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.
Doesnt Your Dog Need To Encounter Other Proteins To Build His Immune System
No. Thats not how the immune system works. When a puppy or dog eats proteins he wont have an allergic reaction to the protein the first time he eats it. His body wont react to it as an allergen at that time. If he is allergic to it, he has to encounter it again. At that time his body will have made antibodies to fight the allergen and release histamines and other chemicals which cause the allergic reaction. A dog can have this kind of reaction to lots of different things, including food ingredients. The wider the variety of ingredients you introduce to your dog, the more likely you are to encounter something he might be allergic to. Even if he is not allergic to some of the common allergens, he might be allergic to some of the less common food allergens. Any kind of protein can become an allergen. You cant prevent allergies or immunize your dog from getting an allergy by feeding him different kinds of food. You can keep your dog healthy and try to support his immune system. A stressed or weakened immune system is more likely to show a reaction if your dog is prone to allergies. Some dogs have immune systems that are overactive or which react inappropriately.
Blood Tests Dont Lieand Hoochs Numbers Shifted Drastically In Just The First 6 Weeks We Made These Diet And Lifestyle Changes
He noticeably had more energy, was suffering less from inflammation, was shedding less with a more luxurious coat, and for the first time EVER he had zero bloating! NO GAS for the first time in his entire life! The best news though, was that those stage 4 kidney disease blood levels he had at his yearly checkup had climbed back up to to midrange stage 1 kidney disease blood levels! The extra time and energy invested in making his food and the other small changes we made to his lifestyle have given us more quality time with our beloved Hooch which is more than we could have ever hoped for!
If youve made our Easy Homemade Dog Food for your pup I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. Want to be a part of our online community outside of the blog? Its easy!! All you have to do is follow @THISMESSISOURS on , , , , or to see cooking demos, and peeks into our day to day life.
- Prep Time:30
790 grams cooked organic brown rice
700 grams ground lean beef, cooked through, fat drained
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced small
207 grams carrots, shredded or thinly sliced
14 grams minced curly parsley
22 grams of olive or safflower oil
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How To Change Dog Food Quickly
You might be in a situation where your new dog’s previous food is unknown to you, and his old food simply isn’t something you can get your hands on. In this case, consider introducing your dog to his new food slowly by feeding him small meals every few hours, keeping an eye out for signs of trouble in between meals. If necessary, choose an easily digestible formula to start off with. Once he’s used to it, gradually switch him to your preferred brand or formula.
The potential stomach ache should be enough of a reason to go slow when transitioning dog food, but above all, consider the numerous changes your new dog is already dealing with as he settles into his new life. Like people, dogs take comfort in the familiar. Being served the food he knows during his first few days with you will help him feel more at home in his new digswhich is just as good for his emotional health as it is for his digestion.
Recommended Products For Canine Digestive Health
All featured products were chosen at the discretion of the Great Pet Care editorial team and not directly recommended or endorsed by the author of this article. Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Despite the best of intentions, sometimes changing dog food can cause digestive upset. Switching your dogs food too quickly may result in imbalances in her gastrointestinal flora . Dogs are notorious creatures of habit, so their digestive system may not always agree with a new food.
In order to help you help your pooch transition to a new food like a pro, weve curated five of our favorite products for canine digestive health. Each of these products has been hand-selected for pet parents who are changing their dogs food. We recommend you keep one or more of these products on hand when making the transition in the event your dogs tummy reacts with a vengeance.
Recommended Reading: Kidney Disease Diet For Dogs Recipes
Make A Transition To The New Dog Food
If you are going to switch dog food, you will want to transition to the new food over a period of time.
Depending on how your dog handles the change, it could take less than 2 weeks to transition or it could take over a month.
The safest way to transition to a new food is to do it over the period of a month.
A 1-month transition schedule looks like this:
- Days 1-7: 1/4 new mixed with their old food
- Days 8-14: 1/3 new to old
- Days 15-21: 1/2 new to old
- Days 22-28: 3/4 new food
- Days 29+: 100% of the meal will be the new food
If you have had positive experiences with switching your dogs food before, or you think they have an iron stomach, you might be able to get away with transitioning your dog to a new food over 7 days.
