How To Change Foods Safely
It is advised not to change to a totally new diet too quickly, as that could cause your dog to have an upset stomach, with diarrhea or excess gas. Some dogs are more sensitive than others when they have changes to their diet.
Switching foods should take about a week, where you slowly mix a little bit of the new diet with the old diet, increasing the portion of the new diet every day. This gives your dogs gastrointestinal tract time to adjust to any changes in the food and allows you to check for any signs of an upset tummy.
Watch this video and make sure you transition your dogs nutrition to a new food safely.
How To Rotate Your Dog’s Food
It it not necessary to change your dog’s food on a daily or even weekly basis, although it is recommended that you rotate your dog’s food every three months or fewer. The new food can be the same brand and a different flavor or you can elect to choose a whole new brand. To rotate to the new food, transition your dog slowly over the course of a week. With each meal, feed him increasing amounts of the new food, and decreased amounts of the old food, until you have completely switched to the new food.
Should Your Dog Be Eating The Same Food Everyday
When it comes to your dog you want to make sure that you are doing the most you can to make sure it consumes a healthful diet and lives a happy life!
Like humans, dogs most likely would not want to eat the same thing every day for the rest of their life, but compared to humans, dogs only have 1700 taste receptors while humans have 9000. Because of dogs number of taste receptors, dogs do not get bored eating the same food as often as humans. So, it is not mandatory to drastically change the dogs food frequently. There can be an equal balance of diversifying the dogs food while limiting extreme changes.
Also, changing up your dogs diet to often could risk the dogs health. It is important to observe how new food affects the dogs digestive system and behavior. When changing up a dogs diet it is important to get the dog adjusted to the new food by incorporating the old food with the new food over a few days to insure the dogs well-being and easy transition.
If the dog food is effective in maintaining the dogs health but you still want to diversify the menu, you might want to consider just changing the flavor or adding some treats to the dog food. Stick with items that are low in sodium and fat. For example, treats can include carrots, peas, rice, or pieces of chicken. Your dog will get excited and appreciate the extra goodies.
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Healthy Homemade Dog Food
Our Tasty Low Carb family not only consists of Joanie and Chris, but also two Havanese Sisters Lulu and Kiki! If you have pets you know how they become part of the family and an integral part of your life. Our dogs are dependent upon us for virtually everything in return they offer unconditional love and lots of fun. For that reason, we only make them Healthy Homemade Dog Food! We use only the best ingredients with no fillers or added sugars or spices. We also make all of their dog treats at home. Their food is very low carb!
Our furry family members are Chocolate Havanese. Often called silk dogs, most in this breed are white with brown or black markings. Some are brindle in color. Lulu and Kiki are each about 9 1/2 pounds in weight, although they look heavier with all their fur. They do require frequent brushing, but they are hypoallergenic and they do not shed. As you can tell, they are very much a part of our low-carb family you do get attached to your pets!
Variability In Our Dogs Diets
All complete and balanced pet foods, even the ones made of the best ingredients, contain a premixed vitamin/mineral supplement. This is intended to ensure that the finished products contain a minimum amount of the nutrients deemed vital for canine health. This is needed because many of the nutrients present in the food ingredients are destroyed in the manufacturing process, and because its difficult to find food sources of some nutrients, especially the trace minerals.
Despite the inclusion of the vitamin/mineral premixes, however, laboratory analysis of the finished pet food may reveal a wide range of levels for all the nutrients contained in the finished products. The Association of American Feed Control Officials provides guidelines for minimum levels for most nutrients, and maximum levels . Within this basic framework, however, manufacturers have a lot of room to formulate their products to different levels, based on their own research, experience, and philosophies.
In fact, an interested dog owner can find quite a bit of variability in the nutrient levels in different pet foods that is, if the maker will disclose this sort of minutiae.
