by Darcy Lockman
When George Kingsley's seven-year-old pug Sophie began vomiting a couple of times per week after meals, he was quick to ask her veterinarian about the problem. "My vet describes her, politely, as being 'not a delicate eater,' which means she scarfs down her kibble," the Brooklyn, New York, dog owner says. "He suggested giving her each meal in smaller portions so that the food would have time to move through her digestive track. Now I give her half her breakfast when I get up, and the other half 30 minutes or so later, and do the same with dinner."
Portioning solved Sophie's problem with keeping her food down. For this and other sometimes-elusive solutions to common mealtime blunders, Gail Buchwald of the ASPCA offers nine quick and easy fixes.
In multi-pet homes, cat and dog or dog and dog eat side by side.
Multiple pets should have separate eating areas in order to avoid competition over resources and food guarding behaviors. "Create a calm feeding environment. It will help your pets' digestion," says Buchwald.
Some mornings you're out the door by seven, while others you're in bed past nine. Fido is fed soon after your alarm goes off -- whenever that may be.
When you sleep in, feed your furry friend as soon as you wake up. When you're leaving home early, don't pour the kibble until you're just about to leave. "Dogs need to maintain a regular feeding schedule," says Buchwald.
Heaping bowls of food have left your always-hungry pooch without a waistline.
Talk to your veterinarian about a healthy weight for your dog, as well as its ideal caloric intake -- then change your pet's diet accordingly. "There's a huge obesity problem among dogs," says Buchwald. "Vets are seeing more and more of it, along with the weight-related conditions that we see in people, like diabetes and arthritis." To protect your dog's health, whittle its waist.
Your dog licks its bowl, so why waste water washing it?
When feeding wet food, the bowl should be washed after every meal. With dry food, washing every other day should be sufficient. And don't forget the water dish (clean with soap and water once a day). "Dirty bowls harbor bacteria," reminds Buchwald.
Every time Rover pleads with those big brown eyes, you melt and give him what he wants: a treat.
Give pieces of treats rather than entire biscuits, or substitute a canine-friendly vegetable (e.g., a green bean) for a cookie. "Treats should make up less than five percent of a dog's daily caloric intake," advises Buchwald.
Your post-breakfast walk occurs immediately after the morning meal, and often includes a brief jog.
You can't run on the treadmill after eating, and neither should your dog. Wait 30 minutes between mealtime and exercise.
The pet store is out of your dog's favorite kibble, so you simply purchase something else and begin using it that very night.
Be sure to shop for your pet's food when you've still got a week's supply left. If you need to change, make the switch gradually over the course of one week. "Start out with a quarter cup of the new food and three-quarters cup of the old for one or two days, seeing how your dog tolerates it. If everything goes smoothly, move on to 50-50 for a couple days, and then a quarter cup of the old food mixed in with three-quarters of the new," advises Buchwald.
Spot's only meal is in the morning.
Like people, pooches need to eat more than once a day. Daily breakfast and dinner are ideal. "Dogs are diurnal, like us. They're up with the sun, and ready for sleep at night, and they need nutrition throughout the day."
Who could resist that face begging at the dinner table? Leftovers from your plate always find their way into your dog's mouth.
Create a no-table-scraps policy and stick with it. "What we eat is not healthy for our dogs," says Buchwald. Aside from contributing to obesity, people food can cause stomach upset or even death for our best friends. The list of forbidden foods is long, and it's difficult to avoid them all. A no-go rule is your best antidote to this problem.
Of course, dog feeding isn't an exact science. Become familiar with your dog's food-related behaviors, as well as, ahem, "output." Changes in Fido's gustatory patterns can clue you in that the menu, or its delivery, warrant further examination. Your dog's stomach will thank you for it.
- Is Your Dog Cut out for Field Trials?
- Should You Crate-train Your Puppy?
- How to Play Soccer With Your Dog
- The Best Way for Your Dog to Ride in the Car with You
- Good Dog Park Etiquette
- What Is Freestyle Dancing With Dogs?
- Canicross: An Easier Way to Run With Your Dog
- Reading Your Dog's Body Language
- Kitten Kindergarten
- Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Flying
- Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter
- Scottish Deerhound: The Ideal Exercise Buddy
- Teach Your Dog to Fetch
- Is Your Dog Bored?
- 7 Ways to Pamper Your Cat
- The Best Games to Play With Your High-Energy Dog
- Dog Feeding Mishaps Corrected
- How to Succeed at Off-Leash Dog Play
- ID Your Relationship With Your Cat
- Photographing Your Elusive Feline
- How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays
- When Good Dogs Turn Bad
- From Finicky Fido to Chowhound Charlie
- Insure Your Kitty's Health
- Unconditional Love: My Cat Forgives Me Every Day
- From Feline to Family Member
- Is Water From a Christmas Tree Stand Harmful to Cats?
- A Day in the Life of a Sheepherding Dog
- Go on a Desert Retreat With Your Dog
- Dog Food Goes Natural and Holistic
- Determining a Food Allergy
- Exercise Gone to the Dogs
- Find the Right Sport for Your Dog
- Make Your Dog a Part of Your Wedding
- Hydrotherapy Helps Dogs Get in Shape
- How Your Cat Says 'I Love You'
- Lost Cats Found
- De-stress Veterinary Visits for Your Cat
- Keeping Cat Food Fresh
- Second-Hand Cat, First-Rate Pet
Pets | Dogs: Dog Feeding Mishaps Corrected