Switching Dog Foods: How To Transition A Dogs Diet
Making a Switch Can be a Delicious Change
Your dog might eagerly eat everything placed in their bowl, but there are plenty of good reasons why you should switch diets slowly. Unless you practice rotational feeding, your dog has probably eaten the same food for months or years. Making a switch to a different manufacturer, formula or food type might be a delicious change for them, but it can significantly disrupt their digestive system. Slow transitions that take a week or more allow your dogs digestive system to adjust to any changes and reduce the chance of loose stools, gas or intestinal irritation.
Supporting Digestive Health During Diet Switches
Food transitions may be hard on your dogs digestive system, especially if they already have a delicate stomach. Using prebiotics and digestive enzymes can help your dog make the smoothest possible transition between two foods. Not every dog will need this extra boost, but very few dogs wont benefit from adding digestive enzymes and prebiotics to their food. Dogs switching to raw, in particular, would benefit from prebiotics and digestive enzymes while making the switch.
If you feed your dog kibble, you may want to mix the digestive enzymes into a wet food or topper. Most powdered digestive enzymes will also coat kibble, so you can just sprinkle the powder on top. You can also find the digestive enzymes in pill form if you prefer to feed them to your dog in this form.
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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.
What Not To Do
Lets say your dog normally eats Chicken Chow, but the store has a special on Sausage Snacks.
You decide to give your pup something different, so you fill the basket with a change of menu. After all, your dog must get pretty bored eating the same thing every day dont they?
Dont change out the food all out once. Your dog may be super-excited about the new taste, but as sure as dogs have wet noses, such a sudden change will lead to a stomach upset.
Instead, switch the dog food gradually during the course of a full week, which gives your pets digestive system enough time to adjust.
Keep reading for specific guidance on how best to do this.
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Cost And Convenience Of Wet Versus Dry Dog Food
If youre trying to feed your dog the best you can on a limited budget, then dry Kibble will be your best option. Kibble typically only contains 10% moisture which makes it more calorie-dense. In simple terms, you can feed your dog less when compared to the wet dog food your dog will be full and youre going to spend less.
Another benefit of dry food is it has a longer shelf life once opened, you dont have to worry about Kibble spoiling within a day. Plus, its easier to store just keep the Kibble in a dry dark cupboard and theres no reason it wont still be fresh for a few weeks.
Unlike wet canned food that can spoil within a few hours if left in your dogs bowl, with dry Kibble you dont have to worry. You can fill your dogs food bowl up in the morning and it will still be edible by the evening, this makes it the perfect option for those of you who work during the day and leave your dog alone. Also, if you travel often, dry dog food will be a more convenient option since theres no real need to pack a lot and you have the added advantage of it not spoiling.
Wet dog food, on the other hand, contains roughly 75% of water which is a lot compared to the dryer Kibble. Due to the higher water content, you must feed your dog more to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
How Is Dry Dog Food Processed
Dry food contains very similar ingredients, but instead of adding gravy and canning the product, the meat mixture is pulverized in order to create a consistent dough that can be cooked.
Once cooked, the dough is extruded through specifically shaped holes to form kibble. The kibble undergoes a drying process, and then is sprayed with fats, oils, vitamins, and minerals and packaged before the fats and oils can spoil.
Some dry dog food diets also add live probiotics to aid in digestive and immune health.
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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.
Help My Dog Doesnt Like The New Food
There are many reasons you might decide to switch your dogs food.
Sometimes a change of life stage requires a change of food. Or you may wish to switch from a dry food to a fresh dog food. Or perhaps the dog has a medical condition requiring a special prescription food.
If your dog turns up their nose at the new ration, the following suggestions may help.
- Take it slow: A fussy eater may object not only to a new taste, but also to a new texture or smell. Transition them very slowly so they become accustomed to the different sensory experience of the new food.
- Warm the food up: This can work for wet or canned foods. Warming it gently can make it more appealing and release some of the tempting food smells to stimulate your dogs appetite. For dry food, you may wish to add a little gravy or the water from some boiled fish.
- Give a fresh portion each meal: If the dog refuses the food, reduce the portion size, but offer fresh each meal. Also, pick the food bowl up between meals. This helps them realize that if they dont eat the food, it disappears until the next mealtime.
- Sprinkle a probiotic over the food: Again, FortiFlora is tasty stuff for dogs and will tempt some fussy eaters to tuck in.
- Dont make a fuss: Dont stand and watch, biting your nails, waiting for your pup to eat. Instead, leave the room. To do so removes the potential for your concern to accidentally reward the dog for not eating.
