A lot of times you might find yourself in a situation where you have to change your dog’s current diet. A dog requires different types of food at different ages. You might also want to change what your pooch eats in order to adjust it to a new lifestyle.
A dog habituated with a particular diet or type of food will not switch to a different one right off the bat. Without a proper guideline, making the gradual change in the diet of the dog can be quite a challenge.
So, we are going to present the few tips you can utilize to introduce your dog to a new food. I mean, that will make the lives of all dog owners like you and me a whole lot easier, right?
Anticipate What’s Coming
You should always expect a change in diet beforehand once your dog is maturing into an adult or when you have to make a change in its diet due to his digestive problems.
Therefore, the health, lifestyle, and age of your dog play a great role in his diet which you should always keep on track. Keeping these factors in mind will prepare you in advance to make any dog food changes in the near future.
Make the Change Gradual
It is very important to make the transition to a new food as gradual as possible. Sudden changes might cause gastrointestinal problems for your dog or might just keep him away from the new food.
Based on the advice from a vet, you can try combinations of varying proportions of old and new food to provide for your dog. A transition will take around 4-5 days if done right.
Keep the Feeding Schedule Like It Was Before
Altering the feeding schedule along with the food might have adverse effects on your dog. Therefore, although small changes can be made in the feeding schedule, try to keep it a lot like how your dog is habituated with.
Dogs are a creature of habit and it is actually quite difficult to abruptly change their feeding schedules. It will take a quite a lot of effort to adjust something that is almost second nature to them.
Make the New Food More Appealing
Dogs can be picky when it comes to new food. They might discard it midway in penchant of in taking their preferred old food from the mixture. However, this is perfectly natural. Now, what can you do about this?
Well, you can add some warm water or offer the new food as a desirable treat for starters.
Mixing the new food with their old favorites isn’t a bad idea either. There are also various additives and flavorings available in the market that can be used to make the dog food taste much better.
Try a Rotation Diet
There are various brands of dog food in the market that have formulas that can be given on a rotational basis to your pups between raw, kibble and canned forms. These regular rotational changes help your dogs keep a stable digestive system.
The only thing that varies while changing food like this is the main protein. However, rotation diet offers a great balance of nutrition.
But it is still very important to remember that rotating food like these should be done only in the case of products that suggest doing so. It is not the best idea to experiment with rotation diets with food that are not suitable for it.
Keep a Track of the Diet and the Dog’s Age
Changing your dog’s food depends mostly on the dog’s age. A puppy approaching 12 months of age should be gradually transitioned towards having an adult diet.
For small or medium-sized dog breeds approaching the age of 7, a new diet of senior dogs should be introduced.
The same diet should be introduced for large dog breeds that are nearing the age of 5. Calcium-rich puppy food should be provided to pregnant or nursing dogs. This will ensure them the right energy-rich diet that is suitable for them at this stage.
Dogs having different health conditions might be fed diverse types of food addressing their health issues. Such type of food should always be fed based on the instructions and the advice of a qualified veterinarian. Because, despite your best efforts, your dog might not be able to tolerate changes in their diets at all times.
In case of any problems like vomiting, nausea and avoiding meals for a certain period of time or any other serious issues, you might want to contact your vet and work together to modify new food pattern.
Consulting a vet regularly while making changes in your dog’s diet will help you design a diet for your dog based on his age, breed, and size and so on. Your dog’s response to new delicacies should always be monitored carefully.
The responses will give insights into how well the dog is adapting to his new diet. You will need to monitor him for about 6 to 8 weeks to decide if the new diet is having any sort of negative effects on your dog or not.
Last But Not the Least
A proper dog diet will ensure good overall health for your dog. It will allow him to maintain a healthy demeanor, retain normal stool levels and an ideal weight.
This is why, when needed a transformation in your dog’s diet should not be overlooked. Proper exercise and clean water should also be provided along with a healthy diet to make sure your dog is happier and healthier than ever.
This article has been contributed by Shawn on behalf of FeedFond. He’s an animal lover and loves his pets to death. He’s a proud owner of a Golden Retriever. Check out more of his writings at FeedFond.com