Q: Where can I find information about pet food prices?
If you are interested to learn about pricing for different pet food recipes in your area, click here and submit your zip code to visit your local G'day! Pet Care Pro's website. Or feel free to contact your local G'day! Pet Care Pro now by call 877.600.GDAY.
Q: How should I transition my pet to a new pet food?
The best way to transition to a new food is to gradually introduce the food by mixing it with the old food -- particularly when the new food is much tastier or more nutritious than the old. Mixing the food will allow your pet to acclimate to the new taste and not gorge or over-indulge on the new food because of its taste or better nutrition. Generally, it is recommended to feed your pet 25% new food with 75% old food for the first 1-2 days. Then, if your pet’s stools are firm, feed 50% new food with 50% old food for the next 1-2 days. If the stools are still firm at this point, feed 75% new food with 25% old food for the next 1-2 days. Finally, feed only the new food. Depending on the age, breed and your pet’s stomach sensitivity, you may need to make the entire process a little longer. In some cases, a 2-week transition may be necessary. If your pet has no history of stomach sensitivity the process should be quicker.
When food transition is not an option, there are THREE other ways generally recommended to help ensure a good transition:
Feed multiple, smaller volume meals. This will increase the likelihood for a more consistent, firm stool. This is an especially good option for puppies and senior dogs.
Add clean warm water to the food to help soften it.
Add a digestive aid such as boiled-brown rice or sugar-free canned pumpkin (sugar-free brands include "One Pie" and "Libby’s"). Make sure the label says 100% pure real pumpkin. During the transition process, watch for any signs of an upset stomach such as vomiting, loose stools or diarrhea. Drooling when no food items are present can also indicate an upset stomach.
Q: How much should I feed my pet?
It is important to review the recommended feeding instructions on the pet food and feed your pet for its IDEAL weight, not its current weight. Discuss with your veterinarian the ideal weight for your pet. The amount will also depend on your pet’s activity level, age, breed and how many treats are given daily.
Q: How many treats should I give my pet per day?
The occasional healthy treat can be a great way to bond with or train your pet. However, too many treats can lead to health issues, nutritional issues or weight gain. As long as your pet maintains a healthy weight, continue to give treats freely. If your pet is gaining weight, you may want to restrict the amount of treats you are giving or adjust the amount of food you are providing. Treats should never be fed as a substitute for pet food as they are not formulated for your pet’s daily nutritional needs.
Q: How often should I feed my pet?
Activity level, age and breed are significant factors in determining how often you should feed your pet. In general, it is recommended that if you have a very young puppy (less than 4 months of age), consider 3 to 4 meals per day; between 4 and 6 months, consider feeding 2-3 meals per day; and after 6 months, consider feeding 2 meals per day. Feeding an adult pet 2 meals per day helps keep its metabolism up, and, if it is getting the appropriate amount of food, keep its weight in check. For some pets, such as larger dogs or those prone to bloat, it may be better to feed 2 smaller meals. We also suggest talking with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule for your animal companion.
Q: When should I switch my puppy or kitten to adult pet food?
Breed, growth rate and activity level are significant factors when deciding the best time to switch your pet to adult pet food. Generally, it is recommended to switch when your pet reaches its adult weight or it turns one year old. We recommend speaking with your veterinarian to find out if your puppy or kitten is ready to make the switch to adult pet food.
Q: How should I store my pet food?
Because pet food is perishable, it is important to protect it from the Big FOUR: 1) light, 2) oxygen, 3) heat and 4) moisture. For dry dog and cat foods, it is recommended that you keep the food in the original bag with the top tightly rolled down, and store it in a cool, dry, preferably dark place. If you want to store it in another container, it is recommended that you store the entire bag in the container rather than dumping it out of the bag. Freezing the food is not recommended because it can affect palatability.
Q: Can I feed cat food to my dog or dog food to my cat?
Dogs and cats have special dietary needs and should be fed the appropriate pet food. Cats require a higher percentage of protein and fat than most dogs, and they have different requirements for essential nutrients such as taurine. However, if a cat happens to ingest a bit of the dog food on occasion, the food should not cause the cat any harm. It is normally safe for dogs to eat cat foods, though it would be very expensive to do so.
Q: How are ingredients listed on a pet food label?
All dog food and cat food labels must list the ingredients of their food in order of weight The first ingredient is very important because there is more of that ingredient than any other. However, the weight includes the moisture in the ingredient, which makes it tricky to interpret. For example, when evaluating the protein source on a bag of kibble, keep in mind that whole meats, such as an ingredient listed as “chicken” or “lamb,” can contain more than 65% water. Therefore, we recommend looking for a specific or named meat meal (such as chicken meal) listed as one of the top two ingredients to ensure a high level of protein in the food is from a high-quality animal source.
Q: What does "meal" mean in pet food ingredients?
A named animal protein "meal" such as "chicken meal" is essentially cooked and dried (rendered) muscle meat, with a certain amount of bone, skin and connective tissue also included. Animal protein meals are dried to a level and can contain more than 65% protein.
Q: What pet food should I choose if my dog/cat has allergies?
It is important to work closely with your veterinarian to determine whether or not your pet's reaction is food related. If it is food related, it may be a true allergy (immune response) or simply intolerance. Either case requires careful identification of the irritant and special attention to ingredient quality and pet food labels. Make sure to talk with your veterinarian if you think your furry friend has allergies in order to determine the proper nutrition.
Q: My pet is always itching. Could my pet be allergic to its food?
The answer is yes. Itching, foot biting, nose or eye discharge and hot spots can be common signs of allergies. However, allergies can be environmental or food related. Common food irritants are typically said to be proteins (animal or plant), and not fats. It is important that you work closely with your veterinarian to determine whether or not your pet's reaction is in fact food related.
For all food-related questions, we encourage you to work closely with your veterinarian. These frequently asked questions were answered with healthy pets in mind. If you have a pet with health issues or special dietary needs, be sure to consult your veterinarian.