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How To Switch Your Dog’s Food Safely
Switching dog food cold turkey may not seem difficult for some dogs, but a thoughtful and gradual food transition can help your dog avoid any side effects of switching, like diarrhea or stomach upset.
To help you with the switch and dog food transition, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule below:
Days 1 and 2
Can I Switch Dog Food Flavors
Whether you’re switching brands, changing from dry to canned food or simply changing flavors, the key is to make the transition gradually That means the pet starts with about 75 percent of the previous food and 25 percent of the new food.
Changes to your dog’s diet should be made gradually.
In fact, taking five to seven days to mix increasing amounts of the new brand of dog food in with decreasing amounts of the old brand reduces the chances that your dog will develop an upset stomach or refuse to eat.
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Giving Your Dog The Best Mix
There is no right or wrong when it comes to feeding your dog. What is important is making sure the pet food you choose provides your dog with the right amount of nutrients to meet their needs. At Eukanuba, our super premium dry and wet formulas are all complete and balanced. As wet and dry diets have various individual benefits, mixed feeding can be a solution to satisfy your dog’s needs and also their taste buds.
Wet Vs Dry Dog Food: Which Is Right For Your Pet
Dog food seems like such a simple thing, but all of the choices available can be overwhelming when deciding what your pal should eat. One of the comparisons you’ll confront starting out is wet vs. dry dog food.
First, consider your dog’s overall health, age, and behavioral needs. Both types of food are good choices, but it’s important to look at the benefits of each to decide which is right for your dog.
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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.
How To Keep Your Dogs Food Fresh
Retaining your pooch nourishment new is a significant portion of your canines long wellbeing and bliss. Regardless of whether you have a dry meal, wet meal, natively constructed nourishment, or some blend thereof, it is imperative to ensure the nourishment is put away appropriately and that it has not surpassed its termination date. To prevent your pooch food crisp, have it cool, dry, and in water/air proof compartments, and make sure to change out food in the bowl each day. Below is mentioning the ways to keep your canine food fresh and crisp:
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What Foods Are Known To Cause Diarrhea
One of the main ingredients that upset a dogs stomach is wheat gluten and this can be found in many types of dry food, especially those that have less meat and many fillers to make it cheaper. On the other hand, the same ingredient can be found in many dog treats, bread, pasta, or the occasional biscuit your dog is practically begging for.
Large amounts of dairy products in your dogs diet can also result in unpleasant surprises on the carpet, so stick with the occasional treat and nothing more.
Also, dont ever give your dog chocolate, avocados, grapes os raisins.
This is a no-brainer, but make sure your pet doesnt stick his nose in the garbage can as spoiled or mouldy food can and probably will give him diarrhea.
Switching Dog Food Due To Pet Food Recall Etc
Changes to your dogs diet should be made gradually. In fact, taking five to seven days to mix increasing amounts of the new brand of dog food in with decreasing amounts of the old brand reduces the chances that your dog will develop an upset stomach or refuse to eat. But what do you do when you have to switch your dog’s food quickly due to a food recall or other circumstances, like a diet-related illness?
To minimize the risk that your dog will have a bad reaction to the rapid diet change, there are some important steps you must take.
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Catering To Your Dogs Preferences
What Is The Best Dog Food For Firm Stools
No matter if you prefer to feed your pet friend wet or dry food keep in mind they are both processed food and might not provide your dog with all the required nutrients. Also, most products on the market contain added chemicals that have no place in your dogs diet.
Advocates of raw food for dogs say this is the only way to ensure your dogs dietary requirements. At the same time, raw food eliminates all your dogs bowel issues and he will have normal and smaller stools. Oh, and not so smelly, too!
Before you jump on the raw food bandwagon make sure you have the correct mix of bone, muscle meat and soft meat. As a rule, you should aim for a diet with 70% raw meaty bones.
A dog on a raw diet should be presented with a bone, preferably with some lean muscle meat still hanging on it. You can also give your dog ground bone mixed in one of his meals. Your dogs diet should also include organs like kidneys or liver from time to time.
Raw food is not only about meat, as that doesnt provide all the nutrients a dog needs. You can supplement your dogs raw meat diet with eggs, vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and celery, and dont forget about some dairy products, such as yogurt or a bit of cheese.
There is a wide range of commercially available raw meat products for dogs, but you can also make sure your dog gets exactly what he needs by contacting a butcher in your area to have a constant supply of fresh bones and meat.
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