Changing Your Pet Food: Why And How
There are many reasons to consider switching pet food flavors, types or brands. But how do you go about changing your pet food, and how do you know its really time?
Your pet may eagerly devour a new type of pet food. But your pets digestive tract may not be as enthusiastic: Vomiting, diarrhea and gas are just a few of the potential consequences to a sudden food switch. Thats why food transitions should be made gradually, over the course of a week or more, to give your pets digestive tract a chance to adjust.
The Switch To Adult Food
A medium-breed puppy reaches adult weight by about 12 months. You can begin feeding an adult dog food at this time, such as IAMS ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks. Your dog might not welcome the change at first, but don’t worry. You can help ease the transition by gradually introducing the adult food. Try mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of his puppy food, then gradually change the proportions over the next three days until he’s eating 100% adult food.
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.
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What Happens If You Switch Dog Food Too Fast
Switching foods too quickly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or excess gas. If at any time during transition, your pet experiences gastro-intestinal upset, keep the ratio of old to new food the same for several days. This will allow your pet to adjust to the new ratio before you incorporate more new food.
Why You Shouldn’t Seek A Sole Perfect Food For Your Dog
Without a doubt, the most common question I am asked is What kind of food should I feed my dog?
Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. I try to teach dog owners to recognize the hallmarks of good quality foods, buy a bunch of them to try, identify a few that really suit their dogs, and then to rotate between three or four of the best. I suggest that they give their dogs one food for 2-4 months, and then switch to another food, and then another. Ideally, the foods are made by a few different manufacturers, and contain completely different protein sources, too.
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Long Dog Food Transition Timeline
|25% current food + 75% new food|
|Week 4+||100% new food|
The percentages in the timelines above refer to the quantity of food fed. For example, if before the transition you were feeding 2 cups of the current food, then day 1 of the transition you would feed 75% of the current food which is 1½ cup. This leaves ½ cups of the new food to fill the bowl.
Regardless of which diet transition schedule is used, it is generally recommended to give your dog a pet-specific probiotic during the transition to help your dogs stomach break down and digest the new ingredients in a healthy way. Consult your veterinarian to find the best probiotic that is recommended for your dog.
Changing Dog Food For Your New Dog
Changing dog food isn’t something you should rush into, especially when bringing home a new dog. Seeing canines chow down on the contents of an overturned trash can you might be tempted to think they have iron stomachs. The reality, however, is that dogs have surprisingly sensitive tummies, and abrupt changes to their food can upset them. To help make a dog food transition go smoothly for your new housemate, follow these steps:
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How To Make Homemade Wet Dog Food
Have you ever turned around a can of wet dog food and really checked out the ingredients? I assume that if youre reading this blog post, you most likely read the labels of the food you purchase for yourself and your family. If thats you, Good Job!
I am what some call a granola bar mom and play gatekeeper to the food that comes through the door for my familys consumption. . I make sure that what we put into our body is going to fuel our bodies for the right reasons, not harm them. This form of thinking stemmed from college and my Environmental Crime class, but is most likely a side effect of my Crohns Disease.
Although I am super strict with my family, Im embarrassed to say that until recently, I never read the pet food labels of our furry family members. But after the research my daughter conducted, I do now.
And so should you.
Oscar with his little bandanna/bib, ready to enjoy his homemade wet food.
Our smallest dog in our pack of three has congestive heart failure with an enlarged heart and spleen. We had been working alongside our vets for over a year with multiple appointments and changes to his medication. Still, our dog was struggling, and my daughter was desperate to help him. So she took it upon herself to research how she could extend his life. Can you guess what she researched first?
If you answered dog food, give yourself a pat on the back!
What Defines The Transition From Pup To Grown Up
- At around 4 months of age, puppies begin to lose their baby teeth and grow into their adult chompers. Baby teeth are weaker, so soft food is appropriate for puppies. Adult teeth come with the exciting new experience of eating harder foods.
- Physical maturity. When your dog becomes an adult, they will have stopped growing and will have become their full size!
- Sexual maturity. After a dog goes through their version of puberty they are considered adults.
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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
Should Dogs Eat The Same Food Everyday
Dogs get tired of eating the same thing every day.
Theyre fine eating the same thing all the time. Once you find a food that works well for your dog, stick with it. If you do need to change their food, do it slowly over a few days. Give your dog a bit more of the new food and a bit less of the old food each day.
