Wednesday, December 6, 2023

How To Safely Change Dog Food

When To Switch To Senior Dog Food

How To Safely Transition Your Dog’s Food | Big Al’s

This is another change that has quite a lot of variation depending on your dog breed. Its hard to know exactly how long individual dogs will live so most people tend to go by averages. Large dog breeds tend to have much shorter lifespans than small dog breeds. So, the age at which they might switch to senior food will differ. Again, the best person to speak to about this change is your vet. But, you may want to consider switching to senior food when your dog starts to slow down a little. Or if they are having any trouble with digestion and joint problems.

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.


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.

Switch slowly

Recommended Serving Size For Homemade Dog Food:

The amount of homemade dog food that your dog will require is dependent upon how much your dog weighs and how active he or she is. This amount varies from dog-to-dog. I suggest talking to your vet and getting their advice on a good starting point.

You can also monitor your dog to make sure they are maintaining their weight and staying happy and active.

This recipe makes about 6 cups of food, which is 3 days worth of food for Charlie who is about 45 pounds. You can easily adjust this amount based on the weight of your dog. Also, feel free to scale this recipe up and double or even triple it, if you wanted to cook less often.

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Switching Dog Food: Final Tips

If you choose to switch your dogs food due to a lifestyle change, a recommendation from your veterinarian, or a budgetary need, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Follow these additional tips when changing your dogs food:

Plan ahead. When a diet transition is needed or desired, planning ahead is important. Starting a diet transition a day or two before going out of town and leaving your dog with a sitter, or before bringing your dog on vacation is asking for trouble.

Have enough current food. Make sure you start the transition while you still have enough of the current food to last through the whole transition timeline.

Adjust the timeline if needed. If your dog has intestinal upset during a diet transition, start over and try a slower transition. The same transition speed will likely result in the same intestinal upset.

Observe your dog during and after the switch. After any diet transition, keep a close eye on your dog over the next several weeks. If they appear to be losing or gaining weight, alter the amount you are feeding by 5-10 percent and then watch them again.

Consult your veterinarian with questions. If you need help with your dogs daily calorie intake, and how much you should feed, give your veterinarian a callthey know best.

Rule Out Medical Problems

How to Safely Switch Dog Food

See a veterinarian if your dog shows strange eating habits or a shift in her normal mealtime behavior. If the dog is turning down dog food, its possible she has some sort of medical problem that is affecting her dietary preferences. Ruling out medical issues is critical if you want to safely transition your dog from people food to dog food and your dog begins refusing the new food. Once you know your dog is in good health, you can begin the tough weaning process.

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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

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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S To Switching Dog Food Brands Safely

  • To introduce a new dog food the right way, youll want to mix the old and new brands together. For the first couple of days, youll want to go with a ration of 25% old to 75% new.
  • After a few days, transition to a half and half mix of your old brand with your new one.
  • The last couple of days, you should use 75% of the new brand of dog food and 25% of the old brand.
  • After that seven day process, you can begin feeding them exclusively the new brand.

Side Effects Of Switching Dog Food

How to safely introduce a new diet to your dog – Expert Nutrition Tips | S4 | Ep3 | Pooches at Play

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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Ingredients Needed For This Homemade Dog Food Recipe:

This DIY dog food made at home is filled with rich protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. Heres what youll need:

  • Coconut oil provides a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, and reducing allergic reactions, just to name a few. And just like us, your dog needs healthy fats in their diet.
  • Ground turkey will add necessary protein to your dogs diet, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
  • Veggies this homemade dog food recipe uses a mix of zucchini, spinach and carrots. All are safe for dogs and will provide your baby with a variety of nutrients.
  • Turmeric a dog-safe seasoning that also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Egg for extra protein and nutrients.
  • Rice a complex carb that provides energy and aids in gastrointestinal function.

Special Considerations And Additional Tips

Pregnancy: Pregnant or nursing dogs need energy-dense foods with increased calcium content so be sure to transition them during this special time to puppy food.

During pregnancy or nursing, large breed dogs should be switched to regular puppy food, not a large breed puppy food.

Health Reasons: If your veterinarian has recommended therapeutic dog food for a specific health condition, please be sure to discuss transitioning to the new dog food in detail. There could be some special considerations and suggestions as far as the transition schedule to ensure success.

Transitioning Between Dry and Wet: Whether your dog is getting older and needs a softer food or youre just looking to provide a different texture and taste, transitioning between dry and wet dog food should follow a similar transition schedule of mixing in the old with the new.

