Changing Your Dog’s Food: When, Why, and How
Food – it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures!
For dogs, mealtime is especially exciting. A tasty bowl of yummy dog food is enough to get your pup’s tail wagging and mouth drooling.
But occasionally, it becomes necessary for pet parents to change their dog’s food.
Here on The Wellness Paw, we dive into some of the common reasons why your fur baby could benefit from eating a different dog food and also look at how to transition from old dog food to new dog food.
6 Signs Your Dog May Need to Change Foods
If only our dogs could speak to us!
Alas, understanding the health of our darling dogs takes a sharp eye, veterinarian guidance, and research. Unfortunately, animals cannot simply tell us what’s wrong using words. Therefore, it’s your job as a responsible pet parent to be on the lookout for red flags regarding their health and wellness.
PetMD recommends paying attention to your dog’s physical appearance. If their coat seems lusterless, flat, and flaky, it’s possible they aren’t getting enough essential fatty acids in their diet. These type of nutrients have more presence in fish, dark greens vegetables, and insects!
Similarly, a dog who scratches endless (but has no insect bites or small wounds) could be suffering from allergies triggered by their diet. Hypoallergenic and Non GMO ingredients along with a mix of novel proteins are recommended in this situations.
Low Energy Levels
Next, a lethargic pooch who doesn’t show any interest in playing, walking, or exploring might require some dietary changes to boost their energy levels. It could be that your dog needs more antioxidants, proteins, calories, etc.
Uh oh. Is your dog looking a little…chubby? Low-quality pet foods loaded with fillers such as might be adding to the extra pounds. Too much food, not enough nutrition!
Some of the ingredients you might want to keep away from your pets are: rice, corn, wheat, beet pulp, and flours. Some of these fillers are sadly used my most of commercial brands.
Loose Stools, Constipation, and Flatulence
Runny poops or difficulty “doing their business” can also be a sign it’s time to switch up your dog’s food. Pups with stomach sensitivities may get gastrointestinal upsets after eating certain brands.
Some ingredients you want to see on yours pet's food are: ancient grains, thyme extract, sweet potato and specialized prebiotics that support the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
Lastly, young puppies have different nutrient requirements than adult dogs, for instance. During later life stages, dogs in their senior years should generally be getting more fiber and supplements, such as bone and joint support.
Do any of these apply to your dog? If yes, it could be a sign it’s time to alter their diet!
When is the Right Time to Switch My Dog’s Diet?
Changing your dog’s food takes planning. Just like humans, canines should not go “cold turkey” when it comes to major diet changes, as it’s safer and gentler on the stomach to transition over a period of time. Too fast, and it can result in excess gas, vomiting, diarrhea, and a lower appetite.
So, when exactly is the right time to make the switch?
According to the American Kennel Club, this should occur over 5-7 days.
Dienon recommends always speaking to a veterinarian first.
How to Safely Change a Dog’s Food: Step-by-step
Okay, you bought the new food. Now, it’s time to begin the transition. Again, the American Kennel Club canine nutrition experts suggest adhering to the schedule below:
1. Start by mixing 25% of the new diet and 75% old diet on day one.
2. By day three, increase to 50% new diet and 50% old diet.
3. On day five, go with 75% new diet and 25% old diet.
4. Then finally, day seven can be 100% new diet.
Should your pooch show signs of tummy troubles, slow down and consult your family vet for advice.
Bonus! It’s Good for the Environment Too
As you can see, there are plenty of excellent reasons to change a dog’s food.
Not only can this be great for their long-term health, but it also has the potential to be an environmentally friendly decision as well. Companies such as Dienon are deliciously eco-friendly. Unlike dog foods which rely on 100% animal protein, we use alternative and sustainable protein sources in our recipes. For instance, the black soldier fly! Learn more about our ingredients here.
Consequently, switching foods can reduce your dog’s carbon footprint.
Ready to make the transition?