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Four tips for feeding our four-legged friends

Dec 19, 2015 | Lifestyles

(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

Mealtime is the perfect opportunity for pet parents to provide a cat or dog with essential nutrients to live a happy healthy life. Before you fill your pet’s bowl, here are four things to consider:

1. Timing: A specific feeding regimen is important for keeping a sanitary food bowl, preventing overeating, and maintaining a regular potty schedule — especially when training puppies or kittens. Changes in eating habits, such as loss of appetite, can be an indication of overall health. Remember that fresh water must be provided at all times.

2. Variety: Switching your pet’s food can lead to serious discomfort if not done correctly. Every pet has unique nutritional needs based on their age, weight, size, and health conditions and it’s important to select a formula that provides essential nutrients for optimal health. When switching your pet food brand, be sure to gradually introduce the new recipe over the span of seven days.

3. Balanced diet: While fancy labels will grab your attention, understanding exactly what’s in the bag is the most important factor when selecting a pet food. Nutram recipes provide a complete and balanced diet — no additional mineral supplements required. Before heading to the register, be sure that what’s on the bag is smartly balanced.

4. Portion control: Obesity is a growing problem in cats and dogs – so limit the buffet. Just as it’s important for humans to watch what they eat, pets also need to consume food according to their age, weight, and lifestyle. Rather than free-feeding your pet, measure out portion sizes to ensure your pet’s ideal body condition.

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(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

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