Answers To Common Questions About Feeding Dogs & Cats

Food For Thought™ Technical Bulletin No. 56R

Innovative Research in Dog and Cat Nutrition™

How Do I Decide Which Food To Feed?

Life stage, lifestyle, and overall condition are the three factors to take into account when deciding which pet food is right for your pet. Life stage refers to whether your pet is a puppy or kitten, adult, or senior. Lifestyle refers to how active or inactive your pet is normally. Condition refers to the pet's overall health and body weight.

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How Often Should I Feed My Pet?

A practical guideline is that puppies and kittens should be fed three times a day from weaning (3-6 weeks) to 4 months of age. After 4 months, they should be fed twice a day. Most dogs and cats should continue to be fed twice a day throughout their life, although some pets do well with one feeding.

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How Much Should I Give My Pet To Eat?

The amount to feed depends on the age, size, and activity level of the dog or cat. Feeding guidelines, which list the daily recommended portion, are included on all of our packages. Start feeding with this amount and adjust according to your pet's needs. Remember to divide the portion accordingly if you feed more than once a day.

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What Is The Best Way To Introduce A New Diet To My Pet?

It's important when changing a pet's diet to slowly introduce new food. Start by offering the pet's daily portion in a ratio of 25% new food to 75% old food. During the next three days, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old.

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Is It Necessary To Feed Both Wet and Dry Food?

Wet food is an excellent treat that can be fed by itself or mixed with dry food. Although our wet dog and cat foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, it is not necessary to offer wet food at every feeding. Our dry foods are formulated with high-quality protein sources such as chicken, lamb, or fish and contain all of the essential nutrients pets need. The crunchy texture of dry food also promotes healthy teeth and gums and provides overall good oral hygiene. In addition, our dry dog foods contain a dental enhancement to help block tartar buildup on teeth during and after meals.

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Will My Pet Be Bored Eating The Same Food All The Time?

No. Boredom with food is a human trait. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and usually are happy with just one food. Dogs and cats generally eat to meet their energy or nutritional needs. They have very short digestive systems, and, if their diet is abruptly or constantly changed, digestive disturbances can occur. Also, constant changes can make a pet a finicky eater.

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Is It All Right To Moisten Dry Food?

Adding water will not change the nutritional value of a dry pet food. However, once moisture is added the food should be eaten relatively soon, and any uneaten portion discarded to avoid spoilage. Dry feeding our pet foods is usually encouraged because of the benefit to the pet's dental health.

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Will It Hurt My Cat Or Dog If They Eat Each Other's Food?

Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements and really should not eat each other's food. For example, cats require a much higher level of taurine in their diet. An occasional venture into each other's bowls will not be harmful but is not recommended on a regular basis.

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How Many Biscuits Can I Feed My Dog Each Day?

Feed approximately 2-4 small biscuits per cup of food. Keep in mind that when biscuits are added to the daily diet, calories are added so you may need to reduce the amount of food you feed. Check the calorie content of the biscuit, since there is a variance due to the size and formulation of the biscuit.

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Can I Supplement Your Pet Foods With Vitamins, Minerals, Oils, Etc.?

Our foods are nutritionally complete and balanced. Adding vitamins, minerals, or oils can offset the balance the food provides. One of the benefits of feeding a high-quality product is that it has been carefully balanced in proper ratios to provide optimal nutrition ' nothing needs to be added.

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How Do I Encourage My Dog Or Cat To Eat Dry Food After Eating Scraps From The Table?

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and can resist change when trying to switch their diets. It's important to completely stop feeding from the table. This is best accomplished by removing the pet from the kitchen during mealtimes. Be persistent when offering dry food. The pet may refuse to eat for several meals before deciding to give the food a try. Heating food in the microwave increases the aroma of the food and will often entice a pet to eat. Another alternative is to try mixing some wet food with the dry food, or topping it with a sauce or gravy specifically formulated for pets. Be assured that the pet eats to meet an energy need and will eventually begin to eat unless there is an underlying medical issue.

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What Should I Do If My Pet Is Constipated or Has Loose Stool?

Keep in mind that the pet's stool should be small and firm. Most cases of constipation are temporary and due to dietary interruptions. Loose stools also are often temporary and can be due to dietary interruptions, as well as many other things, including an abrupt change in diet, overeating, parasites, medication, eating table scraps, viral or bacterial infections, and stress. If constipation or diarrhea persists, however, it is important to consult a veterinarian.

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When My Dog Urinates On The Lawn, It Kills The Grass. Should I Switch Diets?

No. Dead grass is caused by a heavy concentration of urine ' usually when a dog urinates in the same spot over and over. Try to train the dog to go to a designated, inconspicuous area of the yard. If this is impossible, try to hose the area as quickly as possible to dilute the urine. Sometimes the discoloration is due to acidic ground pH, which can usually be remedied with a lime treatment.

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How Can I Learn More About Pet Nutrition?

Contact the Iams' Pet Care and Nutrition Specialists toll free at 1-800-675-3849.

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