weekly Scoop 11/11/2020
What do your cats and dogs really need to eat and drink?
There are tons and tons of food and treat options for your pets. Nutrition and hydration are key to keep pets healthy.

  • What are the best options to give our precious pets?
  • Should they eat 'people food'?
  • How many treats should you give them and when?
  • What types of 'treats are best?
  • How much water do your pest really need?
  • When should they drink?
  • What if they are drinking too much? Too little?
  • Can some foods provide hydration?

We have included some of the best articles and information we found providing nutrition and hydration guidelines for your dogs and cats in this edition of Little Friends' weekly Scoop.

Hope you enjoy!
Nutrition - General Feeding Guidelines for Dogs
By Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH
What should I look for in a dog food?

The best advice you can receive about feeding your dog is this: feed your dog the highest-quality food you can afford. The differences between a premium food and budget food are not found on the nutrition label; they are found in the quality and source of ingredients. Two dog foods may each contain 27% protein but be vastly different when it comes to digestibility.

Pet food ingredients are listed by order of weight. Each ingredient is weighed when it is added to the batch of food, and ingredients such as fresh meat contain a lot of water, much of which is lost during processing. This means that a dry diet that lists corn as the first ingredient may be nutritionally superior to one listing meat first.

The best method to choose a food for your dog is to ask your veterinarian. However, here are some general tips to help you decide what should go into your dog's food bowl:

  • Select diets with real, recognizable, whole-food ingredients. If the majority of listed ingredients is unfamiliar to you, find another diet.
  • Select a low-calorie diet. Most adult, indoor, spayed or neutered dogs have low energy requirements. Your dog's diet should contain a relatively small number of calories per cup; ideally less than 350 calories. If your dog food contains 500 calories per cup and you have a 20-pound dog, the amount you should feed is tiny (and unsatisfying!). Making matters worse, high-calorie foods mean even a few extra kibbles can really pack on the pounds.

Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs
 Jan Reisen | American Kennel Club
As a general rule, dogs require at least one ounce of water per day for each pound of body weight. Your veterinarian can offer advice about how best to ensure your dog consumes enough fluids, based on his age, weight, and condition.

11 Healthy, Natural Treats for Dogs in Your Kitchen
Falls Village Veterinary Hospital
Healthy, natural treats for your dog that are already in your kitchen? Yes! No trip to the pet store required. Many fruits and vegetables make wonderful treats for dogs. Obviously, they are nutrient-dense foods which makes them great for health.

So what are some simple, natural dog treats to incorporate into your routine? Here are some of our favorites! Apples, Carrots, Green Peas, Green Beans and more.

Nutrition - General Feeding Guidelines for Cats
By Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Ernest Ward, DVM
What is the natural feeding behavior of cats?

Left to their own devices, most domestic cats will graze and eat small meals frequently throughout the day and night. In fact, depending on the individual and the type of food, some cats will eat from 12 - 20 meals a day. This is especially true for cats eating dry foods, whereas moist or canned foods are usually consumed quickly as one to three larger meals per day.

"Cats appear to prefer food with a strong odor."

As anyone that has ever owned a cat can attest, cats can be finicky eaters. This simply reflects the fact that the texture, odor, temperature, and flavor of food are strong influences on a cat's food preferences. Cats often develop preferences for specific textures and/or shapes of food, and some cats will choose the familiar over the novel shape. Cats appear to prefer food with a strong odor. Food temperature influences its odor, and since warm food has more aroma or smell, cats eat it more readily. This is a helpful tactic to use when cats are sick; in many cases, they can be encouraged to eat simply by warming up their food.

5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Hydrated
Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM | PetMD Editorial
The average healthy cat needs approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. So, if your cat weighs eight pounds, she or he needs approximately 8 ounces of water (1 cup) every day.
This is an estimate which may vary depending on each cat’s activity level, the temperature of the cat’s environment, and his or her unique physical needs. Another important factor is the type of food the cat is eating. Feline practitioner Dr. Arnold Plotnick, founder and medical director of Manhattan Cat Specialists, says, “Cats that eat canned food tend to take in less [water], because there’s already a lot of water in the food. Cats that eat dry food tend to drink more water. “

6 Healthy Treat Ideas for Cats
Elizabeth Xu | PetMD
“They (cats)don’t really eat most of what we think would make a good treat for animals.” Most aren’t likely to eat fruits or vegetables either.

So what kinds of healthy treats can you give your cat? Here are six ideas. Small pieces of lean meat, their kibble, dried liver, wet cat food, and more.