Gastrointestinal Food Reactions In Dogs
Gastrointestinal food reactions involve abnormal clinical symptoms to a particular diet. A dog that is experiencing a food reaction is unable to digest, absorb, and/or utilize a particular foodstuff.
It is important to note that these reactions are not due to food allergies, which involve an immune reaction to a particular component of a diet. However, both food reactions and food allergy share common symptoms, causes, diagnostics, and even treatments, making it a challenge for an attending veterinarian to differentiate between the two.
Reactions to a particular diet are often due to unknown causes, but they may be linked to a particular dietary ingredient, additive, or dietary compound. Also possible is a reaction to the toxic effects of a particular food contaminant or to spoiled foodstuff .
Dogs of any age, breed, or gender can be affected. Gluten sensitivity has been reported in Irish setters. Lactose intolerance is a common finding in adult dogs.
Oops Too Late I Already Made The Switch
If you are reading this because you switched dog foods and now your dog has diarrhea, heres what to do.
If the dog seems fine and doesnt need the vet , then withhold food for 1224 hours. This allows the gut to rest and regroup. During this time, make sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh drinking water.
When you feed them again, offer a bland diet that is easy to digest. Suggestions include:
- Protein: White meats such as chicken breast, turkey thigh, cod or other white fish, or cottage cheese
- Carbohydrate: Boiled white rice, pasta or potato
Offer 4 small portions spread over the day, rather than 12 big meals. Feed this until the dog produces stool that you can pick up. Once this occurs, you can go back to once or twice daily feeding and reintroduce the new food but gradually, as outlined above.
Doggy probiotics are also helpful. These are dietary supplements that contain the correct type of bacteria to assist a dogs digestion. My personal preference is for FortiFlora, which has saved the day many times after Pogss dietary indiscretions.
However, dont use human probiotics the bacteria are different. Plus, many human probiotics come in a dairy drink, and the lactose in these can be a cause of dodgy tummies in dogs.
Pick The Right Food Brand
I see a lot of people who buy low-quality dog food because its cheap. While not everybody can afford the best dog food, some low-quality brands are just not good at all for your pooch.
Its true that dogs are omnivore animals and that they can digest both meat and grains well.
However, a lot of these cheap brands usually contain a lot of grains and vegetables and not enough meat to satisfy the dogs needs.
Low-quality also means that the dog might not get all the necessary nutrients and develop vitamin deficiencies.
Not to mention the artificial ingredients, which might irritate the dogs stomach.
Here are some guidelines on how to choose the best dog food for your pooch:
- Look at the ingredients. The first one should be meat or meat meal. Stay away from those reading meat by-products.
- Consider your dogs age and activity. An active dog or a puppy will need more calories than an older dog or a lazy one.
- Check if the label has a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Its an excellent indication if the brand has all the necessary nutrients for a healthy dog.
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Home Care For Diarrhoea
If your pet has diarrhoea but is otherwise happy, well and behaving normally you could try to settle them at home. If they dont improve quickly or you are concerned about them at any point book an appointment with your vet. Diarrhoea in rabbits should always be checked by a vet.
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Transition From Puppy Food To Dog Food
For most people, the first time you change dog foods might be when your dog goes from puppy to adult. Growing puppies require some additional nutrients, but once your puppy is full-grown, switching to a maintenance formula will help keep your dog lean and healthy.
This switch can be done as slowly as is needed, and the diet changes are typically less drastic between puppy and adult formulas of the same brand.
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How Long Does It Take Puppy To Adjust To New Food
Are you wondering how long it takes a puppy to adjust to new food?
I had the same question when my puppy suddenly got the runs after I got him high-quality dog food.
While many dogs can switch foods without any issues, some pups arent so fortunate.
Those with sensitive tummies or food allergies can take a little longer to fully adjust.
Turns out, I did it a little too fast!
So, today Im going to help you avoid my mistake by explaining how to switch dog food.
Tips For Changing Your Dogs Food Safely
Changing your dogs food is one of those things that shouldnt be that hard, but one bad experience can have you feeling a little hesitant to make the next switch. Find out everything you need to know about changing dog food.
We eat different foods every day at every meal, but we feed our dogs the same diet over and over again. Do they get bored of eating only one food? Can they get enough nutrients out of a single diet?
