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Feeding Guides

Guides on correctly feeding your pet

Read our guides on feeding your cat or dog. Remember, all Pet Health Club members get cost price food!

Feeding your cat

It is essential to provide a balanced diet for your cat to ensure they stay fit and healthy. It is important not to let your cat eat dog food as their nutritional requirements are different. Cats need more protein in their diets than many other animals and unbalanced diets can cause medical problems. Therefore, it is recommended to stick to a reputable cat food, which includes all of the vital nutrients that cats need.

We recommend Hill’s Vet Essentials cat foods, as their formulations are constantly updated to ensure the optimum health of your cat. Hill’s diets are fixed in the formulation, which means that ingredients do not vary, whereas some other pet foods may have different ingredients, and this can cause digestive upset. Hill’s Vet Essentials cover all conceivable medical problems by providing prescription diets. If your pet is already accustomed to Hill’s food, the change to one of the prescription diets is simple.

The quantity of food your cat needs will depend on their life stage, activity level and general health. How often you feed your cat will also depend on their life stage. For example, kittens have smaller stomachs and therefore should be fed little and often.

However, it is advisable to still feed adult cats several small meals a day instead of one big bowl of food to avoid lack of activity causing boredom. Hill’s Vet Essentials instructs how much your cat will need per day; it is then to be divided into the chosen number of meals. By weighing the food you will ensure that you do not under/overfeed your cat.

Cats will not eat their food if certain factors are not right, such as the location of their food. They do not like to eat or drink near their litter tray, so it is important to place the bowls in a separate location. Most cats will not eat near other cats, so in a multi-cat household offer their food bowls in separate areas to avoid competition. Cats are very fussy when it comes to eating and this could be related to something so simple as the wrong type of bowl. Most cats prefer to eat and drink from ceramic or metal bowls instead of plastic as they are sensitive to taste and plastic taints the water. Water is essential as most cats are lactose intolerant and therefore should not be given cow’s milk. Formulated cat milk can be given, but it advisable to only give in occasional small amounts. Milk should never be given instead of water and it is vital that they are provided with fresh water daily.

If you are interested in trying the recommended Hill’s Vet Essential cat foods, please speak to one of our nurses who will help to set up a plan for your feline friend. To see all our contact details, please click here.

Feeding your dog

It is important to feed your dog a balanced diet so that they stay fit and healthy. Feeding a good quality commercial dog food is superior to a home-made diet as it is very difficult to make sure your pet gets all the micronutrients they need. This includes raw meat diets, which put your pet at risk of diseases such as salmonella and kidney failure.

At Kingston Veterinary Group we recommend Hill’s Vet Essentials foods. These are specifically formulated for every life stage and therefore the nutrition is tailored to the age of your dog and its requirements. In addition, Hills diets have a fixed formulation which means that the ingredients do not vary unlike some other diets. This is important in order to prevent digestive upset and food allergies. Hills also make a variety of prescription diets to help in the management of medical conditions. For more information about prescription diets please contact your local practice to speak to one of our vets.

How much and how often should I feed my dog?
Adult dogs should be fed twice a day. Puppies under 6 months should have 3 meals and those under 12 weeks should have 4. Try to avoid feeding your dog immediately prior to travelling to prevent travel sickness and do not feed within one hour of vigorous exercise as this can cause a fatal condition called bloat.

Follow the guidelines on the packet of your dog food to work out how much you should feed your dog. Weigh the food in order to make sure you are feeding the correct amount. You should not give your dog scraps of human food as many ingredients can be toxic, for example, garlic and onions. Do not give your dog treats unless as part of a training program, however, if you do this you must adjust your dog’s meals accordingly.

Obesity is a very serious and common problem in dogs in the UK and can lead to many other disorders including arthritis and diabetes. If you are concerned about your dog’s weight please book an appointment with one of our nurses to set up a diet plan.

Food and water bowls:
Your dog should have access to clean and fresh water at all times. This should be provided in a clean bowl and changed at least twice a day. Change or clean your dog’s food and water bowls at least once a day and if they become damaged throw these away so that they cannot be a source of injury. If you need any further advice regarding feeding your dog please speak to a member of the Kingston team. All of our contact details can be found here.