Overfeeding Pets

Pet care.

We all love our animals and this is the very reason we have pets. Animal pets supplement and add to the quality of our lives. However, sometimes our desire to please our pets can get out of control and result in overfeeding with dire results. Sadly this is true of all pets even the goldfish in the bowl.

Fish whether in a fish bowl or a state of the art aquarium are very susceptible to overfeeding. Over feeding can result in water pollution. Polluted water encourages disease and in severe case can cause the fish to die. Fish should only be fed until the initial feeding frenzy subsides. It is a kindness to underfed fish rather than over feed them. Slightly underfeed, fish will be encouraged to forage in the gravel for uneaten food which would otherwise rot and eventually pollute the water. It is very tempting to over feed a cat or dog. They are apt to make a great fuss during feeding times and we don’t like to disappoint our favourite pets. A warning though; in the United Kingdom it is an offence to keep an obese dog or cat and could in extreme cases result in a court appearance. A cat of dog which is overfed will look fat and will become sluggish.

Cats will sleep for longer periods and dogs will become sluggish and less inclined to want to go for a walk. Just as with humans an obese cat or dog can suffer from heart, kidney and other medical problems. Teeth too can suffer and it is common for skin and ear problems. If your dog or cat has soft or runny stools they my have been overfed on a regular basis. Some overfed dogs can become aggressive but this is a rarer symptom. A dog or cat should ideally have set feeding times with the set amount of food at each sitting. Try not to give second helpings and it is important not to give your pet too many treats. It is possible to buy ‘anti gorge’ feeding bowls that stops dogs from gorging and swallowing their food too quickly. It is a kindness to stick to recommended feeding levels with all pets from a German Sheppard right down to a gerbil.  We all love our pets but we will be doing them a service and will increase their life spans if we hold back on too many treats.

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