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Transitioning From Dry To Wet Dog Food
Although kittens often start on wet food, puppies typically start with a high-quality dry food kibble. However, sometimes our pups dont love the dry options we are providing them. As our dogs age, they may also need the transition to a softer food option. No matter the reason, if youre looking to switch up meal time offerings, trying wet dog food can be a great choice.
There are some considerations with wet dog food. Wet food is a great way to keep your dog hydrated due to the moisture content. This can help aid your dogs digestion and overall health. Most dogs also prefer wet food to dry because of the texture and the flavorful taste. You do want to ensure you choose a high-quality, natural wet dog food option to avoid unnecessary fillers or excess calories in your dog’s meals. To help keep your pup’s teeth clean while feeding wet food, work in a natural daily dog dental chewy like WHIMZEES.
When transitioning your dog to wet food, introduce the food slowly. Just like humans, sometimes new foods can upset our stomachs. Add a little wet food each day to your dogs bowl while slowly reducing the amount of kibble. Within a week, you should have fully transitioned to their new diet.
Its A Bad Idea To Mix Therapeutic Foods With Other Foods
Dog foods based on a therapeutic diet are developed to delay or even prevent the onset of various health conditions. Therefore, you shouldnt add another food to any therapeutic diet. If you really think you should, you should definitely consult a veterinarian beforehand. Adding to therapeutic dog food can dilute the exact formulation possibly counteracting its intended benefits for your dog.
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Why Should You Change Your Dogs Protein Source
Experts recommend protein rotation for a variety of reasons.
Some believe prolonged feeding of the same food for long periods of time can lead to allergic reactions manifesting in a variety of symptoms, including itchy skin, hot spots, upset stomach and more.
Many dog parents also believe it adds variety to their pups lives and keeps them from getting bored with the same old food day after day.
Whatever your reasons for rotating your pets protein source, weve got a few tips for doing so safely.
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. Wellness CORE Digestive Health recipes support a healthy microbiome.
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When Should I Change My Dogs Food
Some people might think they only need to choose one good pet food for their beloved dog and then feed that same food for the rest of their dogs life. But that is not the right approach at all imagine eating the same meal for your entire life?!
There are lots of different reasons why you might need to change your dogs food. Firstly, your dogs nutritional requirements will change over time, examples include from puppy to adult, and also if his activity level changes too. Secondly, you might need to change your dogs food for health reasons, if he is showing signs of a food allergy, decreased energy levels, hyperactivity or poor coat and skin health.
In this article, we will discuss when you should change your dogs food in the different life stages and common signs that your dog needs a new diet. We will also look at the safest way to change foods , and also when you might need to seek veterinary advice.
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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Cooking Our Way To A Healthier Dog Diet
Ever since I started raising my own dogs, Id always wanted to make their food at home but thought it would be too expensive or too time consuming, or that they wouldnt get the nutrition they needed.
During the month of Bugs doggy depression, I vowed to make her precious life as comfortable as possible.
Both of my pugs had a range of health issues growing up, which I unfortunately found out were common for the breed.
My older one had persistent hot spots and itchiness that no commercial dog food could cure .
Bug was overweight for a while when she was younger, even though she ate the recommended amount of food for her target weight. Eventually, I settled on Wellness kibbles and they did well with that brand.
But, I wanted to explore other options. I wanted to give them real food fresh, nutritious ingredients that I recognized and could even eat myself.
Ive mentioned in my post on homemade whole grain chicken feed that the entire household all share the same whole grains and seeds that we buy in bulk, as well as the bounty that comes from our edible garden.
Everything our animals eat, we can eat.
When it comes to homemade feed for our laying hens, we stick to a tried-and-true formula that works for every layer: 16 to 17 percent protein , vitamins, minerals, and amino acids from a wide variety of grains and seeds, and free range of a pasture for weeds, greens, and insects.
Dogs, on the other hand, arent bred for a standard function the way chickens are.
