You Dont Like The Ingredients
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, some dog foods contain questionable ingredients. Some foods also contain potentially harmful ingredients.;If you notice something in your dogs food that makes you uncomfortable you may want to consider switching foods. ; to see 8 red flag ingredients you should avoid.;
Transitioning From Wet To Dry Dog Food
- When shifting from wet to dry food, similar tips apply. Make it a slow transition by gradually mixing in the new food while removing the old to avoid any digestive upsets. However, the shift to dry food can be a bit tricky depending on your furry friends tastes. If your dog dislikes dry food, there are a few tricks of the trade to help get you both on the same page.
- Add some water to your dogs dry food bowl to help soften the kibble
Learn All About Grains In Pet Food
Grains? No grains? What are they and what do they mean for your dog or cat? Find out on this special Blue Buffalo Grain FAQ page.
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Dog Articles: Health
Puppy, adult and senior: all three stages are important times in your furry pals life when its appropriate to ask your veterinarian about your dogs diet.
Growth foods necessary at the puppy stage have higher protein levels and calorie counts to meet your pups developmental needs. But once your pup is six to 12 months old those needs change.
Thats usually when your puppy is nearing his adult height and can transition to adult food. Spaying or neutering usually occurs at this age as well, lowering your dogs need for increased energy; hence a reason to switch from puppy to adult dog food.
Breed size matters
Switching to adult food coincides with maturity, but due to the large variety of breeds, different dogs mature at different rates. Smaller breeds tend to mature faster than larger breeds:
Dogs up to 30 pounds mature around 10 to 12 months of age.
Some toy breeds can mature as early as seven to nine months old.
Medium breeds, up to 80 pounds, mature between 12 to 16 months.
Large breeds can mature at 12, 13, or even 14 months old.
Giant breed dogs can take up to two years to reach full maturity.
No more three squares a day
Most pet parents feed two half-portions of adult food when their dogs are over a year old.
Eyes on your furry friend. Not his food.
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How To Transition Dog Food
Your dog may enthusiastically dive into their new dog food, but their system will likely need some time to adjust to a new diet. When switching dog food, our nutritionist Sara recommends making a slow, measured, and gradual change between over a 7-10 day period to help your dog avoid digestive upset. Thats something that both you and your dog will appreciate!
How To Implement Rotational Feeding
Since the process of changing your dogs diet should been done over the course of a week, you dont have to necessarily change his food on daily or weekly basis . I recommend doing it every month to three months, or plan it around the time you usually replenish your dog food supplies. During the transitional period, youll feed your dog increasing amounts of the new food, and decreased amounts of the old food, until you have completely switched to the new food. Take note of the serving sizes and calorie countdifferent brands and formulas suggest variants on how much of the food you should be serving at each meal.
Rotational feeding is an optimal time to try out a new brand or dog food type. For example, if you usually give your dog dry kibble, you can slowly rotate a homemade recipe or dehydrated formula in the mix. Im a fervent believer in rotational feeding and my dog, Oscar, enjoys the change of menu. I usually change it up when I notice the lack of excitement around meal times. Ive changed him from dry kibble, to homemade, to Honest Kitchens dehydrated food .
I love to see him eating with gusto which is sorely lacking with a dry kibble menu. A rotational feeding plan allows me to try to foods to see which ones keep him active, healthy and licking his lips.
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Schedule For Changing Your Dog Or Cats Food:
Day 1: Feed 1/4 cup of the new food mixed with 3/4 cup of the current food
Day 2: Feed 1/2 cup of the new food and 1/2 cup of the current food
Day 3: Feed 3/4 cup of new food and 1/4 cup of current food
Day 4: Feed 1 full cup of the new food
Assuming there are no negative reactions, by the end of the week, your pet should be fully transitioned to their new diet. Congrats, you two!
How To Switch Dog Food Gradually
Theres no big secret to switching foods. This is simply a matter of gradual change to let the gut bacteria in your dogs digestive system adjust to the new diet.
Change from the dogs old food to new by slowly reducing the amount of old and making up the difference with the new.
There are 2 ways to do this and both should be done over at least 7 days:
Method 1: Mix It Up
Hide the new food amid the original food. This is a stealthy way to successfully transition fussy eaters to a new dog food.
