How To Switch Dog Food Gradually
The best way to transition your dogs food is to mix your current dog food with the new dog food for at least 5 days. This allows for your dogs digestive tract to adjust without suffering from stomach issues.
- Day 1: Feed 75% of your current food and mix in 25% of the new food in each serving to start the adjustment period for clean digestion.
- Day 2: Adjust to feeding 60% of your old food and mix in 40% of the new food in each serving.
- Day 3: Feed 50% of your old food, mixed with 50% of the new food per serving.
- Day 4: Feed 40% of your old food, mixed with 60% of the new food per serving.
- Day 5: Feed 25% of your old food, mixed with 75% of the new food per serving.
- Day 6: Feed 90-100% of the new food at this point you should be very close to a clean digestive transition period.
Break the daily serving size into two meals per day: one in the morning and one in the evening.
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Can Certain Dog Foods Make A Dog Have Aggressive Behavior
Can Certain Dog Foods Make a Dog Have Aggressive Behavior? Some studies suggest that reducing the amount of protein in your dogs diet can help resolve aggressive behavior. I f youve reached the end of your leash with your dogs aggressive behavior, talk to your vet about a change in your dogs diet.
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.
When Switching Dog Food Is Not Recommended
There are situations where changing a dogs diet is not recommended. One such situation is switching a dogs food to prevent food allergies. Currently, there is no evidence to support this concept.
Since food allergies develop because of a dogs genes, and not because of the number of foods they have been exposed to, it is best to keep your dog on the one food they do well on and manage any allergies if/when they become prevalent in your dogs life.
Keeping Your Dog Hydrated
Give your dog plenty of water, especially now, as they’ll need to stay hydrated during the transition. If they stop drinking, however, or seems to be drinking an excessive amount, this might be a sign of a more complicated digestion issue with the new food. Again, see your vet to ensure they’re taking to it healthily.
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Should You Mix Wet And Dry Dog Food
Mixing wet and dry dog food or wet and dry cat food is fine as long as both options are of high quality and meet your pets nutritional and other health needs. Quality wet and dry foods are formulated to provide your pet with all the protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to thrive.
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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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.
Best Multivitamin With Probiotics
If you could give your dog one multivitamin to protect her gut when transitioning to a new food, Daily Great is your best bet. Many pet parents wait until their dog shows signs of stomach upset to add a probiotic or digestive product to her diet. Daily Great targets four things in one: vitamins and minerals for overall health, omega-3s for healthy skin and coat, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and hip support, and a probiotic for digestive care.
- Give twice a day with meals to support your dogs digestive care
- Chewable format makes it easy to dispense
- Formulated with good bacteria and ingredients to promote healthy digestion
- Can be used daily before, during, and after the new dog food transition
- Made in America with 120 soft chews per container
- Delivers gastric comfort to dogs switching to a new food
Things to Consider
- Number of chews dispensed depends on the weight of the dog
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While Many People Are Apprehensive About The Idea Rotational Feeding Has Many Wonderful Benefits For Dogs
Eating the exact same food day after day can lead to food boredom, limit the spectrum of nutrients that your dogs body could benefit from, and even increase the risk of food sensitivities. The fact is that pets can benefit from a diet with variety just as humans and most wild animals do! Just because our canine animal companions have been domesticated to live in houses, doesnt mean they should consume a monotonous diet without any variation.
Switching up your pups menu with a range of different foods can broaden their palate and allow them to benefit from a wider spectrum of nutrients and ingredients. This type of diet is most commonly called rotational feeding. It can take many different forms and may involve varying their menu on a daily, weekly, or other routine basis. Variety might come in the form of alternating proteins, switching between whole grain and grain free recipes, varying food formats or simply mixing in a few dog-safe people foods into your dogs bowl from time to time.
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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Diet Health & Behavior: Changing Food Can Make A Big Difference
When I was a kid, we thought we were spoiling our wire-haired terrier Perri with a diet of Alpo. He got one can a day. But we noticed that he kept getting into garbage cans around the neighborhood. When I was older and smarter, I was horrified to realize that he’d been hungry because he just wasnt getting enough, either in quantity or quality. We didnt know any better, and options were few in those days. At least Alpo was superior to what most dogs were getting then: Purina Dog Chow and Gravy Train.
Now we have a huge array of choices, starting with multiple types of diet: dry kibble, wet/canned, raw, commercial raw , homemade . . . and combinations thereof. It can be really confusing, which leads many people to reach for whats convenient, economical, or persuasively marketed. Other consumers are as careful and discriminating as they are about knowing whats in their own diet.
