The nutritional needs of dogs change as they go through the stages of life – just like humans. Remember in your late teens and early 20s how you could down a large cheeselover’s pizza in one sitting and not put on a pound. Now, well, it’s a different story, huh? Diet and nutrition are very important and ensure dogs live long and happy lives. For example, puppy formulas are high in protein and carbs, which are great for a growing dog. But a high-protein diet can be detrimental for older dogs.
Whether you’re happy with your current dog food or are looking to make a change, here are a few factors to keep in mind.
Why Should I Change Dog Food?
Dogs need nourishment that best reflects their age, activity level and overall health. Your dog doesn’t need to hop on a keto diet plan, but he or she does require a more balanced diet that gives him or her what’s needed.
Your dog can experience symptoms such as an upset stomach and itchy skin as he or she grows, and these can be caused by a food sensitivity. That will definitely require a change of diet. This situation can come on immediately after trying a new food or take a few years to show up.
You may also want to change your dog’s diet to prevent diseases or combat weight gain.
How Do I Change My Dog’s Food
Changing your dog’s food requires planning and should be done gradually over the course of seven days – or based on the recommendations of a veterinarian. You should slowly mix portions of the new and old food using these guidelines:
- Day 1: 75% old food and 25% new food
- Day 2: 70% old food and 30% new food
- Day 3: 60% old food and 40% new food
- Day 4: 50% old food and 50% new food
- Day 5: 40% old food and 60% new food
- Day 6: 25% old food and 75% new food
- Day 7: 100% new food
If your dog is experiencing serious health issues, your vet may opt for you to change his or her diet in a more immediate way.
Things To Know When Switching To New Foods
Not all dogs are the same. So when you switch foods, you should take your dog’s feelings and tastes into consideration. Make sure to talk to a veterinarian and look into product reviews. If your main reason for switching foods is that your dog is disinterested in his or her current morsels, take a note from Nick Jonas and “throw some bacon on it,” – and by bacon we mean adding some meal enhancers to boost flavor and taste.
Make sure to consider the following when changing foods:
- Food should be transitioned slowly over the course of several days. Immediate diet changes can be harmful to your dog, unless it’s recommended by a vet.
- Have your dog taste test the food before you buy it in bulk.
- If you’re trying to combat stomach sensitivity, you’ll want to avoid wheat, beef, dairy, eggs and chicken.
- During the process, avoid giving your dog any human food and dog treats.
- Results of the dietary change may take up to 12 weeks.
- If issues persist or new ones develop, talk with a veterinarian.
Switching to a new food is a big change regardless of your dog’s age. Take some time to review your dog’s dietary needs with a vet, and make sure you do your research on the multiple brands of food that are on the market. If you handle the transition properly, your pup will love the new food just as much or more than Joey Tribbiani did when he got a meatball sub.
At “I and love and you,” we pride ourselves on providing natural, healthy and grain-free dog food that comes in a variety of flavors and meets the needs of your four-legged friend at all stages of his or her life.