we witness the rains setting in, the atmosphere in general starts to become cooler but with a much higher level of moisture in the air. While all of us welcome this change in weather, given a much needed respite from the hot summer sun, there are some careful considerations that pet parents need to keep in mind with regard to their pet’s diet.
Dr. Amruta Parulkar, Surgeon and Physician, Happy Tails Veterinary Specialty, says, “It is best to feed your pets a balanced nutritional diet. Majority of the pet parents feed their pooches packaged food which is at a higher risk of contamination during this season. See that the packaged food is fresh and does not have any food-borne bacteria in it. Consumption of such food can cause severe food poisoning.”
It is clearly important to always check packaged food to see that it hasn’t spoiled before giving it to your pet. What one can also consider is to buy smaller packages.
Pet parents usually buy 5-10 kg packages of food given that feeding is a recurring activity and it saves us from the process of re-ordering food. Instead, we should buy 1-2 kg packages, as this not only allows us to check and replace the food more easily but also makes storage a much easier task.
Pet parents should always use air tight containers to store food, which will help to keep the moisture out and increase the shelf life of the product.
For pet parents who prefer to give a home cooked diet, the guidelines are similar to the ones as above. “From what I have seen, pet parents usually cook their pets’ meals for the week in one go and then freeze the meal, giving it to the pet as and when required. Given that food spoils faster in this season, we should cook the food in much smaller batches,” says Devanshi Shah, founder, PetKonnect, an online pet products and services aggregator.
Consider only preparing food for the next 2 or 3 days at the most. While this may prove to be a more daunting task, trust me when I say, it’s easier than dealing with a pet who is diagnosed with food poisoning.
Also, a key point to note, when we give our pets food, many times they don’t eat the food immediately and may eat it many hours later. “Uncovered food that is left out can spoil in as quickly as 15 minutes. Make an effort to time your feeding with when your pet is actually ready to eat, or else check the food and consider replacing if it smell’s off,” adds Shah.