3. Following Food Fads
Trends in the pet food industry are easy to get sucked into, especially when they align with human food fads. According to Dr. Lang, pet food companies appeal to pet owners with phrases like “gluten-free,” “grain-free,” “organic” and more. These buzzwords are much less important than the digestibility of the ingredients and each animal’s nutritional requirements. “A fad that is popular with humans is not what is best for our furry friends,” says Dr. Lang.
4. Following Food Bag Instructions
Rather than basing your pet’s portions on the instructions listed on pet food packaging, check in with your vet about how much to feed Fido. Serving sizes listed don’t account for how active your pets are or whether they’ve been neutered or spayed—and yes, this does matter. “Spayed and neutered animals will have a significantly lower metabolic rate,” Dr. Lang says. This means that following what a bag of food says about portion control could lead to overfeeding and weight gain.
5. Going Overboard With Treats
What better way to show some love than doling out treats, right? Actually, exercise and playtime are better, way better. Fit dogs with healthy weights tend to outlive overweight dogs by two years. So reach for the leash instead of the MilkBones.