Should I leave dry food down all day and night for my pets? They are strictly indoors except for walks. My cat has playtime on our balcony. Of course, we play with them with their toys when home but I’m not sure that’s enough exercise.


After 30 plus years in practice, I have found that leaving food available all day is not a good idea. Primarily, because digestion actually starts in the mouth with the enzymes present in saliva. The fact that digestion tarts in the mouth keeps our pets from just lying around the home and getting into a habit of walking by the food bowl and taking a few mouthfuls of food just because it’s there and becomes a habit. Overweight pets are also predisposed to many other diseases as they age. My recommendation is to put food (dry and canned) down at the same time in the morning and evening for an hour or so. This works well and our pets adjust to the change quickly and have those juices flowing in their mouth when they should, which is when they hear you opening the can or bag of dry food just before putting it down. In a future article, I will make recommendations about what to avoid in pet foods and why.

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