How To Make Homemade Dog Food:
Making homemade dog food is a cinch! Heres a quick rundown of the process:
- Brown the turkey. Heat a large skillet or pot over a medium-high heat. Add in the coconut oil and turkey and sauté until it is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Add the veggies. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the zucchini, spinach, carrots and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Mix in the egg. Turn off the heat and and crack in the egg. Let the egg cook in the hot food, mix it around to ensure it mixed through and cooked through.
- Stir in the rice. Add the rice and stir it in with the other ingredients until everything is well combined. Cool and serve!
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Dull And Lethargic: Recovery From Illness
If your dog is recovering from a recent illness, surgery or a stressful event, he may be feeling a little run down and duller than normal. Can his normal diet support him through times of illness or recovery? In these times, he might benefit from a diet that has a high energy content and is enriched with immune-boosting antioxidants, to boost his recovery. However, if your dog is suddenly acting dull, weak or lethargic then it is important to seek veterinary advice before changing his diet.
How To Disinfect Food And Water Bowls
Bowls should be washed similarly to human dishes. If washing the bowl by hand, use hot, soapy water and a soft rag or sponge. Avoid anything abrasive, such as a wire cloth, in order to decrease the risk of scratching the bowls surface. Always use soap, as simply rinsing the bowl in hot water has been proven ineffective. Another option is to place the bowl in the dishwasher, which will ensure complete sanitization. The NSF also recommends placing bowls in a 1:50 water/bleach dilution once per week for 10 minutes to fully disinfect bowls if a dishwasher is unavailable.
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How To Choose A Dog Food
Choosing an appropriate diet for your dog is a complicated process. The sheer number of dog food options available is overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is no one diet that is best for every dog. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and their dietary needs vary depending on factors such as age, health, and personal preferences.
To make the process even more complicated, there are also a lot of myths about dog food on the internet. Many people fall victim to advertising campaigns or scare tactics warning them away from commercial dog foods. Fortunately, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has published a guide entitled The Savvy Dog Owners Guide: Nutrition on the Internet to help pet owners decipher fact from fiction when doing their own research about dog food.
Learning how to read a pet food label can also help demystify the process of choosing a dog food. The information on a pet food label is guided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is responsible for establishing definitions for many of the terms you will find on a bag of dog food. Understanding these labeling requirements can make it easier to identify which products are best for your dog. Look for the words complete and balanced diet on the label.
How Long Should I Leave My Dogs Food Out
You should feed your dog at the same time each day. Dont free feed. Leaving food out for them all the time is just not a good idea, as it can cause weight problems. Plus, it can lead to your dog simply becoming finicky.
Put out your dogs food, and leave it out for around 15-20 minutes. Then, take the food up until the next mealtime. Feeding on a regular schedule will also help you plan your dogs bathroom trips, as they usually need to go around a half-hour after a meal.
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The Proof Is In The Poop
The best way to monitor your dogs digestive health is to pay attention to the quality of the stool. While minor variations in stool color and consistency are normal, any major changes can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. A great way to evaluate your dogs stool is to use a Fecal Scoring Chart. An ideal fecal score is 34. Lower numbers may indicate dehydration or constipation, while higher numbers are indicative of gastrointestinal upset, which can be due to a variety of factors. If your dogs stool is consistently outside of the normal range, it is recommended that you consult your veterinarian regarding your dogs digestive health.
Should You Rotate Dog Food To Give Your Dog More Variety
Most dogs are happy eating the same food regularly. If you wish to add some canned food or a little homemade stew to their food to make it tastier, thats fine, but dogs usually dont like a lot of change. Changes in your dogs food often lead to an upset gastrointestinal tract with diarrhea or vomiting. If you change foods often you can keep your dogs GI tract upset on an ongoing basis which will lead to other health problems. Of course, it is possible that if you change your dogs food continually he may get used to the changes and adapt to them, but only after a lot of upset stomachs. Some dogs will continue to have gastrointestinal problems when you change foods.
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