A new online guide called Best Dog Food is the result of an impressive amount of research: consulting with 20+ experts in the field , reading dozens of studies on dog food, analyzing 2,000+ labels for ingredients and nutrient levels, and talking to dog owners. Go here to see the results:
When the reviewers surveyed 300 owners, they found that 70 percent didnt know what was in their dogs food. Why does it matter? Because diet affects everything: health, life span, and behavior.
We need to read labels and know whats safe and healthy, and what isnt.
Isn’t Feeding Raw Food Dangerous Due To The Risk Of Salmonella And E Coli
The digestive tracts of dogs and cats are very different than those of humans. The human digestive tract is approximately 25 to 28 feet long with a stomach acidity between 1.5 and 2.5, whereas dogs and cats have a much shorter digestive system at an average of 10 to 13 feet for dogs with an acidity of less than 1.
This means that raw food moves through your pet’s system in less than half the time it would through a human’s system, and the high acidity kills most bacteria. Even if the food was contaminated, it is unlikely that the microbes would enter the animal’s bloodstream.
Commercially prepared raw food manufacturers take measures to control against the presence of unwanted organisms such as salmonella and e. coli, so if you’re concerned about contamination, frozen raw diets are a good option.
If you eat meat, then you are aware of the precautions to take when handling raw meat. The same precautions apply to raw pet food: wash bowls, utensils and your hands after feeding and handling the meat. Keep the meat frozen until two to four days before feeding, and thaw in the refrigerator. Don’t leave the food down for your pet for more than 30-40 minutes, and throw any leftovers away after this time.
If you use common sense, feeding raw food is no more difficult or dangerous than any other pet food, and the health benefits are unparalleled.
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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.
Watch For Symptoms During Dog Food Transition
Throughout this adjustment period, be sure to keep a close eye on your dog. Here are some things you should monitor to ensure that hes not experiencing an upset stomach or other health concerns.
- Make sure hes continuing to drink a normal amount of water.
- Is your dog having a lot of gas? Ideally, your dogs gas should remain low. Otherwise, he may not be digesting the new food well.
- Your dogs feces should remain normal. Yes, it sounds gross to look at the poop, but its important to keep an eye on your dogs stool to make sure its not too runny. Runny stool raises concerns about diarrhea and dehydration.
Tip: If you see a great deal of change in these areas, slow down the process and take more time to ease your dog into the new food. This slow process of changing food should alleviate the majority of issues normally associated with an upset stomach.
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Food Intolerances And Allergies
It is actually not variety but subjecting your dog to the same food all the time that causes food allergies. Your dog gets sensitized to the ingredients in the formula, and his body develops a reaction. Senior dogs that have eaten the same food all their lives are seriously prone to allergic reactions.
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Different Life Stages = Different Food
During different stages of your dogs life, he will have different dietary needs. There is no one food that can achieve everything your dog needs for his entire life- it just doesnt exist- no matter what the advertising on the packet says!
For example, a growing puppy needs much more energy and nutrients than a senior dog. And if an adult dog is fed a puppy formulated diet, it will likely pile on the pounds quite quickly and become fat. Veterinary nutritionists now recommend that you should feed your dog according to his life stage to keep your dog healthy and improve his quality of life.
So, what are the different life stages?
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Vomiting And Food Changes
Diarrhea isn’t the only possible negative effect of food switches in canines. Some canines also vomit when they experience food changes. If you notice your pet throwing up, consider his recent menu, whether it involved a switch to a totally different brand of canned chicken or the introduction of a new type of doggie treat. Food transitions can indeed trigger severe and abrupt spells of throwing up in dogs. Just to be sure that the dietary transition is the culprit, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian immediately, however. Note, too, that many other things can bring upon diarrhea in canines apart from speedy food switches. These things include everything from kidney disease and anxiety to bacterial infection and colitis. Only a vet can tell you for certain.
When To Seek Advice
It is always a good idea to seek advice from your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you need advice about your dogs diet or if your dog seems ill. If you think your dog could benefit from a change in food, but you arent sure which one is best then ask for advice. You could spend a small fortune and waste a lot of time buying lots of different dog foods while trying to figure it out by yourself.
This is especially important if you want to prepare your dogs food at home from scratch. It can be difficult to get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and fiber that your dog needs to stay healthy. Feeding a diet with too much of one mineral, or too little vitamins could result in serious health problems for your dog.
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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.