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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


PetPALS Diet

The Importance of a High-Quality Diet

One expression of the bond fostered between youth and their visiting pets is concern with providing the best available nutrition for their animals. Feeding an appropriate high-quality diet is essential for maintaining performance in these working animals. Poorly fed pets lack the energy and stamina to keep up with an active training and visiting program, are more likely to suffer skin and coat problems, and are more susceptible to illness and the effects of stress. Feeding high quality pet foods typically improve the smell of your pet’s breath, as well as stool odor.

Pets that participate in visiting programs should be fed complete and balanced commercial diets that are guaranteed to contain the nutrients they need.

A 4-H member should not feed his or her pet within three hours of transporting the pet to the visit, as this can encourage car sickness in some animals. Animals that have eaten too close to the time of visiting may also become sick during the visit due to the various activity levels and stresses of visiting.