If you have just brought a kitty or cat into your home, there are so many things to consider. You want to make sure your home is cat or kitty proof, have the right bed or space and the right food to eat. And cats are much more particular about what they eat so it’s important to get the right type of food from the start so you don’t have to vary it too much.
Your veterinarian will give you some good guidelines
As always, your vet is a great place to start to give you suggestions on what to feed your kitty. Even though most cats have the same basic requirements, individual factors are relevant. Your cat’s age, sex, breed, weight, activity level, general health and medical conditions affect his or her nutritional needs. Also, important differences exist between the calorie and ingredient content of wet and dry cat food.
Make sure to look at the calorie count
Just as with our people food, your cat food is required to have the nutritional information on its label. Calorie count per serving or per package is not part of the data mandated by law. While some manufacturers do provide this information on their labels, most do not. Sometimes you can see a canned food’s calorie content on the product page of the manufacturer’s website.
Your cat’s calorie needs
Although various factors affect your kitty’s exact calorie needs, there are some basic guidelines. A growing kitten weighing 4 pounds generally needs 300 calories per day, which is about the same as a healthy 9 to 10 pound adult cat needs. That same adult cat, if overweight and put on a diet by her veterinarian, probably only needs around 200 daily calories. Talk to your veterinarian about how many calories to feed your pet each day so you know all the relevant individual factors have been taken into consideration.
Wet cat food is less calorie-dense than dry food
With a typical moisture content around 75 percent, canned cat food is far less calories than dry food, which is usually made up of only about 10 percent moisture. In other words, wet food is more filling with fewer calories. Whether this is a positive or a negative depends on the situation. If your cat is overweight, it’s definitely a plus. If your kitty isn’t taking in quite as many calories as your veterinarian recommends, the lower caloric density of wet food may represent a drawback.
Wet food has more animal protein but a shorter shelf life
Aside from the caloric density, wet and dry cat foods have other significant differences. One key companion advantage to wet food is that it’s higher in the animal-based protein and fat your kitty needs and lower in unnecessary carbohydrates that contribute to excess weight and obesity. Also, the higher moisture content helps prevent dehydration and benefits cats with diabetes or kidney problems. However, canned food is generally more expensive and, once opened, it requires refrigeration and has a short shelf life.
Your cat’s body weight
If your cat has extra weight, he or she may struggle to be active and your kitty is at increased risk for developing diabetes, arthritis, fatty liver disease and other problems. The lower caloric density and more nutrient-appropriate content of wet food can help. Also, because canned food can’t sit out for extended periods like dry food, your cat is less likely to overeat with free choice feeding. Remember that it isn’t only diet but exercise that can help your kitty stay slim and not too many treats.
Each cat has different needs and likes when it comes to food. If your cat eats regularly with a healthy cat food, has plenty of water and exercise, he or she should thrive.
When you first get a dog or are in the process of trying to transition your dog to a healthier dog food, it can be tough. With so many different types of food on the market, how do you distinguish what’s best for your dog? At least dogs, rather than cats, are less particular about their dog food and will usually eat all kinds of food. Below are some tips on how to find the best food for your dog.
Ask Your Vet’s Advice
Your dog’s genetics, age, life style and reproductive status all play a role in how much food your dog should eat. Ask your veterinarian to perform a body condition evaluation for your dog and make sure you know the basics too. It’s the best way to make sure your dog’s weight is on-track. It’s even better than the scale. The main point to remember is that you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs.
Familiarize yourself with the labels and ingredients
Next, look at the list of ingredients. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain large amounts of moisture (such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish) are likely to be at the top of the list because of the moisture content. Ingredients further down the list may offer even more key nutrients such as protein but may weigh less because the water has already been removed for a dry pet food.
Grains are good!
Grains are found in many pet foods and provide an excellent source of carbohydrates. Dogs can easily metabolize these carbohydrates and use them as an energy source. However, some people prefer to avoid grains in their dog’s food. Avoiding grains for those dogs that are allergic to them is a valid choice. However, allergies to other ingredients, including meats, are much more common than allergies to grains.
