The Skinny on Pet Chow
With a full shelf of pet food at the supermarket, gourmet treats at pet bakeries and scary news about pet food recalls, how do you decide what to feed your pet?
Begin by feeding him whatever he’s been eating. Food has emotional importance for pets as well as humans, and when an animal enters an unfamiliar environment, familiar food can be used as a comfort. Ask his previous caretaker what he was fed and give it to him for at least a few weeks.
If you prefer to feed him something different, gradually introduce the new food alongside the old. Puppies and kittens should eat specially formulated food for at least a year in order to get all the nutrients their growing bodies need. You’ll have to decide whether to give your dog or cat canned food, dry food or both. Pet stores can also provide live mice for your snake or birdseed for your parakeet. Your vet will be your best source of advice if you have any concerns about food.
Besides the “what,” don’t forget the “when” and “where” of feeding your pet. Stainless steel bowls are best for any animal’s food and water, as ceramic bowls can break and plastics have toxins. Establish a feeding area and fill bowls or feeders at the same times every day.