mealtime hacks from pawpots
Author: PawPots Team
You're probably wondering: "PawPots, why would I need hacks when it's time for my furry friend to eat?" Well, mealtime isn't just pouring food in your pet's bowl! Just like we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make sure our pets are fed human-grade food, we want their “dining experience” to be just as excellent!
It all starts with the right bowl...
First and foremost, avoid bowls made out of plastic; they're prone to bacteria buildup - which can lead to upset stomachs and difficulty digesting food. We recommend a stainless-steel bowl. They're easy to clean, bacteria-resistant, durable, and better for the environment.
However, it's not any random stainless-steel bowl you should buy, but rather a stainless-steel saucer or plate. Cats are prone to something called whisker fatigue; some suggest that repeated grazing of whiskers against a small bowl can dull their whiskers' extrasensory perceptions.
Now when it comes to size, we noticed that a small bowl could force your pet to eat faster than necessary. This puts them at risk of choking or not digesting their food properly. Our rule? The bigger the pet, the bigger the bowl!
... and a clear schedule
Our pets don't need a reminder for mealtime. Opening the fridge will have them run towards you like crazy! However, alerting them to regular feeding times can be helpful.
Pets crave routine since it makes them feel comfortable and cared for. When your pet can predict mealtime, it can help calm their anxieties and also be a good cue for house training, especially for puppies. If you build a routine around mealtime - for example taking them outside for potty time right after mealtime - it helps limit accidents around the house.
Say no to begging
Begging can be problematic, so it's best to stop it as soon as it starts. It's always important to keep your meals sealed and unreachable. If you're a multi-pet household, begging and resource guarding often leads to food aggression. Here are some ways to avoid a disruption of harmony:
1. Say no to scraps
If your pet is used to getting fed from the dining table, they will continue to hover by, sometimes even jump. Don't encourage them by continuing this habit. Instead, when they quit begging, use positive reinforcements (such as treats!).
2. Keep them occupied
Feed them first, in a separate room, or hide some treats for them to find! It can be a fun activity and a way for them to learn that mealtime is "me time"! You can also distract them with their favorite toy.
3. Crate training
Crates can be helpful for stubborn pets. We recommend it in case your pet cannot resist staying away from your meals!
4. And finally, treat your pet like family
If you had (or have) kids, you would understand that controlling their consumption of sugary sweets is important for their health. It's the same for pets when it comes to treats.
Over-treating can cut into mealtime effectiveness. Treats should only represent a maximum of 5-10% of your pet's daily caloric intake. Try to opt for healthier treats too.
Our small hacks should help positively transform mealtime for our furry friends. Remember: the quality of the meals they're offered also matters! We always recommend feeding pets fresh, human-grade food to better the overall mealtime experience.
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