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How to Transition Dog Food?

All pet owners are compassionate when it comes to their pets. Being a pet owner is a big responsibility, and you will want to keep your pet happy. However, there are times when you need to decide for their betterment. Most importantly, when it comes to food, the pet parents become extremely alert; as they need to feed the right food and natural dog treats.

There are plenty of reasons for changing dog food, and parents are skeptical about it. Whatever the reason for switching your dog’s diet, you need to be extremely careful. You cannot just change the meal all of a sudden, as it can be unhealthy for your dog. Here are a few ways to make the switch easier on your dog. 

Reasons To Change Dog Food:

Well, first things first. There comes a time when you find a need to change your dog’s diet; there can be various reasons—breaking down some common reasons to change dog food.

Food Allergies:

The allergies can either be environmental or food-related. However, if you feel that your dog is sensitive to a particular ingredient, change the meal. Dogs can develop reactions from certain ingredients all of a sudden, even if they are eating the same meal for years. An appropriate diet switch is recommended in this case. 

Life-stage:

From puppies to dogs, nutritional needs change. While switching your pet to an adult meal can be a difficult task. However, it also depends on the breed, size, and gender. Not to mention, with the meal, you must change the treats as well. Pig ears and duck feet are appropriate for an adult dog. 

Weight management:

Weight gain in dogs is not a good thing. Senior dogs, spayed pets gain more weight. Moreover, lack of exercise and over-feeding also leads to obesity in dogs. Whether your pet is overweight or under-weight, you need to switch to a weight management formula and a balanced diet. 

Veterinarian prescription:

Sometimes, the veterinarian prescribes a change in diet for your pet based on the needs. The food switching may be related to hairball control issues, breed size, joint, skin, and coat health. 

Variety of food:

You may change dog food because of the variety available in the pet shop. Whether you are giving dry, wet, moist, fresh, or raw food to your dog, make sure that you provide a complete and balanced diet. 

Proper protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins must be given to a dog for overall well-being. Once you know the brand and meal working for your pet, you start with the combination meal. You can also rotate treats such as bully sticks, sliced pig ears, and bones along with the regular feed. 

How to Change Dog’s Food

Making a change in your dog’s food all of a sudden can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, including; vomiting, nausea, diarrhea. Transition to a new meal slowly and give your dog time to adjust to the new setting. The ideal time is 5-7 days; during this time, slowly incorporate the new diet by mixing it with your dog’s current diet. 

  • Day 1 and Day 2: 75% old diet and 25% new diet.
  • Day 3 and Day 4: Half and Half of both diets (50%)
  • Day 5 and Day 6: 75% new diet and 25% old diet (reverse of day 1-2)
  • Day 7: 100% new diet. 

Every dog is different. If you feel that your dog’s stomach is sensitive and has food allergies, follow a more extended transition period. 

The key is to monitor the dog’s response; at any point, if you feel your dog is showing symptoms of diarrhea, nausea; change the pattern. However, if the transition is real slow and your dog is not getting used to the new diet, consult with your veterinarian. 

How to Choose A New Dog Food?

Well, if your veterinarian has prescribed something, it’s better to get the same formula. Other than that, read the labels to know about the ingredients and nutrition levels. You can also mix the food with different types of threats such as serrano bones, duck feet, bully sticks, pig ears, etc. 

Keep an eye: 

Throughout the adjustment period, keep a close eye on your furry friend. Moreover, if your dog is good with the new diet, do not give the old diet. Also, the results of the new diet will be visible in a week in your pet’s appearance, body weight, skin, and good stool quality. 

Check the poop:

Pay attention to the poop. Any significant changes in the poop need to be addressed. However, you can also refer to the fecal scoring chart; the idea score is 3-4. Although, minor changes in color and consistency are normal. Not to mention, the higher score on the fecal chart indicates a gastrointestinal issue. 

On the other hand, 1-2 score on the chart refers to constipation and dehydration. However, if the stool quality is out of the range, consult a veterinarian. 

Finding the right food and switching it with the old diet can be difficult, but you can make a successful switch with the proper knowledge and slow transition. 

During the transition, keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, appetite, and stool quality. The change is not easy, and the process is always slow. If there are some severe issues during the shift, consult your vet for assistance.