Example Dog Food Transition Schedule
|Replace 75% of old with new.|
|Day 7||Feed entirely new food.|
Fussy eaters may benefit from an even slower transition change out their food over a full months time if needed.
Method 2: Side by Side
As an alternative option, instead of mixing new and old food in the same bowl, offer them separately in bowls sitting side by side.
Whats the reasoning behind this method? Well, theres an argument that goes: How would we like curry mixed in with spaghetti Bolognese? In other words, 2 different foods mixed together isnt necessarily a winning combination.
As the days go by, keep adding a bit more to the new food bowl and reduce the old stuff.
Again, this should take at least 7 days to switch completely, but longer is also fine.
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Changing Dog Food For Your New Dog
Changing dog food isn’t something you should rush into, especially when bringing home a new dog. Seeing canines chow down on the contents of an overturned trash can you might be tempted to think they have iron stomachs. The reality, however, is that dogs have surprisingly sensitive tummies, and abrupt changes to their food can upset them. To help make a dog food transition go smoothly for your new housemate, follow these steps:
When Do I Need To Take My Dog To The Vet
If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than three days, or has symptoms accompanied by lethargy, you should talk to your vet about the transition.;
If your dog suffers from a serious medical condition, such as advanced kidney disease or pancreatitis, they may require a more stringent diet, and Nom Nom may not be the right fit. Remember to consult your veterinarian before changing his diet.
The Nom Nom R&D team is on the lookout for dogs that experience regular diarrhea to participate in their new GI targeted probiotics trial. Sound like someone in your house? See if your dog qualifies for this paid research study here.
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The Right Time To Change Foods
Your pets nutritional needs often change with different life stages. So it makes sense to move to a different food when your pet grows from a puppy or kitten to an adult and again when they enter their senior years.
Certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes or simply weight gain may necessitate a diet change. Or you may just have personal reasons for trying a new formula, such as ingredient or brand preferences or just to save money. Its important to note that if your pet suddenly stops enjoying the current food you purchase, you should consult your veterinarian before making a switch.
Whatever the reason, there are actually times when you may not want to change your pets food, and thats when your dog or cat is really sick. A diet change may add more stress to a body that needs to focus on getting healthy.
Problems When Switching Dog Food
No matter how gradually you switch your dog’s food over, sometimes they still get stomach upset. The most common problem when switching food is loose stool, and sometimes diarrhea.
Hardening your dog’s stool back up is pretty easy — there are two things you can do and one or the other may work better for your dog.
- Cook up some plain rice, , and even brown up some plain hamburger and mix the two together. Give this mixture with a little kibble mixed in with it for a day or two until your dogs stool starts to harden back up, then gradually over a couple of meals feed more kibble than rice and hamburger mixture.
- Another option for stool hardening is adding some canned pumpkin to your dogs food. It’s the same principal as the rice & hamburger mixture. Just add a generous amount to each meal and as your dog’s stool starts to harden, back the pumpkin off over a few meals.
Some thoughts to ponder. . . .
Hopefully your food transition goes smoothly, and hopefully you’re switching dog food because you want your best friend to be eating high quality food. High price does not necessarily mean high quality by the way.
One the most important things to remember is that not all foods work for all dogs — even quality foods. If your dog’s food is not agreeing with his stomach, then you should consider a switch.
A couple of ingredients that dog’s can be sensitive to are grains and protein content. For dogs with highly sensitive stomachs, lamb is usually the best protein source.
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What Can I Do If My Dog Wont Eat Dry Food
In the interim, you can try the following to spur their appetite: Warmup your dogs food in the microwave. Pour chicken broth, beef broth, clam juice, or tuna water over the food to make it more appealing. Pour warm water over dry food to make it softer. Feeding your dog dry food if they usually only eat wet food or vice versa.
But What About Digestive Issues
Youve probably heard that changing a dogs diet can lead to upset stomach, and in some cases, this is true. But when you introduce a rotational feeding schedule properly, therell be little- to no-tummy troubles to worry about. Its all about a smooth transition between foods. Dont just switch your dogs diet suddenlyyou need to slowly increase the amount of new food while decreasing the old, over the course of a week.
But rotation feeding is more than just transitioning to a new formula. You should be thinking about building a strong intestinal system that will improve nutritional absorption and overall well-being. When youre looking at what to include in the rotation, be sure that the formula contains a variety of proteins, fruits and vegetables for the best results. If you feed your dog a commercial food, not only can you try different recipes and ingredients, but also different brands.
