If your pet is a healthy weight, busting out the kitchen scale to measure their meals might seem unnecessary or even obsessive, especially when a simple scoop measure works fine. But scales work better. They make it easy to give your pet the right amount of food every single time, which is as good for you as it is for them.
Above all else, scales are super accurate. Although most pet food packages include a range of suggested portions in both cups and grams, the vast majority of pet owners stick to scoops or measuring cups. Unfortunately, these tools pose a problem: What do you do when a quarter cup isn’t enough food, but a third cup is way too much? Eyeballing “scant” or “heaping” scoops is so unreliable that you may wind up systematically under- or overfeeding your pet, neither of which is good for them. But if you use a scale, you’ll know exactly how much food they’re getting at every meal, which makes it easy to fine-tune the portion as needed.
Consistent portion sizes can also be important to your pet’s emotional health. Since pets can’t read clocks, they need a reliable routine — like regular breakfast and dinner times — to know what’s going on. Obviously, timing is a huge part of a proper meal routine, but so are the portion sizes. Using a scale makes the entire experience as predictable as possible, giving your fuzzy friend a surefire thing to look forward to every day. It also makes your job completely foolproof: Just put an empty bowl on the scale, tare it out, and add food until you hit the target weight.
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If you don’t own a kitchen scale yet, buying one is worth it for pet food alone. Not only are digital scales affordable — literally every retailer that sells kitchen equipment offers a couple options in the $20 range — they’re so versatile you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.