat, the reality is that your pets do not need to enjoy the safe foods you enjoy to be happy, and the cat foods that are available on the market today have been specifically designed to be the most beneficial for your cat’s specific dietary needs.
However, if you would like to make your cat a treat on rare occasion, proceed with caution, and fully research all of the foods that may be toxic to your cat. Most foods should be able to pass through your cat’s stomach unharmed, but you would not want to cause your cat illness just because you wanted your cat to enjoy a special treat.
By Doctor Jan Bellows