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Different Life Stages = Different Food
During different stages of your dogs life, he will have different dietary needs. There is no one food that can achieve everything your dog needs for his entire life- it just doesnt exist- no matter what the advertising on the packet says!
For example, a growing puppy needs much more energy and nutrients than a senior dog. And if an adult dog is fed a puppy formulated diet, it will likely pile on the pounds quite quickly and become fat. Veterinary nutritionists now recommend that you should feed your dog according to his life stage to keep your dog healthy and improve his quality of life.
So, what are the different life stages?
Why Would You Consider Rotation Feeding
Every dog is different, which means their dietary needs are different. And there are a ton of commercial dog foods on the market. Nutritionally speaking, do you know exactly what your dog needs from his food? Different brands of kibble feature different nutrients, and your dog may be deficient if hes eating the same food every day. No matter how complete and balanced a dog food is, its unlikely that it can meet all of his nutritional needs over an extended period. By switching it up, your dog is more likely to get all of the nutrients he needs.
And lets face iteating the same thing is boring! Is your dog a picky eater? It may be because hes bored of his bland food. Its time to spice up his dinner
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Tips & Methods For Switching Dog Foods
It is important that your dog switch dog food gradually from his current dog food to avoid digestive upset or tummy trouble.
To transition, mix your dogs current food with his new food. Over 7 days, gradually decrease the amount of the current dog food while increasing the amount of new dog food.
To help you with the switch and dog food transition, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule below or view this video.
Remember these tips when switching your dogs food:
Are You Ready To Transition Your Dog To Raw
One last thing
Remember, a single correct way to transition does not exist. Choose a method that suits your;dog. But also, consider your lifestyle. If you got some value from this guide, please remember to;share on .;
At this point, you know how to transition your dog to a raw diet. Now its in your hands. You have everything you need to ensure a smooth and successful raw dog food transition.1. Review the pros and cons for each transition option along with considerations for life stages.2. Determine if a cold turkey or gradual switch is appropriate for your dog3. After youve made a decision, brush up on what to expect along with tips for success.
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Adverse Food Reactions In Dogs
An adverse food reaction is a blanket term used to describe a number of different food-related illnesses in dogs such as food allergies, food intolerance, and other gastrointestinal diseases. Many people will describe their dogs as having food allergies but this is not always accurate. True allergies involve a very specific response from the dogs immune system and this is not definitively diagnosed in many cases. Thus, it is more accurate to refer to these events as adverse food reactions.
Adverse food reactions can present with gastrointestinal symptoms, cutaneous symptoms, or a combination of the two. Gastrointestinal signs of an adverse food reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Cutaneous symptoms include a wide range of signs such as itching, skin inflammation, hair loss, and many different types of rashes. There are many other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, so it is important to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian if these symptoms occur.
How To Choose A Senior Dog Food
If you and your veterinarian decide that switching to a senior dog food is correct for your dog, choose a senior dog food with the guidelines below and follow the diet transition guidelines above according to their intestinal sensitivity.
Guidelines for choosing a senior dog food:
- Look for an AAFCO label stating that the food is complete and balanced
- Consider staying with the brand of food that has worked well in the past
- Consider a formula that includes joint support for arthritis
- Look for ingredients you feel comfortable feeding
- Find a senior dog food that fits within your budget
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But Isnt Variety Good For Your Dogs Health
You dont have to stick with one dog food all the time. Most people will change dog foods for various reasons from time to time. Certainly, variety is good for your dog when you are cooking for him or providing a raw food diet where you are trying to balance out his nutrition over the course of several days. But commercial dog foods are supposed to guarantee that every meal you feed your dog provides complete and balanced nutrition if they are AAFCO-approved for adult dogs or all life stages. You should not have to feed your dog a variety of dog foods in order for him to achieve good health under these circumstances, especially if you are feeding a good quality food. This is particularly true if you are feeding a dog food that has achieved AAFCO approval through feeding trials.
What Can Dogs Eat That Humans Can
From fast, raw, and cooked food, there is a wide variety of human food suited for a dogs consumption. With proper selection and care, a person can achieve a dogs natural diet through the careful sifting of all human food available.
Additionally, the method of preparation is one that should be considered immensely. The following is a list of people food dogs will love and are also healthy for them:
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