Not everyone possesses the knowledge you have about your dogs’ and cats’ health and lifestyle. That’s why it’s important for you to express concern at the beginning of a relative or friend’s visit about them feeding your pets. By doing it gently and tactfully, you avoid emergency vet visits and the heartache that sometimes comes with them.
The following suggestions are ways to keep others from feeding your dogs and cats “people food” or treats that they’re not accustomed to eating. Emphasizing the importance of safety and good health, these statements can be customized to meet your household’s needs.
“My pet has extreme food allergies that require consistent monitoring.”
Even if it isn’t entirely true, it prevents others from feeling the need to give in to your pet’s begging for table food during mealtime. Most people do not know what people foods are toxic to dogs and cats. Make sure to keep the number for the Poison Control Center on your refrigerator where your guests can see it while visiting.
“We stopped giving our pets treats because we noticed they weren’t as energetic as they were before we started rewarding them.”
If your pet is the least bit overweight, your guests will take note of that and not want to feed them every time they look at them. Pet obesity is of grave concern. It’s a topic that you should share with adults so that they understand that every extra pound on your pet has the potential of shortening their lifespan by years.
“We choose to now reward out pets with extra attention and playtime.”
Younger people respond to this statement well because they have boundless energy and affection to shower onto your pets. Allow your pets to become acquainted with your guests prior to making this statement. You don’t want to startle the animal and cause them to nip or bite the child.
“We have to watch our dog so that he won’t eat our cat’s food.”
People always want to know if it’s okay for a dog to eat cat food. The answer is “No,” because each animal is different in the way they chew and digest food. Share your knowledge because information is a powerful equalizer. It could be the tip they needed to hear to save their own dog’s life.
“Our cat has a tendency to eat our dog’s food, so we watch her while she eats her food.”
If you let your guests know that you feed your pets according to a strict schedule and monitor their intake, they know not to slip scraps to your cat or dog under the table. They’ll see you watching your pet eat and respect your decision to watch your cat’s diet. Most people don’t feed other people’s pets without permission, but some may feel compelled to do so if you don’t tell them not to.
There are some ways to tactfully tell others not to feed your pets. By setting boundaries right from the start, you avoid any mishaps that might occur when you’re entertaining guests. You won’t have to worry about your dogs and cats being fed something they shouldn’t ingest.