Gluten allergies rarely effect our pups
While, gluten allergies are common in people and many pet owners choose a gluten-free food for their dog believing that the same is true for the dogs. However, gluten allergies are actually extremely rare in dogs.
Consider the kind of dog that you have
If you have a dog that is a puppy, his or her need will be different than an older dog. There are certain types of food that are geared specifically for puppies that have the right nutrients and vitamins to help your puppy thrive. Conversely, senior dogs need food that have more moisture and fewer calories as they are not as active as puppies. And, senior dogs can always use the moisture of wet food as their needs change and kidneys tend to slow down.
There are also dogs that have a genetic predisposition towards putting on weight. Labradors need to have a high protein, low carb diet as they have weak rear legs and need to keep the weight off.
Each dog is different in their needs
While one dog may thrive eating all wet food, not gain weight and maintain good health, it doesn’t always equate cross the board. Each dog is different in what works for him or her, so look for a high quality food, with a lot of protein, fewer carbohydrates and your dog should thrive.
The Labraoodle is a very popular dog that is adorable, great with children and as the name suggests, a mix of a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. The Labradoodle is a playful breed, but they might be a little too excitable for young children as they could accidentally knock them down. Due to their high energy, they need some nice long walks or about 30 minutes of exercise per day.
The traits of the Labradoodle
The Labradoodle has three different coat types; depending on which coat yours has, you can expect her to be a non- to average shedder. Usually the Labradoodle doesn't shed excessively, but the thicker the coat, the more your Labradoole wills shed. A Labradoodle needs one or two brushings per week, as well as regular grooming that includes ear cleaning and nail clipping.
The personality of the Labradoodle
Labradoodles are intelligent and need to be mentally and physically stimulated. If they aren't, they can become destructive and hard to handle. This isn’t difficult to do just something to keep in mind. Play catch with your dog, take him or her on walks, teach your Labradoodle to do some tricks to keep her mind active.
The Labradoodle can be gentle, but she can also be joyful, showing her happiness through exuberant jumping and playing. She also tends to be easygoing, since the Labradoodle was bred not to be aggressive. As with any breed, some poorly bred ones aren't all that friendly, but a well-bred Labradoodle with a characteristic temperament is a true joy.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments. Even better, if you can ADOPT A Labradoodle through a rescue group or adoption agency
The size of the Labradoodle
The Labradoodle comes in three size variations, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first-generation breeding. The three sizes are Standard, Medium, and Miniature.
The Standard Labradoodle should be 22 to 24 inches in height for a male and 21 to 23 inches in height for a female, while both can range in weight from 50 to 65 pounds.
The Medium Labradoodle should be 18 to 20 inches high for a male and 17 to 19 inches high for a female, with both weighing from 30 to 45 pounds.
The average size for a Miniature Labradoodle is between 14 to 16 inches and 15 to 25 pounds.
The socialization of the Labradoodle
Like every dog, the Labradoodle needs early socialization and exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they are puppies. Socialization helps ensure that your Labradoodle puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Bring your dog to the dog park, take him or her on walks and expose your Labradoodle to other people and pets.
As mentioned above, the Labradoodle are very sociable but each has his or her own temperament. So make sure to watch your pup and how he or she handles these situations. Some ease into social situations while others take time and effort.
A lot of cats are picky eaters and only like certain foods. And then there are those cats who eat everything including paper, plants and/or other non- food items. If the eating of non –food items happens occasionally, not to worry. However, if this happens often, your cat could be suffering from pica which is essentially the eating of items other than food.
Pica usually occurs in kittens that were weaned too early
Pica tends to occur in cats that were weaned too early. The younger a cat is weaned, the stronger its drive to nurse and the more likely the cat is to suck on wool or hair. Although some cats may only suck on items as wool, fleece, and stuffed animals, others progress to eating these fabrics. And some cats move on to eating stranger items such as shoelaces, paper, plastic goods like grocery bags and shower curtains, and even electrical cords.
If your kitty or cat eats non-food items often, you should take your cat to the vet to rule out any medical issue or problem. Sometimes pica can be related to a feline virus and are trigger points for other medical issues.
If your vet has ruled out a medical issue, below are some reasons your cat might be eating paper or other non –food items:
Some cats will eat a little grass or a lot of plant material which could indicate something’s missing from the cat’s diet. Make sure your cat is getting enough nutrients and protein in his or her diet. Water is also very important.
