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Leave Food Out for Your Pet? Why Atlanta Vets Advise Against It

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We know you like to treat your pet like a member of the family and want to make sure your furry friends never feels hungry.

However, making sure their food bowl is full 24/7 is not always the best choice.  In fact, Atlanta vets say you might be doing a major disservice to your pets.

Read on if you’d like to know why.

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Free-Feeding Can Lead to Food Guarding

Many owners believe providing constant access to food can prevent this type of behavior when in reality it’s the exact opposite.

Leaving food out can in fact act as an ongoing source your stress for your pets who might feel they always have to be ready to safeguard their meals.

Over time, all this stress can have serious effects and manifests itself through aggressive behavior.

If your pet gobbles down his food whenever you have guests over, it’s a sign something’s not right.

Chaotic Meals Often Result in Weight Gain

Approximately 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.

Clearly, it’s a common problem.

Excessive weight significantly increases the risk for serious health conditions, such as:

  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • high blood pressure
  • some forms of cancer
  • liver dysfunction
  • breathing difficulty

It’s important to mention not all pets have the same eating behavior. Some can free-feed just fine without overeating.

Maybe your dog or cat likes to snack throughout the day instead of having several bigger meals.

Make sure you pay attention to your pet’s eating pattern and check with your Atlanta vets to see if it poses any concerns.

You Lose Control over How Much Your Pet Eats

When it becomes a habit, free-feeding can quickly make you lose track of how many bowls of food you fed your pet throughout the day.

The problem is, just like humans, pets can also make a habit out of eating too much.


On the other hand, if your pet typically nibbles throughout the day, it’s harder to notice if your pet has eaten enough.

Lack of appetite can be one of the first symptoms of illness. So it’s advised to keep track of it.

Being a loving owner also means making smart and responsible choices when it comes to your pet’s diet. It’s hard to do this when you have little or no control over it.

Atlanta Vets Can Help You Put Together a Healthy Meal Schedule

Generally speaking, guardians free-feed their pets out of love and concern.

Now you know good intentions don’t always make for good results. There are plenty of other ways to show your pets how much you love them – without constantly giving them food re-fills.

A balanced meal schedule means your pet will only eat the amount of food needed to be healthy and happy. No more and no less.

Our experienced Atlanta vets can advise you on how much and how many times per day you should feed your furry companion.

All you have to do is contact us at 404-238-7438 or get in touch with us online.

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