If you decide you just want to use canned dog food as a topper to their normal dry food, be sure to check with your vet on the proper amounts, so as to not go over his daily caloric intake requirements.

For whatever reason you need to update your dogs food, switching food while mixing in some of the old food is the best way to ensure your switch is a successful one. Remember that whenever youre making a decision about your pets health, you should consult your veterinarian and adhere to the recommended feeding guides on your pet foods packaging.

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How Long Can You Leave Wet Dog Food Out: Quick Tips Keep Wet Dog Food Fresh

From medieval times, the relationship between dogs and humans has been so strong enough in several ways. Both have sympathetic feelings towards each other. Predominantly, in some developed countries dogs are recognized as a family member and they are getting proper attention like a human. The feeding plans are so illustrious for dogs and personal veterinary doctors scheduling their food charts, so as to, enhance their physical and mental stability as well as the food safety that describes food is contaminated with lots of ingredients and protein and free from any kind of bacterias and insects. In the United States of America, the dog food markets are rising their levels every year and making billions of dollars through these food products. The big concern among people is that how many hours a dogs food could be placed outside without getting lid, and to store the dog food into the plastic cans would be a safer option or not alongside, what are the ways that help to dog food fresh and preserved.

Nowadays, there is an enormous number of dog food available on the market. The pet parents can feed their dogs with various food categories such as an amalgamated of beef, lamb, chicken, and nutritious vegetables and grains that plays a beneficial role in the dogs life and for health too. dry food has numerous and paramount benefits for the dogs, however, wet food is also a good option for them.

Homemade Dog Food Sources

How to Safely Switch Dog Food
  • Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
  • Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash

Recommended Serving Amounts

  • 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog

This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.

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Reasons To Switch Dog Food

There are loads of reasons that you might need to switch dog food. They can relate to your dogs health or age. Or, it could be to do with the availability of your old dog food brand. No matter what the reason, the process stays the same. But, before we go into that, lets take a closer look at why you might need to change dog food.

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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Recommended Serving Amounts For Homemade Dog Food

As a general rule, dogs will eat around 2 to 3 percent of their ideal body weight in fresh food daily. Larger breeds may need as little as 1 1/2 percent, and smaller breeds may need as much as 4 percent.

This works out to be approximately:

  • 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
  • 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog

There is much variation in what the ideal amount should be as it depends on how much your dog weighs and how active she is.

I feel that the best approach is to feed and watch if your dog is losing weight, give more, and if your dog is gaining weight, give less.

For our pugs, we feed a scoop each in the morning and a scoop each in the evening, plus all their supplements.

We have an easy system for this: homemade food is refrigerated in a sealed container with a measuring cup , and all the supplements are lined up together in a cupboard in the kitchen. Keeping your ingredients organized and accessible will make feeding time fast and smooth.

Compared to feeding commercial food, where you might scoop out kibbles or open up a can, feeding homemade food with all the supplements takes maybe 10 seconds more. And even if it took 10 minutes more, fresh wholesome food for our furbabies is worth it.

How Can I Help My Dog Get Through His Tough Tummy Times

How to handle Dog Food Allergies CHEAPLY and SAFELY!

Try mixing half of your dogs Nom Nom meal with an equal portion of rice or potato.

Put your dog on a temporary fast to help his digestive system reset. Pull food for 12 to 24 hours, then try giving your dog half a meal. Remember to limit treats during this transition and to plan around any medications.

Remain consistent about feeding your dog at designated meal times.

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A Few Words About Portion Control

Just as an example, take a look at the calories in these popular dry dog foods:

  • Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food: 322 kcal per cup
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food: 378 kcal per cup

Thats a 16% difference in the calorie content between 2 chicken and rice dog foods!

So, when you switch dog food, always reassess the portion size. If you were to simply keep feeding the same amount, youd risk overfeeding , causing weight gain .

If the dogs waistline has widened, this is a good time to reduce the number of calories and put your dog on a diet. Your veterinarian or vet tech is an invaluable resource for those who arent sure if their pooch is pint-sized or outsized. Take the advice of a veterinary healthcare professional when in doubt.

When To Switch To Adult Dog Food

Depending on your dogs breed and individual variation, puppies can become adults at different ages.

Smaller dogs become an adult at around 8 months of age medium-sized dogs around 12 months of age large dogs around 18 months of age and giant-breed dogs, around 24 months of age.

When your dog becomes an adult, switching to an adult dog food is an option but is not mandatory. While some dogs may do well long-term on puppy or all-life-stages food, the extra calories in these diets can create problems with weight gain and obesity.

Note: Dog foods labelled all life stages have the energy content and composition of puppy food.

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