By The Pet Food Institute
With millions of Filipinos owning more than one pet, it is clear that the country is home to many animal lovers. Though having multiple pets can be fun, there can be challenges in terms of providing each pet’s distinct needs, especially during mealtimes.
It is important for pet owners to ensure order and to set rules during feeding time to prevent aggressive behavior and food fights among their pets.
Committed to educating the Filipino pet community on proper pet care, here a few tips on how pet owners can manage multi-pet mealtimes.
Setting rules during feeding time is the best and easiest way to prevent aggression and food fights among pets. Owners may train their four-legged companions to follow simple commands such as “sit” or “wait” as they prepare each pet’s food and bowl. Though it may take some time for pets to master these commands, doing so will make for a more organized feeding system and each pet will receive a well-balanced diet.
Designated Bowl and Feeding Area
Some pets become territorial and eat faster or show aggression when other pets approach them while eating. If owners do not correct this negative behavior, it will cause conflict and chaos within the household. If meals are served in a big bowl in one go, dominant pets may overconsume food and leave lesser portions for other dogs and cats. Especially when feeding pets of various breeds and different life stages, this set up will not provide the sufficient amount of nutrients if servings are not portioned accordingly.
Providing each dog or cat their own food bowl and eating area is a possible solution to this problem. In doing so, their food bowl and surrounding area becomes a familiar space, and will make pets feel more secure. This can also help each pet associate their own space with their own meals, and help eliminate the need to be aggressive towards other pets and their owners.
Mindful Feeding Helps Keep Pets Healthy
Beyond food fights, pet owners can remember some additional tips to help keep their beloved pets in good health. Food-motivated pets may seem to always come up with creative ways to get more food. Though it may not seem like a serious issue, owners must remember that overfeeding or “over-treating” may cause serious health issues such as obesity and heart problems.
It is also important for pet owners to avoid letting dogs and cats eat each other’s food. The nutritional requirements of cats are very different from a dog’s nutritional requirements. For example, cats require certain essential nutrients that may not be found in the correct levels in dog food. Feeding food to a different specie means that a pet may miss out on the nutrition that support their healthy vision or skin, or that helps them convert food into energy for their body.
Therefore, pet owners are encouraged to properly store their pets’ food to prevent such incidents from happening. Owners may put pet food in separate containers with labels to avoid mixing them and should place them on a shelf, away from their pets’ reach.
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The Pet Food Institute (PFI) is committed to educating pet owners about proper pet nutrition to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.
Since 1958, the Pet Food Institute has been the voice of the U.S. pet food industry. PFI is the industry's representative before Congress and state legislatures, as well as state and federal agencies; public education and media relations resource; organizer of seminars and educational programs; and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food, an industry with more than $20 billion in U.S. retail sales and $1.3 billion in exports in 2015.
This article also appears in the Manila Standard
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