What Should I Feed my Puppy or Kitten?
Proper nutrition is vital for the growth and development of puppies and kittens, especially as they are so active and tend to burn energy quickly.
With constant exposure to so much marketing and advertising, it can be difficult to know which foods are best for your baby. Should you feed them wet or dry food? How much should you feed them, and how often?
Thankfully it’s very easy to set up a feeding routine that will adequately support your puppy or kitten’s growth, while providing all the energy they need for play and exercise.
Complete and Balanced
International guidelines for pet food manufacturers determine the minimum requirement for nutrients and safety standards. The term ‘complete and balanced’ indicates that the pet food contains all of the minimum nutritional requirements in the correct amounts.
Look out for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement on the packaging to find out whether a product is ‘complete and balanced’ and how this was determined.
Supermarket vs. Premium Pet Foods
Many cheap supermarket brand pet foods contain ‘fillers’ such as wheat or corn gluten meal, and meat by-products, and they lack the nutritional benefits of premium pet food brands.
There are a number of benefits to feeding your puppy or kitten a premium pet food (such as Hills Science Diet) rather a cheaper supermarket brand:
Cost. Because the food is more densely packed with nutrients, you won’t need to feed as much.
Less poo! Because premium food is highly digestible, there is less waste to clean up on the back lawn or in the litter tray.
Suitable for different life stages. Premium food is targeted specifically for growing puppies and kittens and the nutrients they require.
Verifiable claims. Premium brands can demonstrate their health claims with scientific data and evidence.
Palatability. A lot of testing goes into making sure that the food tastes great!
Wet or Dry?
Wet food generally costs more per volume and is difficult to keep fresh once opened. Dry food is easier on the budget and can be stored for longer periods of time.
Cats in particular often like to graze, so if you have a fussy eater you can mix it up a little by offering dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening.
Weight, size, age and breed are all factors which determine how much to feed your puppy or kitten. You should weigh your pet regularly and adjust the amount you feed as your puppy or kitten grows.
Our qualified veterinary nurses can pop your pet on the scales and advise you on the best food to start with and how much to feed as your furbaby grows.
As a general guideline we recommend a gradual reduction in feeding frequency as your puppy or kitten ages:
Young puppies and kittens (post weaning) - start with 3-4 times daily
12 weeks - 2-3 times daily
6 months - 1-2 times daily
Have you had a new puppy or kitten join your family? Call (03) 9568 2211 today and book a consultation with one of our experienced veterinary nurses for information about nutrition, behaviour, vaccination, desexing, parasite prevention and more!