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.
What Age Should I Change My Dogs Food
When it comes to nutrition, there are three life stages which experts believe are important times in your dogs life to discuss with your veterinarian. The first is the puppy life stage. During this period a dog food rated for growth is needed because it is specifically designed for puppies and kittens according to the AAFCO . Puppies and kittens that are growing require pet foods with a higher protein level and a higher calorie countto meet their growth requirements, says Dr. Lorie Huston. If these nutritional demands are not met, your pets growth may be stunted and/or your pet may become ill. Pet foods rated for reproduction” or “gestation/lactation are also a benefit for pregnant or lactating females.
The second life stage for which you should consult your veterinarian about dietary changes is the adult life stage. Obesity is the most common nutritional disease seen in both dogs and cats today, says Dr. Huston. One reason for this is improper life stage feeding. For example, dog or cat especially one that leads a sedentary lifestyle may become overweight or even obese if fed pet food meant for puppies or kittens. Pet food labeled as “all life stage” can also deliver excessive fat and nutrients your adult pet does not require, as it is formulated for kittens and puppies. Instead you should be looking for dog food rated adult maintenance by the AAFCO.
How To Change Your Dogs Food
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. Ideally, these transitions should happen over 5-7 days. During this transition, you will gradually incorporate more and more of the new food by mixing it with your dogs current diet. For most dogs, a good diet transition will look like this:
- Day 1: 25% new diet and 75% old diet.
- Day 3: 50% new diet and 50% old diet.
- Day 5: 75% new diet and 25% old diet.
- Day 7: 100% new diet.
Some dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or other gastrointestinal diseases may need an even longer transition period. The key to a good diet transition is monitoring your dogs individual response. If, at any point during the diet transition, your dog displays concerning signs such as changes in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should proceed more slowly. And if you have transitioned gradually and your dog is still experiencing stomach upset, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. In some cases, it may be necessary to choose a different diet.
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Transitioning Your Pets Food
Nutrition needs are highly individual and evolving. Many pet parents find that they need to make diet changes. Whether its a long-term switch to a new food, or rotating in different types of proteins or diets, making changes too quickly can cause digestive upset. Here are some steps for a successful transition.
Gradually Mix in New Food.
Unlike us, our pets often eat the same diet for months or years and are not used to sudden changes.
Switching foods abruptly can cause vomiting, diarrhea or excess gas. So its important to change diets gradually.
The Ratio Method.
Keep the ratio of old to new food the same for several days. If at any time during transition your pet experiences gastro-intestinal upset, increase transition time at the previous ratio to allow them time to adjust.
High-quality, high-meat content foods are nutrient dense and usually higher calorie-per-cup than cheap alternatives. Feeding the same amount of a nutrient dense food can cause diarrhea or weight gain from over-feeding. Use the guidelines on the packaging for feeding recommendations. But remember, its just a guideline. Your pet may need less to maintain their ideal body weight. So, its a good idea to cut down on the amount you feed when you switch to a better food.
The Cold Turkey Switch.
Fast Your Pet. Skip one meal so their stomach is empty of old food contents. Dont skip more than one meal though, especially with cats.
Use Digestive Aids.
How To Change Your Dog’s Food
You might want to change your dogs food to a new brand or type, either for preference or because you have been advised to do so for a medical reason.
Its always best to change the food gradually, over a couple of weeks. This may seem like a long time, but its best to be patient to avoid any problems.
Never change their food suddenly unless you are advised to do so by your vet. This is because sudden changes to diet can cause a tummy upset or even diarrhoea, and for some pets it may make them less likely to eat the food offered to them.
Day 1-3: Introduce a small amount of the new food separately
- Give your dog their regular meal as normal. On a separate plate or bowl, put down a small teaspoonful of their new food.
- Keep them on separate plates or bowls and dont mix the foods together yet. This is to introduce them to the new food slowly.
- Theyll probably sniff it, and may even eat it .
Day 4-10: Increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old food
Day 10-14: Gradually phase out the old food completely
- Once your pet is consistently eating the mix of new food alongside the old for at least a week, start phasing out the old food
- Again, if they dont want to eat it at any point, then you may need to decrease the amount of new food for another few days.
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Why Dogs Stop Eating Dry Food
One of the most common reasons that a dog wont eat kibble is because they just want something better. Some dogs are also pickier than others about taste and texture and just dont care for what dry kibble has to offer. In this case, you may be able to entice your dog to eat more if you add a little wet food on top.
How To Pick An Adult Dog Food
Here are a few guidelines to help you choose an adult dog food when the time is right:
- To make the transition as smooth as possible, consider keeping the brand of adult food consistent with the brand of puppy food you were feeding.
- It is important that the food is complete and balanced so that your dog will receive all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need in the correct proportions to support a functioning body.
- Make sure you are happy with the ingredients list. If you have any concerns, speak to your veterinarian.
- Be sure you are happy with the price tag. Since your dog will be on this long-term, make the food fits within your budget .
Once you have found the right food for your young adult dog, be sure to follow the diet transition schedule above to minimize stomach upset.