For some cats, pica appears to be in their genes. For example, wool sucking, sometimes a precursor to pica, is seen more frequently in Siamese cats. Siamese tend to like to nosh on non-food items.
Your cat might be bored
Your cat might be eating paper because he is bored and wants your attention. Try to engage or play with you cat or give him a toy to chew on instead of paper.
If none of the above applies, it could be that your kitty has a compulsive disorder. If you think this could be the case (which you should consult with your vet), you might need to take your cat to a behavioral specialist.
Below are some recommendations on how to get your cat to stop to eating non-food items:
Remove or hide the culprit items
The easiest solution may be simply to hide the clothes, plants, or other items your cat loves to chew on. Make sure they are in a place where you cat can’t find them.
Give your cat something else to chew
Try to get your cat to chew safer, more appropriate things like cat toys or some other stuffed toy that is fun for your cat to chew. To keep grass-eating cats from sampling houseplants, put them in a place where your cat can’t reach them.
Play with your cat
Some cats that chew on non-food items are just bored or lonely. So make time for your bored kitty by giving her more mental or physical stimulation. Some cats enjoy outdoor enclosures where they can watch birds and other stimulating things during the day while you are away.
Make appealing items unappealing
Try applying strong-smelling substances like citrus air-freshener or foul-tasting things like hot sauce to items like power cords to keep your cats away from them. You can even put a lemon scent on the pot of your plants to see if that helps keep your kitties away.
Talk to an animal behaviorist
As mentioned above, if your cat continues to eat non-food items and you know it’s not a medical issue, look for a certified animal behaviorist who can work closely with your own veterinarian.
Most dogs have a naturally healthy appetite and like to eat a variety of things. However, some dogs like to eat inappropriate items such as grass or even dirt. If you notice your dog eating dirt, it's not necessarily a bad sign, but it may be. Keep a close eye on your pup to watch for other telling behaviors that can show you that he's eating dirt due to an underlying medical condition that you need to address.
Target the problem
A dog may eat dirt because his/her diet is poor so they eat dirt to get the nutrients they need. Most chain grocery and department stores, where many people purchase pet food, often stock low-quality products. Try a specialty pet store, your vet, or a local co-op when shopping for your dog's food. Read labels, look for natural ingredients with minimal additives, and talk to your vet about your pet's dietary needs. If the behavior continues, take your dog to your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical issue.
One reason that some dogs eat dirt is because their standard diet lacks in certain minerals. If this is the case, your dog may revert back to his instinctual tendencies to try to obtain the rest of the important vitamins and minerals that he needs in order to survive healthily. If he isn't getting the minerals he needs from food, he may try to get them by eating dirt. Check if your dog eats dirt frequently when he's outside; if he doesn't, this is a potential sign that he may be missing out on certain materials that he needs for his diet.
Your dog may eat dirt because of an upset stomach
In other situations, a dog may begin to eat dirt if he has already eaten something that has begun to upset his stomach or his intestinal tract. Eating dirt is an attempt to dilute or to get rid of the offending food item. This may be something as mild as a plant that has caused him a bit of distress, or it could be something very serious, like one of several human foods which are poisonous to dogs. Watch for your dog eating dirt one time only but for a sustained period of time. If he eats a lot of dirt at once, this is also a potential sign that something is the matter with his bowels or his stomach.
Your dog might only eat dirt due to what’s underneath
In many other situations, your dog will appear to be eating dirt but may actually be eating some food item that lies in the grass or on the ground. In these situations, the dog will likely not eat very much dirt at one time and it will only be a single occurrence. Keep in mind that your dog can smell food that is buried under the ground significantly better than you can.
Try stopping your dog from eating the dirt before it happens
If your dog eats dirt frequently and there is no underlying medical issue, try to stop the occurrence before it happens. Use your usual commands, ‘sit’ or ‘no’ when your dog is on his way to the dirt. You can also use a spray bottle filled with water and squirt your dog every time he eats dirt to stop him. Or as his or her owner, you know what annoys your dog or will stop them from behaving inappropriately.
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