Basically, youre taking the 30-day schedule above and moving to the next phase faster.
A 7-day transition schedule looks like this:
- Days 1-2: 1/4 new mixed with their old food
- Days 3-4: 1/3 new to old
- Days 5-6: 1/2 new to old
- Day 7: 3/4 new to old
How to Change Your Dogs Food Quickly
If you really wanted to speed things up, you could make the transition in 5 days.
Keep in mind though that the quicker you change your dogs diet, the greater the chance your dog could have a negative reaction to it.
I dont recommend switching your dogs food cold turkey. Only use this method if youve changed your dogs food several times before with no issues.
A 5-day transition schedule looks like this:
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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How Often Should A Dog Poop
Everyone poops. We all do it: dogs, cats, and people. It’s a normal part of life. Understanding a dog’s usual poop proclivity will help you in recognizing when something isn’t right. Observing the qualities of your dog’s poop can help you find any health issues they may have.
How Many Times Should a Dog Poop a Day?
When a dog comes to poop, there are a few fundamental guidelines to follow. A dog’s bowels should move at least once a day in general. Many dogs go two or three times a day regularly. Certain factors can affect your dog’s digestive system and how often they need to go potty.
- How much food they’ve consumed in the last 24 to 48 hours. It’s very straightforward the more dogs consume, the more feces they require.
- The amount of fiber in their diet – dog food must have an appropriate distribution of the good fiber. Constipation might occur if you overeat.
- Younger dogs poop more frequently, and senior dogs poop less frequently.
- Medication – certain medications might affect your dog’s digestive system, causing them to defecate more or less frequently.
- Stress – Just like people, how dogs feel can trigger irritable bowel syndrome.
What Time Do Dogs Usually Poop?
What’s Healthy Dog Poop Should Be Like?
Color, consistency, content and coating are the four basic features of dog poop.
I remind owners that one super-soft or super-hard stool is not a cause for alarm, especially if the pet is generally healthy, but call the vet if it lasts more than a day.
Is It Ok To Play Switcheroo With Your Pet Foods
Originally published as a three-part series on Fully Vetted.
Do you switch your pets food around? Be honest. Assuming you feed commercial, do you succumb to whatever super-premium canned kitty food is on sale this week? Is it one month Halo, next month Canidae? If so you shouldnt feel so bad about it .
Yes, veterinarians can be kind of funny on this topic. Get us chatting on the subject of pet foods and youll find we tend towards the conservative. So, too, does it go on the subject of switching pet foods.
For example, when asked if the occasional food switcheroo might be OK, most vets will offer up their best frowny face and lace their next few sentences with ominous gastrointestinal details involving the words “bowels,” “gut,” and “microflora” none of which sound too promising with respect to your pets potential diet change.
So you know, we vets tend to cop this cautionary attitude for one understandable reason: The vast majority of our gastroenteritis cases revolve around pets whose diets were suddenly changed. Hence, our profound and persistent distrust of pet owners when it comes to messing with our patients diets. Because it sucks to have to hospitalize a patient for three days after her three-year-long love affair with lamb and rice ended in a venison and potato-ey pool of bloody diarrhea.
Heres how I see it:
There’s obviously much more to this food-switching issue than meets the eye.
Heres how I see it:
1. Variety .
3. Non-cutaneous food allergies .
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How To Choose A Dog Food
Choosing an appropriate diet for your dog is a complicated process. The sheer number of dog food options available is overwhelming. Unfortunately, there is no one diet that is best for every dog. Just like humans, dogs are individuals and their dietary needs vary depending on factors such as age, health, and personal preferences.
To make the process even more complicated, there are also a lot of myths about dog food on the internet. Many people fall victim to advertising campaigns or scare tactics warning them away from commercial dog foods. Fortunately, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has published a guide entitled The Savvy Dog Owners Guide: Nutrition on the Internet to help pet owners decipher fact from fiction when doing their own research about dog food.
