Pet Food Features

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\\\ Updated 23 September 2021

PET CHECK UK Puppy surrounded by pumpkins

Can Pets Eat Pumpkins?

More than 8 million pumpkins are specifically grown on British farms to celebrate Halloween, 31st October, each year in the UK, and the majority of the contents are thrown away in the dustbin because the majority of the public do not realise that pumpkins can be eaten by humans and pets. It’s one of the biggest wastes of food in this country.

Pumpkin is a food classed as a fruit where the flesh can be eaten by your pet dog. The pulp is low in calories and makes effective diarrhea and constipation remedy so it’s important to serve your dog, cat, or rabbit with a small amount. Cats can eat a couple of teaspoons of puree. Rabbits according to their size can be offered less.

All pets should be fed as if pumpkin is a treat and not an everyday staple part of their diet. The seeds can be lightly toasted. You can read more about pumpkins at Petcheck blog.

Do Pets Need Extra Food During Colder Weather?

Colder autumn and winter months see our pets suffering from the effects of cold weather, dogs and cats preferring to curl up keeping warm at home in favour of long dog walks and cats out nightly on their hunting expeditions.

When snow and ice arrive, and the temperature plummets this is the time that pets seem more content to snuggle up and eat more, putting on more body fat than in the summer months.

Various veterinary reports suggest that cats need slightly less food during summer months possibly due to the extra energy they need when outside in colder conditions where owners should consider the amounts of food they give to ensure their cat stays healthy with a balanced diet.

Dogs need shorter walks which may become more limited with worse weather conditions and prevents them from suffering coldness and possible hypothermia, short-haired breeds suffering more.

Dogs tend to eat more in colder months, during autumn and winter, building up their fat reserves to keep them warm, with dogs kept outside needing substantially more food to keep them warm in colder conditions.

Obesity is a major problem with our pets, where it’s reported that levels are possibly as high as 65% now in dogs classed as obese. (Reference Vet Journals, BMJ).

During the autumn and winter months, we eat vegetables that dogs can eat that are healthy and safe. Broccoli stalks, green beans, and carrots. Cut up large, harder pieces of broccoli and carrots for smaller dogs to help them digest more easily and not hurt their teeth. Eating these foods may help with keeping your pets within their diet, particularly if your pet is looking for a shop-bought treat when they can be given these more satisfying and lower-calorie foods.

It’s important to counteract overfeeding by reducing diets as soon as temperatures increase and your pet, both dogs and cats, are more active taking more exercise.

If unsure about your pet weight and food requirements, chat online with a Vet Call or see your local vet. Veterinary practices offer free weigh-in services if in any doubt about your pet’s weight.

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\\\ Pet Rabbits Living Outside

PET CHECK UK Small girl with a rabbit in a hutch

Rabbits need care when living outside in hutches, which must be waterproof and moved out of direct winds. Extra covers are needed to be put over the hutch for insulation during colder months, allowing a little air circulation and ensure they have more quality bedding hay to be able to snuggle into to keep warm. They too eat more quality hay and pellets to help them keep stable during the cold months and need continual freshwater checks that their supply hasn’t frozen over. Rabbits can suffer from depression if left on their own without contact and are far better living with a mate.

\\\ Chinese Meals

PET CHECK UK - Chinese meal

Are Chinese Takeaways OK For My Dog To Eat?

We love our takeaway meals and that includes a good Chinese meal, now the second most popular takeaway meal consumed in the UK.

Human food is generally not good for our pets and that sadly includes Chinese takeaways which despite being made with many vegetables are unsuitable for dogs and pets due to their very riches sauces particularly high in salt and soy. Vets highly recommend you don’t feed your pet this diet.

\\\ Spring

Does My Pet Need A Spring Health Check?

Springtime brings the opportunity of checking your pet’s health and adjusting all that binging and ‘special treats’ consumed over Christmas and Easter, and especially winter due to reduced dog walking and cats resting more indoors during the colder, longer days.

A visit to your local vet is highly recommended to use their free weigh-in service and check how your pet is doing. They will have general weight guides available for you to compare your pet’s weight against your pet’s average breed and you can then adjust the diet as necessary.

Checking your pet’s weight is an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. This can mean reducing food for a period of time, a small reduction in daily portions can help enormously to correct any winter indulgence as experienced pet owners know.

Spring also brings the opportunity to consider the menu you are providing your pet and whether there’s some room for a need for change in choices of daily meals.

New pet owners are strongly recommended to consult with their vet before making any changes.