Dogs who eat one diet for a long time are not accustomed to recognizing and digesting new foods very well, so when you do end up changing their food, your dog might be surprised with some unpleasant digestive reactions. Knowing how to change your dog’s food safely can reduce reactions and help your dog adapt to his new diet quickly.
If your pooch has been lucky enough to not have any food allergies, weight problems, or other health issues, then you may have never had to worry about changing your dog’s food yet. The chances are though, at some point in your dog’s life you are going to need to change their diet for one reason or another.
Whether you need to change your dog’s diet to treat an issue or just to give your dog a little flavour variety, knowing how to change dog food safely is important.
- Picky eaters
- New diet formats
Take a look at some of the most common reasons to switch up your dogs diet:
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Switching Dog Food: Should You Do It
There are a few situations in a dogs life that may justify a food change.
- A transition from puppy food to dog food
- A transition from dog food to a senior dog food
- A transition from kibble to a canned version
- A transition to a veterinary-recommended prescription diet
Many pet owners will switch from a puppy-specific formula to an adult dog food formula as their puppies grow up. A food change may also be recommended when dogs enter the senior phase of their lives as nutrient and calorie needs change.
If your dog was born with a medical condition, or develops one during their life, a change in diet prescribed to address the condition may help your pet to feel better and even live longer. For instance, if your dog has digestive problems, your veterinarian may recommend switching to a dog food for sensitive stomachs.
Side Effects Of Switching Dog Food
If you didnt take the time to follow a diet transition schedule, or if you otherwise tried to switch too quickly, you might get to see what intestinal upset looks like.
Consider a time when you have eaten a brand new cuisine or a food you were otherwise not used to eating. The stomach pain and/or bathroom consequences you experienced are similar to what a dog goes through after eating something their body is not used to. Intestinal upset can manifest as throwing up, little or no appetite, or diarrhea.
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The Trouble With Switching
Some dogs will switch to a new food with no hassles at all. But for many dogs, introducing them to a new diet can result in an upset stomach. Were talking diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive symptoms, all of which can be quite unpleasant for your dog and quite worrying for you.
So instead of abruptly cutting off their old diet and feeding their new one, its important to make the change gradually so your dog has a chance to adapt.
What Happens If I Change My Dogs Food Too Fast
Switching your dogs food abruptly can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Any time you decide to change your dogs food, you should transition to the new diet gradually in order to give your dogs system time to adjust to the change.
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Why You Should Switch Your Dog To A New Food
Why would you want to feed your dog a different diet? Whats the point of switching foods?
There are actually several important reasons why you may need to transition your fur-baby to a new food, such as:
You want to feed a higher-quality food to your dog
Your pet has a food allergy or is sensitive to a particular ingredient
Your dog needs to lose or gain weight
Its time for your puppy to switch to adult dog food
Youre welcoming a new puppy or adopting a dog
You want to switch from dry to wet food to give your pet more variety
Your pet needs to switch to a special diet on the advice of your veterinarian
Prescription dog food can be expensive.
Many pet insurance plans cover the cost of prescription food. Invest in pet insurance today and save over $270 a year on vet care costs.
Is It Good To Switch Up Dog Food
There are many reasons you might change up your dogs food, like when you are managing dog food allergies or other health issues, but there is also value in switching your dogs food to provide your dog with more ingredient and nutrient variety.
Routinely offering different nutrients so your dog can benefit their overall health. This is called rotational feeding.
The popularity of commercial dog foods focused on convenience, and we got used to the concept of a single consistent dog diet, but the truth is that feeding the same diet, day in and day out, can lead to some problems.
Dogs who eat a single diet are more likely to get bored or disinterested in their meals. Poor eating habits can lead to weight issues and nutrient deficiencies, especially if you supplement with dog treats and table scraps to encourage eating.
Another factor to consider is food sensitivities. Though we dont know for sure what causes food sensitivities and allergies, its possible that feeding the same diet over long periods of time could lead to the development of these sensitivities.
Rotational feeding may help prevent the development of food allergies or digestive sensitivities in dogs.
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Why Dogs Get Sick From Switching Dog Food
If your dog got sick shortly after switching dog food, it’s important to evaluate what may be causing the upset stomach. It is easy to blame the new dog food for being a bad batch of perhaps not agreeing with the dog’s stomach, but one of the most common reasons is switching too fast.
