Transitioning To Homemade Dog Food
Most dogs dont have a problem making the switch to homemade food. If yours is prone to digestive issues, start slowly by mixing a little bit of the homemade food with the commercial food.
Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the amount of homemade food while decreasing the commercial food.
If your dog vomits or has diarrhea, try introducing only a couple of new ingredients at a time until their systems are well adjusted to the fresh diet.
For dogs with health issues, please consult with a veterinarian if you arent sure what kind of supplements are needed. Use your best judgment, the way you would when feeding yourself or your family.
Recipe Variations: What Natural Foods Can I Feed My Dog
Home-cooked dog food diets can be one of the best ways to keep your best friend happy and healthy. As always, check with your vet before testing a new dog diet, but here are some of my best recommendations:
- Protein: Rascal digests ground turkey really well but you can try ground beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and Rascals personal favorite: venison. If you dont have a meat grinder, you can ask your butcher to grind it for you or cut it up super fine before cooking.
- Vegetables: Spinach, butternut squash, cranberries, cauliflower, apples, green beans. Here is an entire list of AKC approved fruits and vegetables you can give your dog.
- Grains & Carbs: Rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pasta, and potatoes can be great options. If you can believe it, Rascal is actually allergic to rice. I wish I were kidding.
How To Switch Dog Food
You may be anxious to make the switch to a new food, particularly if the new food will help address any issues your dog is having. A gradual transition is the best way to switch to a new food, though.
We recommend making the switch over a 7- to 10-day period. This gives your dog a chance to adjust to the new food.
Heres our 7- to 10-day plan for switching dog food:
- Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of current food and add 1/4 of the new food.
- Days 3 to 4: Serve half the current food and half the new food.
- Days 5 to 7: Feed 3/4 of the new food and 1/4 the previous food.
- Days 8 to 10: Serve only the new food.
If your dog doesnt seem to like the new food or if he experiences digestive upset, extend the transition over a few more days. You can also ask your veterinarian for advice.
Remember, you can use this transition process any time you need to change your dogs food.
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Video Answer: Wet Food To Dry Food For Cats
Switching your dog’s food abruptly can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Any time you decide to change your dog’s food, you should transition to the new diet gradually in order to give your dog’s system time to adjust to the change.
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.
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 dog’s current food with his new food.
However, during pregnancy or nursing, large breed dogs should be switched to a regular puppy food, not a large breed puppy food.
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 27,797 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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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.
When To Switch To Adult Dog Food
Since no two puppies are exactly alike, how do you know when to switch to adult dog food? The answer isnt always straightforward. But considering your dogs breed size and talking to your veterinarian can provide some good guidelines for when your unique dog will reach maturity.
Toy breed dogs: Typically, the smaller the dog, the faster your dog will reach adulthood. You can consider your toy breed dog an adult typically around 9 months of age.
Small breed dogs: Based on the unique nutritional requirements of small breed dogs, most should switch to adult dog food when theyre 12 months old.
Medium breed dogs: Medium breed dogs typically reach maturity when theyre 12-14 months old.
Large & giant breed dogs: Large and giant breed dogs have unique nutritional needs due to their size, and the most important and rapid changes occur when theyre puppies. As large breed dogs are considered puppies until theyre about 18-24 months old, having a thorough understanding of whats best for their unique nutritional needs from the beginning is crucial.
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Snacks To Pair With Home Cooked Dog Food
- Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
- Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ice cream.
- Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascals favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.
Labrador Puppys Size & Growth
Now that youve read the signs, you know exactly how your pups size and age will affect his nutritional requirements, and how he will start to loose his interest in the puppy food.
There are specific mineral balances needed for puppies of large breeds so that they develop their joints optimally and on schedule.
Your veterinarian should always consulted regarding your Labradors growth, and you should continue feeding him large-breed puppy food until he appears to be nearing the end of his growth plates.
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How Do You Make Homemade Dog Food
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 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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When To Switch From Puppy Food To Adult Dog Food
Owning a new puppy is an exciting, hectic time between training, socializing, and vet visits. As your puppy grows, you might wonder: How long should my puppy be on a puppy diet? Or when should I transition my puppy to adult dog food?
Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and it is recommended they continue to follow a puppy diet until they reach their full maturity. A puppy diet is different from the diet of an adult dog in that it contains a higher fat and calorie content to meet the growing needs of your puppy. When your dog reaches the end of its growth stage, their nutritional needs change. It is important that you switch them to a more suitable diet to support their overall health!
How do you know when your dog has reached maturity?
Generally, a dogs breed size will determine when they are done growing, usually somewhere between 10 months to 2 years. Heres a general guideline for when different dog breed sizes reach adulthood:
- Toy or small breed dogs 9 -10 months
- Medium breed dogs 12 14 months
- Large breed dogs 16 24 months
How do I transition my puppy to an adult diet?
When transitioning your puppy to a new diet at any stage, start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of their current food, then gradually increase the new food over the course of 10-14 days until youre feeding them 100% of the new food.
How to feed large breed puppies
What about an all-life stages diet for puppies?
Adult dog food diets we recommend
Change Your Dogs Diet Over A 7
The easiest way to transition your dog from one food to another is by gradually changing the foods your pet eats over a seven to 10-day period. Start by mixing the new food with 90% of the old, then slowly increase the amount of the new food over the same time period. Be sure to keep meal times and eating areas the same. If your dog has an underlying medical condition, consult a veterinarian to make the switch.
Never drastically alter your dogs diet. You should gradually make a change over a seven to ten-day period. For instance, feeding your dog an entirely new type of food before taking a car trip could cause car sickness, while feeding him before a vigorous exercise session could lead to bloat, which can be dangerous. Make sure to follow these tips when introducing new food to your dog.
Its also important to consider the nutritional value of the food youre feeding your dog. A diet rich in essential fatty acids is critical to a healthy coat and skin. To help your dog maintain a healthy coat, look for a dog food with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The AAFCO label assures that the food is balanced and complete. Your dogs weight will increase or decrease with the new diet.
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Special Considerations For Large Breeds
A large-breed dog is one expected to weigh at least 50 pounds at maturity while giant breeds weigh over 80 pounds. Large dogs can take 12 months or more to achieve their full size while giant breeds may continue to grow for 18 to 24 months.
According to the experts at AKC, some of the largest dog breeds include:
- Bernese Mountain Dog
Some might consider these ten breeds to be giant breeds, a size category above large breeds. Popular large-breed dogs include favorites like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Boxer, and German Shepherd.
Large-breed puppies mature at a slower rate than small-breed puppies and its important not to rush the process. They may need more calories overall than a smaller dog, but its even more essential that you provide the right balance of protein and fat to control their growth.
When large and giant breed puppies grow too quickly, it puts a lot of extra strain on their developing bones and joints. This can lead to skeletal abnormalities and an increased risk for orthopedic problems in adulthood.
Large breeds are already prone to hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears, so you dont want to do anything to increase the risk.
When To Switch To Senior Dog Food
A dog is more or less considered a senior at around 7-8 years of age. A senior dog food provides fewer calories to your dog during a given meal. The assumption behind the design of a senior diet is that, as dogs age, they are not as active as they once were and do not need the same number of calories as an active adult dog.
The problem with that assumption is that each dog is an individual whose energy, appetite, and metabolism are unique to that individual.
Here are a few guidelines to help you decide whether and when to switch your dog to a senior diet:
- If your senior dog is healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight: It is generally recommended to continue feeding your dog the adult food they know and love.
- If your senior dog is healthy but is gaining weight or overweight: A senior diet might be a good idea so you can meet your dogs calorie needs without the extra weight and stress on their body.
- If your senior dog is seemingly healthy but unintentionally losing weight: Consider an exam with your veterinarian to figure out the cause of weight loss before making a decision about your dogs diet.
- If your senior dog has a disease condition , there are many commercial and prescription diets you can feed to help manage those conditions.
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When To Stop Feeding Puppy Food Large Breed
A puppys growth rate varies depending on the size and breed of the puppy, but in general, large breed puppies should be transitioned to adult food by the time they are 12-18 months old.
Puppy diets must be formulated in order to meet their nutritional needs as they grow. The large breed is defined as 70 pounds or more in height. They require more nutrients than other animals of their size, so their skeletal framework can grow appropriately and gradually. Puppy food should never be given to an adult dog until the time is right and he or she has grown up.