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\\\ Pet Treats

Should I Give My Pet Treats?

Some vets believe pet treats should be no more than 10% of the total daily pet diet and there’s no need to buy high street snacks, high in sugar, fats, and often preservatives. 

Treats come in all shapes and sizes and in a huge variety of foods. From special dog crisps and popcorn to venison slices for cats, even specially made cabor (chocolate-like) pet easter eggs hit our pet stores so that pets can join in the festivities.

Of course, it’s the owners at fault for wanting our pets to enjoy their lives to the maximum but we may be doing more harm than good. Offering some safe and healthy vegetables to dogs is not a major problem, high in minerals and low in calories and keeps them chewing on them for some time whilst avoiding giving pets hard items such as bones which can damage teeth and also splinter, hurting their mouth and cause bleeding. 

Try Some Of These New Foods And Treats For Dogs

  • Zooplus offer a large range of branded dog and puppy foods delivered straight to your door.
  • Dog Chew Stores sell a handy range of dog treats.
  • Doggie Solutions a range of branded puppy and dog foods and handy treats.
  • Monster Pet Supplies offer a large range of well-known dog treats and dental chews.
  • Tails.com Delivering thousands of meals to happy dog owners each month by subscription. Dog food unique as your dog.
  • Barking Heads Popular dog food using only the best quality ingredients go into the wet and dry recipes. Packed with plenty of natural, delicious meat and garden veggies for dogs.
  • AATU the original 80:20 dog food, with a staggering 80% meat in every product.
  • Hi Life Manufacture a great tasting selection of natural puppy and dog foods and a range of treats.
  • Pooch & Mutt Healthy dog foods that include superfoods, treats, supplements, functional and wet food all sent to you at home, by subscription
  • .Jollyes offer one of the largest ranges of dog treats that we’ve seen. Highly recommended.

Try Some Of These New Foods And Treats For Cats

  • Hi Life Great tasting selection of natural kitten and cat foods.
  • Meowing Cats Premium kitten and cat foods packed with plenty of natural ingredients.
  • Republic of Cats New from sister company Tails.com premium cat subscription food delivered to your door monthly.
  • AATU the original 80:20 cat food, with a staggering 80% meat in every product.
  • Catit the specialist website for kittens and cats provide a range of both dry and wet foods and nibble treats.
  • Zooplus offer a large range of branded cat foods delivered straight to your door.
  • Pooch & Mutt Healthy cat food by subscription delivered straight to your door.
  • Hi Life Great tasting selection of natural kitten and cat foods.
  • Meowing Cats Premium cat foods and treats packed with plenty of natural ingredients.
  • Jollyes offer a large range of branded delicious cat treats.
  • Monster Pet Supplies offer a quality range of cat and kitten treats.
  • Catit offer a range of their own produced treats.

\\\ Vegan Pets

Pets Going Vegetarian?

Meat-Free Monday was introduced globally and highlighted in 2009 by Sir Paul McCartney after a United Nations report on Climate Change, a report aimed to help our planet and environment by reducing the carbon footprint associated with eating meat by humans. 

Whilst designed for humans to take up the challenge, pet food manufacturers are very aware of the public demands for more choice, ‘going green’ and being environmentally aware including vegetarian meals as part, but not wholly, of their pets’ balanced diet. Most good pet food brands are now developing their own ranges with constant pet food launches announced every month.

\\\ Christmas Pet Food

Pets Love Christmas

Are You Going To Give Your Pet Your Christmas Dinner?

Pets love Christmas, they love to forage among the wrapped presents stacked under the Christmas tree, sniffing out the gorgeous handmade chocolates or special nuts you meticulously searched for your friends and relatives. Pets get so excited by the new smells and aromas, that they’ll stop at nothing, furiously tearing open the packaging and before can catch them, they’ve eaten your edible gifts.

Within a short space of time pets will be showing the first signs of eating foods that completely disagree with them and can in some cases, cause severe poisoning, and even death. Vets call it ’emergency month’ as they see a huge rise of mischievous pets through their veterinary doors with their owners apologising for their naughty pets who are now very ill.

Pet Check has put together a special Christmas page dedicated to our VIP Very Important Pets as so many owners like to include their pets in their festive celebrations.

Feeding pets human foods can cause many problems. Our guide highlights the best and worst of Christmas foods that dogs, cats, and rabbits can and can’t enjoy along with the plants and decorations that we bring into our homes over Christmas that can also be highly poisonous. Take a few minutes to check out and enjoy a trouble-free pet Christmas!

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