*We have partnered with the team at Sure Petcare to bring you this article.
When it comes to furry friends, sometimes one just isn’t enough! Living in a house full of pets is a brilliant experience for both humans and animals, but regardless of which combination of critters call your house their home, it doesn’t come without its complications, particularly when it comes to mealtimes.
From sensitive tummies, young age, old age, obesity and medication, there are plenty of reasons why your pets might need to eat an individual diet. But what happens when you have multiple cats or dogs who are all raiding each other’s food bowls, eating more than they should, bullying other pets at mealtime and dining on food not meant for them? Unfortunately, this can lead to weight gain, weight loss (when some poor pets aren’t getting their fair share), and even illness if a dog or cat is ingesting medication not meant for them.
To help make mealtimes a little less stressful for both you and your pets, here are 5 simple ways you can successfully manage feeding time in a multi-pet household:
1. CREATE A FEEDING PLAN
It sounds simple but the first step managing different diets is to create a plan. If you already know what type of food and how much you should be feeding each pet, put this all down on paper with colour coding, laminate it and stick on to the fridge. This way it’s clear for yourself or anyone who is looking after your pets. If you are not sure about the best diet for your pets, consult your vet or pet nutritionist about the ideal feeding plan to get you started.
2. USE A MICROCHIP PET FEEDER
Make mealtimes much less stressful by using a microchip activated feeder like the SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder (above). This clever feeder recognises a pet’s unique microchip number or RFID collar tag, so it will only open for them, and no other pet in the house. When the authorised pet approaches the feeder the lid slides open automatically to reveal the food, closing again when the pet has finished. This is an excellent solution if you have a fussy eater who likes to graze throughout the day. You can now leave food out without fear of your other pets eating it.
As an added bonus, each bowl features an integrated seal that helps keep your pet’s food fresher for longer – keeping your house free of unwanted pet food smells and flies. Suitable for both dogs and cats, you can use this feeder with wet and dry food, and you can even personalise each pet’s with different colour bowls and mats.
3. FEED IN SEPERATE ROOMS
If you hate acting like a referee during your pet’s mealtimes, the other way to ensure they are eating their allocated food is to feed them in separate rooms. This is more difficult than using a microchip feeder but may be your next best solution. Doors should separate the rooms so your pets can eat at their leisure without fear of another animal encroaching on their dinner. If you need to re-open the space afterwards, simply remove the food once all animals are finished to avoid pets finishing off each other’s meals.
4. USED A RAISED FEEDING POSITION
This is a great solution if you have a dog and a cat that need to be fed separately. Put your cat’s food in a raised position where the cat is easily able to reach it, but the dog can’t – this could be on top of a side table or even the laundry sink. This solution can also work well if you have an overweight cat that can’t jump to a certain height but your other cat is able to reach it. Just beware that when your overweight cat starts to lose some weight, they may be able to jump higher!
5. PERSONALISE BOWLS & FEEDING STATIONS
This is for your benefit, not your pet’s. It can be confusing feeding a range of diets to different pets, so make sure you don’t get them accidentally mixed up, adding to the confusion at mealtime. Choose different coloured bowls, mats, or even label your pet’s bowl with their name. ET VOILA!
Do you have multiple pets in your home? How do you manage mealtime? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
* This post is brought to you by our carefully selected partners, SureFlap.