Dos and don’ts of feeding your pet

Discover the dos and don’ts of feeding your pet, to encourage good feeding behaviour and reduce the risk of snubbing or rejection.

23rd April 2019

Every cat or dog is different and will have individual nutritional needs and fussy demands when it comes to feeding.

Some pets will let you know how they feel about the food you put in their bowls and it can take some time to know what they love or hate but here are some dos and don’ts of feeding so you can try to avoid any snubbing.


  • Use stainless steel or ceramic dog bowls as these are best for keeping clean
  • Wash their bowls regularly to avoid any nasty bacteria
  • Make sure that clean and fresh water is available to all pets
  • Get your pet to do a trick before giving them their food, i.e. get your dog to sit. It enforces positive reinforcement as well as helping to calm some dogs, especially if meal time is an exciting time of day. (Doesn’t apply to cats.) 
  • Feed your pet according to their age, body condition, and activity level
  • Make sure their food meets their nutritional needs
  • Feed pets separately so you can keep an eye on any changes in eating habits
  • Leave your pet in peace while they’re eating from their bowl
  • Invest in a puzzle feeder if they eat too quickly
  • Limit feeding time so that your pet can get used to a schedule
  • Make sure all the family stick to the same rules


  • Use plastic bowls as these can absorb bacteria
  • Feed your pet any toxic foods
  • Feed your dog foods that are high in salt, sugar and bad fats
  • Feed your pet from the table or give them scraps from your plate
  • Free feed your pet as this can lead to overweight pets
  • Design a dietary plan for weight loss without speaking to your vet
  • Exercise your pet too soon after eating as this could result in “bloat”
  • Feed your pet before travelling as this could lead to travel sickness
  • Change your dog’s diet abruptly, this will need to be done gradually

You know your cat or dog best and you’ll know what would work best for you and your pet but these are just some of the dos and don’ts to encourage some good habits surrounding feeding time.

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