How many people, so many opinions – some dog owners feed their pets with the same food for several years (they believe that the brand chosen by them is optimal, so you should not change it), others try to buy a new type of food each time, sharply replacing the old kind of new.
Both of these approaches have a place to be, but loving owners who care about the health of their pets should not do that. Let’s understand together why this behavior is not acceptable.
Is it possible to change the feed?
Yes! It is not only possible to change the feed for a dog, but also for what it is and that is why:
1. Just like a person, a dog wants a variety of food.
Notice, I’m not talking about encouraging fastidiousness in food – giving different food every day or treating the dog with snacks instead of food. In no case!
Over time, the dog “bored” to any food, even the “best” or very “tasty.” When for a long time the dog eats the same food, it begins to lose interest in him and absorbs it without pleasure.
2. Let’s turn to nature – predators tend to eat a variety of food.
By consuming a variety of foods, the animal provides for itself a balance of important nutrients that are necessary for good health. Any, even the most expensive and high-quality food, cannot be 100% balanced and contain “EVERYTHING” necessary.
Periodic change of food helps level the lack or excess of any nutrients in the body that can accumulate over time.
3. The third point follows from the second. If a dog has been in the stern for a long time with the same main component, for example “chicken”, it is likely that it may start food allergies .
In some cases, allergies can “flare up” sharply, but for the most part the allergen must accumulate in the body before it is felt.
Modern nutritionists recommend the owners not to focus on one type of dog food, but periodically change it. Moreover, it is desirable to start doing this right from an early age. This will help prevent the development of allergies in the dog in the future.
How to change food for dogs?
1. When changing the feed, the main task is to select the feed, which will include other main components.
For example. It will be correct if you feed the dog with chicken and rice-based food, and have chosen food for the shift based on salmon and oats. But it makes little sense to change the brand of food, if the basis and there and there is “chicken”.
But inside one brand, it will be useful for a dog to switch from “chicken” to “lamb”.
2. The transition from one feed to another should take place gradually.
I will show an example. For clarity, I will show the correct transition from one feed to another using Royal Canin feed (for pregnant and lactating dogs and puppies up to 2 months) and Grand Prix (for puppies from 2 to 10 months)
No matter how “iron” your pet’s stomach is, you need to transfer the dog from one pet to another smoothly.
On average, a consistent transition will take you from a week to 10 days.
During this time it is necessary to especially carefully monitor the state of health of the dog.
In particular, for gas and stool. If the “exit” becomes more fluid than usual, do not rush, stop at current proportions and stretch the transition for a few more days.
The scheme below is rather arbitrary, but this is the basis for understanding how to change the food for a dog correctly, and therefore gradually.
The first and second day of transition .
75% of the “old” feed and 25% of the “new” mix (!) In a bowl in each feeding.
The third and fourth day.
50 to 50%. Provided that the dog’s stool and well-being are normal.
The fifth and sixth day of transition.
25% “old” feed and 75% new.
The seventh day – 100% new feed.
Congratulations! You transferred your pet to a new type of feed. He feels great, which means you did everything right!
There is a smoother transition option.
He is more troublesome for the owner, but more preferable if you change the feed to a small puppy .
In order not to get confused and make my life easier, I mixed the feed according to this instruction and immediately packed it in sachets, signing the feeding dates.
How often do dogs need to be changed?
If your dog quietly moves from one feed to another (I mean a smooth transition made according to the scheme above), it will be good to change the feed every two to three months . The dog will receive a balanced diet, will not have time to accumulate allergens in the body, food will delight her, and you will “keep abreast” and know global trends in terms of producing high-quality and healthy food!
And in the conclusion of the material list
The main signs that the dog needs to change the feed:
(but only on the condition that she has no diseases!)
1. The poor state of the coat is dull, dry. The first and main indicator, which is easy to pay attention. The quality of wool depends on the quality of the dog’s food.
2. A relaxed chair also indicates that the food is not digested properly. All animals are individual, therefore a feed that is excellent for one dog may be poorly absorbed by another.
3. The dog often itches. Perhaps the cause of the itch is the incipient food allergy. I recommend to consult with a veterinarian and try to change the main components in the feed.
4. Wrong dog weight – she is too thin or on the contrary, she gained too much. Again, we are talking now about a healthy dog! To solve the problem with weight, you need to pay attention to the nutrition of the dog and its physical activity. Read more about this material.
5. Dog lethargy (again, talking about healthy animals!) May indicate that it does not have enough energy derived from feed. This is a reason to urgently review the food!