What Nutrients Does Your Dog Need For Their Skin And Coat Health
Your dogs skin and hair arent just nice to pet they play an important role in keeping your pup healthy and comfortable. They prevent water and heat from leaving your pups body, plus they help keep viruses and bacteria out. One of the best ways to make sure your dogs skin and coat are in the best possible condition is by paying close attention to what you put in their food bowl.
Nutrients like protein, fat, vitamins and minerals can all impact your dogs skin and coat health. Your dogs coat is made up almost entirely of protein. If their diet doesnt contain enough quality protein, your dogs hair might fall out or become dry, weak and brittle.
Likewise, their skin is made up of tightly packed flat cells with tough membranes made of proteins and fats. Without proper amounts of these nutrients, the cell membranes can weaken, allowing water to escape and bacteria and viruses to enter more easily.
Make sure your dog is getting the following nutrients to help keep their coat and skin healthy. And keep in mind that IAMS dog foods contain an optimal blend of these nutrients to support your dogs skin and coat health.
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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.
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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.
Visit our Pet Expertise page for more nutrition and feeding tips from our experts.
When Is The Right Time To Switch To Adult Dog Food
Determining when to make the switch from puppy to adult dog food depends on your puppys size and breed, as well as his metabolism. Simply put, small and large breed puppies develop at different rates, meaning that some dogs will make the switch to adult food at different life stages. At Bil-Jac, we agree with our friends at VetInfo.com and recommend the following guidelines:
- Smaller breeds mature more quickly and can be switched at about 9 months to 1 year
- Medium breeds can be switched at around 1 year of age
- Large and giant breed dogs can transition anywhere from 1 year to 18 months
Of course, one to two years is quite a wide range of time. Every dog is different, so keep an eye on how much food your dog eats. Skipping meals or leaving some food behind is one notable sign that your furry friend is ready for a switch. If you notice that your best friend is regularly leaving some of her puppy food behind in the bowl, its probably time to make the jump to an adult formula.
Your dogs body condition can also help you figure out when its time to switch to adult food. Since puppy formulas are designed to support rapid growth, once a puppy is first weaned, splitting up meals info three feeding a day si recommended.
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Time Flies When Youre With Your Furry Friend
It would be adorable if our canine companions could be puppies forever. However, switching from puppy food to adult food is an important step as your puppy grows. Your puppy will become a full-fledged adult before you know it, so get all the puppy kisses and love while you can! Regardless of their age, its crucial to feed your children well it can make all the difference in the world in their health as they grow and mature.
Want to learn more mealtime tips and other ways you can help support your four-legged friend? Join our Best Friends Club to receive our exclusive email newsletter full of interesting articles and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac dog food, treats, products, and other training tips.
Listen To Your Veterinarians Recommendations For Special Conditions
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition known to be influenced by nutrition, or they are at risk for certain diseases based on their health and lifestyle, your vet may suggest a therapeutic or prescription diet. These diets require a prescription from your veterinarian.
While these diets do not usually contain the word senior in their title, they are formulated to manage disease conditions commonly seen in senior dogs. They may have added ingredients or formulation-specific differences not available in over-the-counter varieties.
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Problems When Switching Dog Food
No matter how gradually you switch your dog’s food over, sometimes they still get stomach upset. The most common problem when switching food is loose stool, and sometimes diarrhea.
Hardening your dog’s stool back up is pretty easy — there are two things you can do and one or the other may work better for your dog.
- Cook up some plain rice, , and even brown up some plain hamburger and mix the two together. 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 to your dogs food. It’s the same principal as the rice & hamburger mixture. Just add a generous amount to each meal and as your dog’s stool starts to harden, back the pumpkin off over a few meals.
Some thoughts to ponder. . . .
Hopefully your food transition goes smoothly, and hopefully you’re switching dog food because you want your best friend to be eating high quality food. High price does not necessarily mean high quality by the way.
One the most important things to remember is that not all foods work for all dogs — even quality foods. If your dog’s food is not agreeing with his stomach, then you should consider a switch.
A couple of ingredients that dog’s can be sensitive to are grains and protein content. For dogs with highly sensitive stomachs, lamb is usually the best protein source.
How Long Should A Puppy Eat Puppy Food
Raising a puppy can be so much fun. Your cute, little fur baby is all over the place playing, wagging his tail, and bringing joy to your home. But as he grows, you eventually find yourself wondering how long your puppy should keep eating puppy food. Depending on your dogs breed and size, you typically want to switch from puppy food to dog food sometime between seven and 14 months of age, although there are outliers.
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Bully Max: A Dog Food For All Ages
Transitioning to adult dog food the right way is a simple but important step to ensure your furry best friend is healthy and happy. Just make sure you make the switch at the appropriate time based on the breed of your dog. And always remember to transition your dogs food gently and gradually, over a period of one to two weeks.
Another option is to choose an All Life Stages formula, which is a dog food thats been formulated and approved for both puppies and adults. Here at Bully Max, we produce an high protein dog food thats packed with natural, healthy and high quality ingredientsand its an All Life Stages formula, making it a perfect choice for your dog no matter how old.