Learning how to read a pet food label can also help demystify the process of choosing a dog food. The information on a pet food label is guided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is responsible for establishing definitions for many of the terms you will find on a bag of dog food. Understanding these labeling requirements can make it easier to identify which products are best for your dog. Look for the words complete and balanced diet on the label.
Hacks For Washing Food And Water Bowls
If you are unable to adequately clean your dogs food and water bowls daily, there are alternative options that may make your life easier and improve your pets health. Disposable bowls can be used, and plastic dog bowl inserts can be purchased at most pet stores. While this option is not as environmentally friendly as washing your dogs bowl daily, it can work in a pinch if you are unable to clean the bowl properly.
Another popular option is to purchase multiple bowls and rotate them daily if the dishwasher isnt frequently run. This allows for a fresh food and water bowl daily for your dog with less work. For water bowls, purchasing an electric fountain that keeps fresh water circulating is also a great option. Ultimately, when pets do not have safe sources to eat and drink from, they may avoid eating and drinking completely, leading to weakness and dehydration. After all, if you would not eat or drink from the same dishes daily, why should your pet?
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When People Find Out We Make Our Own Dog Food At Home They Always Ask Us What About A Raw Diet So Lets Get That Out Of The Way First
There are LOTS of thoughts and theories on feeding your dog a raw diet especially a dog that is living with kidney disease. Our vet however, was personally opposed to feeding a raw diet due to the fact that dogs, just like us, are very susceptible to food poisoning. Besides that, a raw diet can be tricky to get just right! You run the risk of giving your dog a horrible belly ache by mixing a raw diet with cooked treats, so if you decided to go raw it is important to have both raw meals and raw treats planned for your pup at all times. NO MIXING the two! Since raw and cooked foods digest at different rates any combination of the two can wreak serious havoc on your pups gut which can lead to some pretty unpleasant situations for you if you get my drift.
How To Change Foods Safely
It is advised not to change to a totally new diet too quickly, as that could cause your dog to have an upset stomach, with diarrhea or excess gas. Some dogs are more sensitive than others when they have changes to their diet.
Switching foods should take about a week, where you slowly mix a little bit of the new diet with the old diet, increasing the portion of the new diet every day. This gives your dogs gastrointestinal tract time to adjust to any changes in the food and allows you to check for any signs of an upset tummy.
Watch this video and make sure you transition your dogs nutrition to a new food safely.
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Best Probiotic With Fiber
Eliminate the fear of switching dog food by keeping a can of Fruitables Switch on hand. Touted as the just-right balance of soluble to insoluble fiber, Switch supports a healthy gut to ensure a smooth transition to your dogs new food. We love the transparency of this products, as its one and only ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is safe for humans and dogs, and the pure pumpkin in Switch contains no additives or preservatives.
- Tasty pumpkin base is a flavor most dogs love
- Helps decrease the risk of loose stool or digestive issues when changing foods
- Made in the USA and developed by a veterinarian
- Easily replace 30 percent of your dogs current food with Switch when transitioning
- Can be used after transitioning for a daily fiber addition
Things to Consider
- Unused portion must be refrigerated after opening and remains fresh up to seven days
- Contains 4 calories per tablespoon
- Consult with your dogs veterinarian first if your pet has a medical condition or takes medication
When Do I Need To Take My Dog To The Vet
If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea for more than three days, or has symptoms accompanied by lethargy, you should talk to your vet about the transition.
If your dog suffers from a serious medical condition, such as advanced kidney disease or pancreatitis, they may require a more stringent diet, and Nom Nom may not be the right fit. Remember to consult your veterinarian before changing his diet.
The Nom Nom R& D team is on the lookout for dogs that experience regular diarrhea to participate in their new GI targeted probiotics trial. Sound like someone in your house? See if your dog qualifies for this paid research study here.
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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?