When you have several animals (dogs or cats), it is often difficult to leave their food available. Tricks must be found to prevent them from stealing food from each other. This is very important to prevent them from gaining weight and so that they are fed with the food that suits them!
Why is it important to monitor the diet of your animals?
When dogs and / or cats live together, it is rare to be able to leave the kibbles in free service because they risk stealing their food. It is important to ensure that each animal eats its own ration for several reasons:
It is essential for the health of dogs and cats of monitor their diet and weight.
We talk about obesity when the ideal weight of an animal is increased by 20%, which is quickly achieved in small animals. A cat weighing 4.8 kg, for example, is considered obese if its ideal weight is 4 kg.
Do not hesitate to read our fact sheet “Is my dog's weight correct?” “And” Is my cat too big? To find out how to assess your animal's weight. If your dog or cat is overweight, it is strongly advised to ask your veterinarian what is his ideal weight.
Then you have to calculate the daily ration necessary for your pet to reach or maintain its ideal weight. It is important that dogs and cats eat only their ration of kibble and not that of their congeners because they risk gaining weight.
Respect for the diet
Dogs and cats in the same household often have different diets depending on their:
- species : dogs and cats have different needs for proteins, essential amino acids, etc. Cats for example need taurine, an essential amino acid, which is not found in dog food. A cat that eats mainly dog food may suffer from a taurine deficiency.
- age : within the same species, animals have different needs depending on their age. Kibbles for puppies and kittens are richer in minerals and energy than kibbles for adults for example.
- health : there are certain affections which require a therapeutic food on veterinary prescription (urinary calculi, renal insufficiency, etc…). The diet of the sick animal must be strict, the food was an integral part of the treatment. It is important that other animals in the household do not eat the therapeutic food because certain foods can be dangerous for healthy animals (for example, food for animals with renal insufficiency).
Managing food when you have more than one animal is always difficult and there are some tips to be found.
For cats, the ideal is to opt for a electronic food bowl (SureFeed SureFlap distributor) which detects the microchip and makes it possible to feed each cat with the food which is adapted to it. This requires having an electronic lunchbox per cat. The other pets in the household cannot eat the cat’s meal because the dispenser will only open if it recognizes the pet’s microchip.
It is also possible to feed cats under the owners' supervision. If you have more than one animal, meals can be given in separate rooms. Cats who like to eat several small meals a day can quickly become restrictive for owners …
If you only have one cat and one or more dogs, it is possible to place the cat's bowl high, in a place inaccessible to the dog (s). In this case, it is possible to leave the cat's food available throughout the day.
For dogs, meals must be given under owners supervision. The bowl must be removed after 20 minutes even if the animal has not finished its ration. The distribution of meals at fixed times is easier for dogs than for cats, adult dogs generally providing only two meals per day.