Are you feeding your dog or cat properly?

the The Food and Drug Administration has guidelines about the proper ways to buy, prepare and store pet food.

A new study from North Carolina published in PLOS ONE found that less than 5% of a survey of 417 dog owners were aware of FDA guidelines for dog food.

Any pet diet should be balanced and complete and having a conversation with your pet’s veterinarian is crucial, said Brick veterinarian Adam Christman and chief veterinarian at DVM 360the country’s leading veterinary multimedia publication.

How Much Food Should You Give Your Dog?

He said feeding a dog (or cat) properly depends on the animal’s body condition, which can be done in a veterinary practice. This determines whether an animal is overweight or underweight. He looks at the size and breed of the animal, and if it’s a puppy, how big it will be.

But generally, dog owners should read the bag of commercial dog food they purchased. Check the food portion size. Christman said, for example, that for a 30-pound dog, the serving size is one cup of food.

But that doesn’t mean one cup of food per feed. That means one cup of food a day, Christman said. So if your dog eats twice a day, that’s half a cup of food during one meal and half a cup of food the next. He added that this amount of food for a dog of this size is reasonable because he will most likely have a few snacks during the day.

“The other factor to consider is whether your pet is spayed or neutered, as that also changes the nutritional requirements that they will need. They don’t need as many calories as an intact animal,” Christman says. .

Tracking the serving size on the bag is key, but he said sometimes the vet will even change that amount. So, discuss the proper way to feed a dog or cat.

How do you keep pet food and water bowls hygienic?

First, it’s important to use clean hands yourself when preparing a pet’s meal, per FDA guidelines. Before and after handling pet food and treats, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

Christman said it’s also important to keep a pet’s food dish very hygienic to prevent bacteria from forming or cross-contaminating food.

Clean the bowls with good soap and water right after feeding them or toss them in the dishwasher. Picking utensils should also be washed very well. Do not use an animal’s food bowl as a recovery utensil. Instead, use a clean scoop, scoop or cup.

“Fun fact: Plastic bowls tend to harbor more bacteria than ceramic and stainless steel bowls,” Christman said. Therefore, plastic bowls should be scrubbed very well.

Change the pet’s water bowls daily and clean them as well. Christman said to smell the bottom of an animal’s water bowl. It feels slimy and gamey because their tongues are constantly in it and it’s standing water. Also wash the water bowls several times a day.

How to store pet food?

Christman said according to FDA guidelines, dry pet food should be stored in a cool, dry place. Excess heat or humidity can cause nutrients in food to break down.

Wet foods should be stored in the refrigerator. But Christman suggests not using foil to cover food. Use an airtight lid instead. After 4 or 5 days throw away the food as it will become unpleasant.

“A big fact that I like to tell everyone is that 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese in 2017. That’s over 15 million dogs that were overweight. I’m on a big initiative in my career to make sure our dogs and cats stay healthy because obesity is a disease and it’s reversible,” Christman said.

There are not many reversible diseases to improve the quality of life of fur babies.

Christman said it’s important to keep these animals handsome and lean. Listen to your veterinarian. Follow FDA guidelines on how to properly feed dogs and cats. Use good hygiene to stop the spread of bacteria and disease, and store food safely to keep it fresh, too.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

Click here to contact an editor about a comment or correction for this story.

New Jersey High School Graduation Rate

The lists below show the 4-year graduation rates for New Jersey public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The statewide graduation rate fell slightly from 91% in 2019-20 to 90.6%.

The listings, which are sorted by county and include a separate listing for charter schools, also include a second graduation rate, which excludes students whose special education IEPs allow them to qualify for degrees despite not not meet typical course and attendance requirements.

Columns with an asterisk or “N” indicate that there was no data or that it was suppressed to protect student confidentiality.

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