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It goes without saying that every loving pet parent wants their four-legged family member to live the longest, healthiest life possible. And while life is unpredictable, a huge part of helping your dog or cat reach a ripe old age has to do with nutrition. It’s no wonder that one of the most common questions pet parents ask their vets is, “What’s the best dog diet / cat diet out there?”


The short answer is that there’s no one-size-fits all formula for every animal. Each pet has different dietary needs depending on health, age, activity level, genetics, and more. Therefore, the best feeding plan for your companion is the one you create alongside your vet or pet nutritionist. Still, there are many bad feeding habits that, in general, should be avoided when it comes to providing optimum pet nutrition.


Based on information collected from 35 vets and pet nutritionists around the world, here are four of the biggest feeding mistakes that pet owners make.


First and foremost, medical issues should be ruled out if your pet becomes obese, especially if it’s sudden or accompanied by a change in appetite. “If your [pet] is overeating, take [them] to the vet to make sure they do not have worms or an underlying issue,” advises Angela Ardolino of CBD Dog Healthin Florida. As mentioned, worms, parasites, and even illnesses like Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidismcan lead to weight gain, so it’s important to get your pet evaluated if he starts getting hefty.


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