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Changing Your Dogs Diet Is Not Something You Can Do Overnight The Shift To A New Food Should Be Made Slowly To Avoid Stomach Upsets Heres Our Guide Of How To Transition Your Dog To A New Food In A Smooth And Comfortable Way For Them
If youve decided to make a change to your dogs diet, whether its a different brand, a new balance between wet and dry food, or even shifting from puppy food to adult pet food, its really important that you do so slowly. While we can happily eat a variety of foods in one day, our pets have very different digestive systems, which need a focus on balance. Some dogs are likely to have a more sensitive stomach than others but, even so, an abrupt change in diet can lead to digestive upsets. Gradually introducing the food over a 14-day period is the best way to avoid some of the issues that can occur with a change to diet.
We recommend the following approach to transition your dog to a new food:
What to do if your dog doesnt like the new food
If you follow the 14-day transition process, its most likely that your pet will quickly adapt to their new diet. But if you notice your pet avoiding their food, it may be more to do with what they are eating outside of their bowl. If your pet is receiving too many treats, they may start to avoid their main meals. Its important that you avoid overfeeding them to ensure that they look forward to their daily meals to satisfy their hunger and keep them healthy.
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Introduce The New Food Gradually
When easing your dog into a change in diet, think slow and steady. Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Heres a sample feeding schedule:
- Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
- Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
- Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food
At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Dont worry a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.
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How Often Change Out Dog Food
Maintaining variety and avoiding allergies, every owner should change food about every three months or so. Select sources of amino acids such as beef, lamb, and chicken to maximize the results. Since dogs are sensitive stomachs, rolling out their food at first might cause some GI issues.
When Should I Consider Changing My Dog’s Diet
- Your dog is moving out of one three key life stages and into another: puppy, adult, and senior. Each one of these life stages has a unique set of needs that can benefit from tailored nutrition.
- Your dog is pregnant. A lactating dog will need extra energy, and may require a new diet that is better suited to their nutritional needs.
- An illness or condition which needs added nutritional support, such as skin sensitivity or gastrointestinal upset.
- You’ve been researching various dog foods or have spoken to your veterinarian and have decided to change your pet’s food.
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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.
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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What Should You Do After Transitioning Your Dog To A Raw Diet
Once you have gone through the 7-10 day transition period and your dog is now ready to be fed full time on raw, the fun begins.
This is because dogs can now begin trying a wider range of flavours through different raw dog food recipes, as well as raw dog treats.
This will help create variety and a natural balance in a dogs diet and you can start to learn more about your dogs taste buds.
We can help advise the most affordable way to enjoy our nutritious food depending on your dogs weight and how much storage space you have.
They understand that a healthy diet plays a huge role in your pets life and are solely dedicated to providing customers and their furry friends with balanced and complete raw pet food of the very best quality.
A raw food diet for your pet means feeding as nature intended, free from artificial additives, colours, preservatives and fillers.
How To Change Dog Food
This article was co-authored by Beatrice Tavakoli. Beatrice Tavakoli is a Professional Dog Trainer and the Founder/Owner of TAKA Dog Walk in New Jersey. A lifetime dog lover and enthusiast, Beatrice is committed to providing animals with hands-on service dedicated to daily love, adventure, and socialization. As insured and bonded dog walkers, Beatrice, and her staff provide a multitude of services including doggie social hour, day hikes, training, puppy care, canine special events, in-home pet care, boarding, cat care, and customized dog walks. This article has been viewed 25,415 times.
It might appear very simple to change a dogs food. Buy a bag of dog food and offer servings to your dog. In reality, if you dont want a sick or unhealthy dog on your hands you will need to make a gradual change and be cautious when you do. Use some wise decisions when you change your dogs food and your dog won’t experience any negative effects.
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A Guide To Changing Your Dog’s Food
Changing your dogs diet is not something you can do overnight. The shift to a new food should be made slowly to avoid stomach upsets. Here’s our guide on how to transition your dog to a new food in a comfortable way for them.
If youve decided to make a change to your dogs diet, whether its a different brand, a new balance between wet and dry food, or even shifting from puppy food to adult, or adult to senior pet food, its really important that you do so slowly. While we can happily eat a variety of foods in one day, our pets have very different digestive systems – where an abrupt change in diet can lead to digestive upsets. Therefore, gradually introducing the new food is the best way to avoid some of the issues that can occur with a change in diet.
How To Transition Puppy To An Adult Dog Food
When you stop feeding puppy food, you must change more than just the food he eats. The number of meals and portion sizes will shift, too.
Most puppies eat three meals a day, but adult dogs can eat just two meals per day. The feeding guide on your dogs food label will tell you how much to feed your dog each day and to split the amount into two meals.
When its time to transition your puppy to an adult dog food, do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset.
Heres a sample transitional feeding plan:
- Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of puppy food and add 1/4 adult dog food.
- Days 3 to 4: Serve half puppy food and half adult dog food.
- Days 5 to 7: Feed 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 adult dog food.
- Days 8 to 10: Serve only adult dog food.
If your dog resists eating the adult food or experiences an upset stomach, extend the transition time as needed. Consult with your veterinarian for more help if needed.
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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
Eyes on your furry friend. Not his food.