Stomach upset in dogs is notoriously common when dogs are fed a food they don’t usually get or a new type of treats. Why does this happen though?Why do dogs get sick from switching dog food? Turns out, the problem stems from an issue with the flora that lives in your dog’s digestive tract.
A sudden change in diet disrupts the delicate balance of bacteria living in the gut and responsible for digesting foods. This disruption therefore leads to digestive issues. What should you do if your dog gets sick after switching foods? And most of all, how can you ascertain whether the digestive upset is due to switching dog food too fast?
There are several things you can do to better evaluate the situation. Sometimes, you must on your investigative hat and keep in mind certain predisposing factors. Most importantly though, if your dog is sick with lots of vomiting and diarrhea or your dog is acting lethargic, please play it safe and see your vet. Following are a few guidelines of sorting through various causes of dogs getting sick when starting a new food.
Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
Give your dog plenty of water, especially now, as they’ll need to stay hydrated during the transition. If they stop drinking, however, or seems to be drinking an excessive amount, this might be a sign of a more complicated digestion issue with the new food. Again, see your vet to ensure they’re taking to it healthily.
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Side Effects Of Changing Dog Food Too Quickly
If your dog has a sudden change of diet then you may see the following issues:
- Increased production of gas
- Inappetence your dog may take a dislike to suddenly being presented with a new food
Its worth bearing in mind that there can be other causes for these symptoms too. If you are worried about your pet then get them examined by a veterinary professional to make sure there is nothing else going on.
When To Switch Puppy To Dog Food
Most puppies need to transition to adult food around 1-year-old, though age and breed may be factors here. Larger breeds may grow up to 18-24 months, so they can stay on a large breed puppy food longer than smaller breeds.
The best way to tell when your dog is ready to transition from puppy food to adult is to monitor their weight. Dogs tend to reach full height and length before reaching their adult weight range, so monitor their weight and muscle development using the dog body conditioning score.
This can help determine if your puppy is ready to switch to adult food. Adult dogs fed puppy food can gain excess weight and maybe consume higher levels of nutrients, like calcium, than they require, which could lead to problems as they age.
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Find A Similar Dog Food Formula
Pick a new dog food that closely matches the previously used variety. For example, if your dog was eating a lamb and rice product that was recalled, purchase another companys lamb and rice formulation. Read the ingredient list. If you can match up the first few ingredients, the foods will be fairly similar. Also, review the guaranteed analysis on both labels. Avoid big changes in the percentages of protein, fat, and fiber, whenever possible.
Small Meals Throughout The Day
Another approach you can employ is offering small portions of the new food. Heres how to do it:
- Dont give the dog his usual portion, but a small quantity of the new food.
- Wait a couple of hours to see if your dog will experience any stomach discomfort.
- If there are no problems, give another small meal.
- Continue to increase the quantity of the new food and lengthen the feeding intervals.
Following this strategy, you should be back to your regular feeding schedule in 2-3 days.
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Changing Dog Food Too Quickly Symptoms And How To Fix Them
Last Updated on March 9, 2022 by
Dogs are omnivores so youd think they rarely have digestive problems. Not always true, however. Here are some changing dog food too quickly symptoms and how to fix them. Well go over what you can expect, how to avoid most issues, and what to do if some problems arise. A vets recommendation should always take priority over anything we say, of course, but these are some good general tips that will likely help you avoid any issues in the first place.
Should I Feed My Dog If He Threw Up
If your dog is vomiting and you suspect that hes merely dealing with stomach upset instead of a serious illness, withhold food for at least 12 hours to give your dogs stomach a chance to settle down. When it is time to feed your dog again, offer him a small amount of boiled chicken and cooked white rice.
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How To Switch From One Dog Food To Another
When switching from one diet to another, follow these steps:
This means the transition period should take about a week or so. In some dogs who are fussy with food or have particularly sensitive tummies, then you may need to do an even longer transition period.
Mixing food in steadily will also increase the chances of your dog accepting the new food which is especially important if he requires it for medical reasons. Speak with your vet if you arent sure or if you are worried your dog is reacting badly to a new diet.
Many owners worry about changing their puppy from raw food to kibble, but the principles are just the same as for any dietary change. Be aware that raw fed puppies can be carriers of potentially harmful bacteria, so ensure good hygiene around them.