They grow up so fast, dont they?
Is It Worth It To Buy Expensive Puppy Food
Premium food has higher nutritional density, so you can feed your dog less to achieve the same results. Also, premium foods have stable ingredient profiles the composition of bargain brands can vary from batch to batch.
The major dog-food companies invest heavily in product development and research, constantly upgrading formulas to keep up with their competitors. This means that feeding premium food puts you on the cutting edge of canine nutrition.
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Do Senior Dogs Need Senior Dog Food
The decision on what to feed and whether to change to senior dog food should be based on many factorsyour veterinarian can help make recommendations based on your dogs health status, disease risk, and lifestyle.
The goals for feeding a senior dog are twofold:
Prevent or manage disease
If your dog has been diagnosed with a condition thats known to be influenced by nutrition, it may be time for a switch. This is one of the main factors to take into account when deciding if your dog needs a senior food.
What Makes A Senior Dog Food Different
So, what makes a senior dog food different from adult or all life stages dog food? Food thats labeled for senior dogs may vary in their ingredient and nutrient profiles, but not always.
For example, the percentage of protein in adult dog food ranges from 18-30%. This is similar to the range of 18-23% for senior dog foods . Other nutrient content can vary widely, as is often the case with sodium and phosphorus levels.
What sets senior dog foods apart from adult or all life stages foods is whether they also have certain nutrients and other ingredients that can help influence or manage certain diseases.
Its important to read dog food labels, and if you are contemplating a change, check in with your vet to see what your dogs specific needs may be.
All foods, regardless of stage, should provide the recommended amounts of required nutrients as established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . It is important to note, however, that AAFCO approval does not ensure the food will be effective in preventing or managing a specific disease.
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How To Switch Yourpuppys Food
When its time to switch your puppy to adult food,you should do it slowly. Switching too quickly may cause stomach upset andgastrointestinal issue such as vomiting or diarrhea. Leading up to the change,be sure to research your food options.
There is more than commercial food available, such asfresh food deliveryservices. You can also learnhow to make your own homecooked dog food, including the proper supplements that needed to be addedto the food.
Dr. Carlson recommends swapping ¼ of your dogs meal each weekto adult food until you fully transition into adult food. So, on the firstweek, youd give your dog ¼ serving adult food and ¾ puppy food on the secondweek, youd do ½ adult food, ½ puppy food. This allows your pups stomach to getused to the new food .
While going slow shouldnt make your dogs tummy upset, if you do notice signs like gastrointestinal rumbling, diarrhea, constipation or vomiting, take your pup to the vet.
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Why Adult Dog Food Is Important
Puppy food is nutrient rich and high in calories to support your puppys growth, development and high energy levels.
Continuing to feed puppy food past the point of maturity could cause him to become overweight, which can lead to other health problems.
Choose a complete and balanced adult dog food formula once your puppy reaches maturity to help him maintain his ideal body condition.
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How To Transition Puppy To An Adult Dog Food
When you stop feeding puppy food, you must change more than just the food he eats. The number of meals and portion sizes will shift, too.
Most puppies eat three meals a day, but adult dogs can eat just two meals per day. The feeding guide on your dogs food label will tell you how much to feed your dog each day and to split the amount into two meals.
When its time to transition your puppy to an adult dog food, do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset.
Heres a sample transitional feeding plan:
- Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of puppy food and add 1/4 adult dog food.
- Days 3 to 4: Serve half puppy food and half adult dog food.
- Days 5 to 7: Feed 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 adult dog food.
- Days 8 to 10: Serve only adult dog food.
If your dog resists eating the adult food or experiences an upset stomach, extend the transition time as needed. Consult with your veterinarian for more help if needed.
For more information and tips on puppy and dog nutrition from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.
Adverse Food Reactions In Dogs
An adverse food reaction is a blanket term used to describe a number of different food-related illnesses in dogs such as food allergies, food intolerance, and other gastrointestinal diseases. Many people will describe their dogs as having food allergies but this is not always accurate. True allergies involve a very specific response from the dogs immune system and this is not definitively diagnosed in many cases. Thus, it is more accurate to refer to these events as adverse food reactions.
Adverse food reactions can present with gastrointestinal symptoms, cutaneous symptoms, or a combination of the two. Gastrointestinal signs of an adverse food reaction include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Cutaneous symptoms include a wide range of signs such as itching, skin inflammation, hair loss, and many different types of rashes. There are many other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, so it is important to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian if these symptoms occur.
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How To Transition From One Food To Another
- Not all dogs have problems changing foods, but for those picky eaters or those with sensitive tummies, you may have to transition slowly.
- When its time to transition to a new food, take a small amount of the new food and mix with a portion of the old food. Allow your dog to eat as usual.
- Add a little more of the new food to the portion and continue feeding your dog as usual.Continue to switch portions, reducing the old food, and increasing the new food until its all the new food.
- From now on, feed only the new food.
- Throughout the process, watch for signs of distress or tummy issues and ease the amount of new food to give your puppy time to adjust.
- If you continue to have issues with your puppys eating, address these issues with your veterinarian to find a solution.
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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