This Q&A pet nutrition series comes to an end. Thanks to Dr. Marcie Campion, pet nutritionist at Iams, and Iams for donating 1,000 bowls of food to Jersey Animal Coalition, and to all of you who left comments and asked questions at Pet News and Views.
Pet News and Views: We adopted our dog Haley a little over 6 years ago. She is the sweetest dog ever. We just found out she has heart disease. What is the best type of food we should feed her? She is now about 7 years old.
Dr. Marcie Campion: I’m so sorry to hear about Haley. To avoid any potential weight gain in Haley, I’d recommend feeding her IAMS ProActive Health Weight Control or IAMS Healthy Naturals Weight Control; this will ensure she doesn’t pack on any extra pounds which will negatively affect her heart disease condition.
PNAV: I adopted 2 wonderful dogs from the JAC. They bring so much joy to my life. I cannot thank the JAC enough for giving me these two angels! I also have a pug who is overweight. We feed him a little bit of dry food, wet food, peas, and carrots, but he doesn’t seem to be losing weight. Are there any suggestions on what I can feed him to help him lose those extra pounds?
Dr. Campion: Avoid self-feeding. Dogs do better with a controlled amount of food on a schedule. Make smart choices. Try the IAMS Healthy Naturals Weight Control formula and exercise. A great way to keep your dog trim and fit is with some good exercise sessions. Find something you both enjoy together and make it your new routine.
PNAV: I feed my adopted kittens Iams Kitten dry food and my adopted adult cats adult Iams dry food. At what age can I switch the kittens over to the adult formula?
Dr. Campion: You can make the switch from kitten to adult food at age one. Be sure to transition slowly and introduce the new food gradually. Start by mixing 25 percent new food with 75 percent old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the old food. At the end of the weaning process, you should be feeding 100 percent of the new food.
PNAV: Do dogs (and cats) get bored with the same food everyday?
Dr. Campion: No. Boredom with food is a human trait. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and usually are happy with just one food. Dogs and cats generally eat to meet their energy or nutritional needs. They have very short digestive systems, and, if their diet is abruptly or constantly changed, digestive disturbances can occur. Also, constant changes can make a pet a finicky eater.
Ever since I wrote this, I have to say that my cat, Earl Gray, does get bored with the same food. He is on a special diet for his thyroid, but I do add different types of gravy to his food. He is finicky.