It is very common for pet guardians to have doubts regarding the feeding of pets. Knowing what is the best type of food and what is forbidden to give to pets still raises many doubts and some “guesses” can be propagated without being true.
Can dogs drink milk? Do pregnant dogs and cats need special food? These are some of the recurring doubts. With that in mind, we spoke with veterinarian Flavio Silva, supervisor of technical and scientific training at PremieRpet. He clarifies 7 statements from pet tutors and says if they are myth, truth or if they work depending on the situation. Check out.
1 – Can I leave the food at ease for my pet?
It depends. In the case of puppies and adult dogs, the orientation is to offer at least 3 and 2 daily meals, respectively. It is not recommended to leave the food available, as they may ingest a much higher amount than recommended, which can lead to joint problems and obesity. It is important to pay attention to the orientation of the product packaging and the veterinarian.
For cats, it is healthy to let them determine the amount of meals, as long as they are accompanied by the guardian. The general guideline for puppies and adults is to make available the amount of daily food so that the feline himself establishes the number of meals appropriate to his needs. In this way, the meals will be determined by the cat, but the amount offered must be controlled by the tutor based on the veterinarian’s orientation or the packaging.
2 – Should the feeding of pregnant cats and bitches be different?
Truth. Guardians need to be more careful about feeding the females that are giving birth to young. In the case of cats, puppies develop linearly from the first day of gestation. Thus, the need for nutrients for this cat is greater since the beginning of pregnancy. For the future mom to have all her nutritional needs met, the supply of protein and fat, for example, must be greater. It is extremely important that these nutrients come from good quality sources.
In bitches it is different because the growth of the puppy occurs exponentially from the last third of gestation. This means that the need for the pregnant female only increases during this period. Therefore, the tutor should be concerned with changing the food only at this stage.
According to the veterinarian, in both species, normally a “Super Premium” food with indication for puppies perfectly supplies all the necessary nutrients for pregnancy.
3 – Do elderly animals need special rations?
Truth. When elderly, animals usually show changes in the body. In the case of cats they can result in weight loss; in the case of dogs, the greatest tendency is to gain weight. A specific diet, geared to this stage of life and that takes into account the special needs of each species is preventive health care, which contributes to the promotion of pets’ well-being, longevity and quality of life.
4 – Is giving fruits and vegetables to the animal healthy?
It depends. A homemade diet, to be adequate and meet the needs of pets, would need to be formulated, balanced and periodically reassessed by a veterinarian, nutritionist or zootechnician. In addition, it must be followed with total accuracy by the tutor in the long run, which is very difficult to do. Otherwise, it will not be a healthy option.
An unbalanced diet, with consumption of homemade food without indication of a professional specialized in the area can seriously harm the health of the animal, causing several problems that include impairment in the joints, delayed bone growth, malnutrition, obesity, among many others.
5 – Should the ration given always be the same?
Myth. Commercial foods are formulated with different combinations of high quality ingredients, in order to meet the specific needs of each phase of the animal’s life, be it a puppy, adult or elderly. It is recommended that the tutor offer a specific food for each stage of life. It is important to emphasize that the change to a specific food must be done gradually and carefully, following the guidelines of the product packaging and the veterinarian.
6 – Castration fattening?
Myth. After the castration procedure, the tendency is for the animals to become more sedentary and to show an increase in appetite, which does not imply an increase in weight or obesity if the guardian makes adaptations for this stage of life. It is necessary that he receives a specific diet for the neutered and that he be stimulated to a routine activities and games to expend energy.
“The specific foods for neutered animals are complete and balanced, and meet all the needs of pets that have undergone the castration procedure. In addition, it is important that the tutor stimulates physical activity, as a way of promoting negative energy balance and preventing weight gain over time “, he guides.
7 – Can dogs and cats drink cow’s milk?
It depends. Throughout the growth phase, the organism of dogs and cats shows a decrease in the production of the enzyme “lactase”, which is responsible for digesting lactose (sugar present in milk) in the intestine. This means that as adults, many become lactose intolerant. With this condition, drinking milk can cause problems such as diarrhea, vomiting and cramps. Therefore, in most cases, it is not recommended that dogs and cats drink cow’s milk.
However, if the animal maintains the habit of drinking milk even after weaning, its body tends to adapt to this habit. In such cases it is likely that drinking milk will not cause problems. Still, it is important for the tutor to monitor this consumption and watch for any signs of change. In case of doubt, the advice is to consult a veterinarian.