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Is It Ok To Mix 2 Different Dog Foods
Although not considered ideal, its probably safe to mix 2 different dry dog foods together so long as you first verify that both products are designed for the same stage of life and breed size. When you mix 2 foods together, youre changing the concentration of calcium and other crucial nutrients.
What Should I Feed My Dog When I Switch Food
Problems when switching dog food. Give this mixture with a little kibble mixed in with it for a day or two until your dogs stool starts to harden back up, then gradually over a couple of meals feed more kibble than rice and hamburger mixture. Another option for stool hardening is adding some canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix,
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The Right Time To Change Foods
Your pets nutritional needs often change with different life stages. So it makes sense to move to a different food when your pet grows from a puppy or kitten to an adult and again when they enter their senior years.
Certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, diabetes or simply weight gain may necessitate a diet change. Or you may just have personal reasons for trying a new formula, such as ingredient or brand preferences or just to save money. Its important to note that if your pet suddenly stops enjoying the current food you purchase, you should consult your veterinarian before making a switch.
Whatever the reason, there are actually times when you may not want to change your pets food, and thats when your dog or cat is really sick. A diet change may add more stress to a body that needs to focus on getting healthy.
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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Pros Of Mixing Wet And Dry Dog Food
Many people like to mix both wet and dry dog food to give their dogs some variety in their meals and there are many benefits to this practice.
Feeding a mixture is more cost-effective than feeding an all canned food diet, but it still provides some enticement at mealtime for picky eaters. It also helps to increase the amount of moisture a dog consumes which can be beneficial for dogs with specific issues like kidney disease or bladder stones.
Mixing both dry and wet food also still provides crunchy kibble to promote dental health.
Do Dogs Get Tired Of Eating The Same Food
Dogs get tired of eating the same thing every day.
Theyre fine eating the same thing all the time. Changing types or brands of food can make your dog sick. If you do need to change his food, do it slowly over a few days. Give your dog a bit more of the new food and a bit less of the old food each day.
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Benefits Of Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is more cost-effective, lasts longer once it is opened, and is easier to feed and store than wet food. Dry food can also help to keep a dog’s teeth clean by scraping off plaque as the food is chewed.
It is widely accessible, doesn’t need special storage once it is opened like canned food requires, and comes in a variety of dry kibble shapes, textures, flavors, and sizes.
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Keep your dog healthy and fit with this easy peasy homemade recipe its cheaper than store-bought and chockfull of fresh veggies!
I never thought I would be one of those dog owners who made homemade human food for their pups. Not in a million years.
But when Butters recently fell sick with an upset stomach, our vet advised us to feed him a bland diet chicken and rice without any kind of seasoning. So thats what we did we poached a chicken, shredded it in a food processor, and mixed in some white rice and fed him this bland diet for 3 days.
Thats when I started to do some research on homemade dog food, and I have been so amazed as to how many different kinds of vegetables dogs can have. And with the help of Balance IT, you can create so many different recipes for your pup!
Now the best part about making homemade dog food just like making anything at home is that you know exactly what is going into the dog bowl, and not any of that questionable gelatinous gunk from the canned food.
But its important to note that dogs have different nutrient requirements than humans for their proportional body size, such as:
Now this recipe here has a balance of 50% protein, 25% veggies and 25% grains, but the ratios can easily be adjusted to suit your pups breed and/or needs.
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How Can I Help My Dog Get Through His Tough Tummy Times
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.
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.
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Identify When He’s Not Ready
Your dog may not seem to tolerate the new food, no matter how slowly you go, and that’s OK too. Slowly shift him back to the old food and start again with something else after giving his tummy a break. It could be that the new dog food contains ingredients to which your dog has an intolerance or allergy. If you continue to have trouble changing dog food, or if his stools contain blood or an unusual color, you should consult a veterinarian.
Your How To Transition Dog Food Plan
When transitioning dog food, introduce new food to your dog in small amounts, still primarily feeding him his old food. When switching dog food, measure the amount of new food that you’re adding in and make sure to remove an equal amount of your dog’s current food.
Continue adding in your dog’s new food, and removing an equal amount of the current food. By now the new food should be making up the majority of your dog’s meal.
Continue increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing your dogs former food until you are feeding the new food exclusively. Now youve successfully completed switching dog food!
These basic guidelines will set you and your dog up for a positive transition to a new food.
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