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Overfeeding Your Pet – Accidental Animal Abuse

There is one type of animal abuse that is prevalent among many different types of pet owners: overfeeding. When you hear the term “abuse”, you tend to think of beating your animal or underfeeding it, but in fact, overfeeding your animal can also lead to health problems. Now, this is not to say that owners who too often give in to their animals’ pleas should be stripped of their furry friends and publicly stoned; it is mainly a crime of innocent ignorance. This article should provide you with knowledge about the dangerous effects of overfeeding, as well as information on how much you should feed your pets daily.


Perhaps the kings of the search and begging are the dogs. Who can resist those puppy dog ​​eyes peeking out at you from under the table at night? Dogs seem to have insatiable appetites, and that’s probably the exact truth of the matter. However, overfeeding your dog can be very dangerous to his health. The biggest risk of overfeeding your dog is obesity. There are many health problems that can affect an overweight dog, including diabetes, muscle and ligament strains, joint deterioration, and arthritis. Your dog can also develop high blood pressure or even congestive heart failure due to overstress on the heart caused by carrying around the excess weight.

The amount of food a dog requires varies by breed. According to dogbreedinfo.com, the following is what you would like to feed your dog based on weight:
• 10 lbs. or Less: Feed no more than 1/3 – 1 cup dry food or if mixing canned and dry food feed ¼ can and ¾ cup dry food.
• 10-25 lbs.- 1-2 ¼ cups of dry food or ½ can and ½ – 1 ½ cups of dry food.
• 25-50 lbs. -2 ¼ – 3 ¾ cups of dry food or 1 can and 1 – 2 ½ cups of dry food.
• 50-75 lbs. – 3 ¾ – 5 cups of dry food or 1 ½ cans and 1 ¾ – 3 cups of dry food.
• More than 75 pounds. – 5-8 cups of dry food or 2 cans and 2 ½ -5 ¼ cups of dry food.
It’s not very often that you look into a fish tank and think ‘Wow, what a big fish!’ Unlike obesity, the health dangers of overfeeding fish are a bit less obvious and harder to recognize. As part of their evolution, fish tend to eat whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the wild, this is a useful survival tactic, but in your fish tank it can be a serious problem. Your fish will literally eat until their insides explode if you feed them enough food more often than they need. Overfeeding can cause water quality problems in your tank, such as algae production and toxins that are also harmful to your fish. Some diseases that can result from overfeeding fish are fin rot, fatty liver, and improper digestion (petcareeducation.com).
Prevent overfeeding simply by reading the instructions on your fish food. For most freshwater fish, these instructions will be enough to explain how much to feed. If in doubt, a pinch of food is enough to feed at least 5 fish.

The health risks associated with overfeeding your cat are very similar to those associated with overfeeding a dog. The biggest problem is obesity and the problems caused by it. Some of the common ailments an obese cat faces are diabetes, liver disease (fatty liver), arthritis, and skin problems. It is also more difficult for an overweight cat to be anesthetized for procedures at the vet’s office due to the fact that fat absorbs the anesthetic. This means that overweight animals take longer to come out of anesthesia and may take longer to recover.

So how much should you feed your cat? According to dogtime.com, the typical weight of 10 lbs. the cat should receive 4 to 6 ounces of canned food or 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry food daily. It’s also a good idea to feed your cat twice a day. This does not mean giving the full amount of food recommended twice a day; break the portions. Leaving food out all day can encourage your cat to overeat as sometimes, especially indoor cats, they will eat because they are bored (sound familiar?). You may also want to monitor what type of food you give your cat. Just as you would with her diet, monitor your cat’s calorie and carbohydrate intake, as well as limit the amount of food she feeds.

These are just a few tips for feeding your pets. As always, you’ll want to consult your vet as the final word on what’s best for your animal. Just like people, all animals are different, and the advice shared here may not necessarily apply to the particular breed of animal you have or to health problems that may already exist in your pet. The first step to responsible pet ownership is to meet and learn about your pet’s needs.


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