When and How to Switch Your Dog Food
Imagine eating the exact same meal all day, every day, with the only addition to your monotonous diet being a glass of water. This is not only boring but can also cause harm by not providing all the vitamins and nutrients you need to stay healthy. Unfortunately, for most dogs out there, this is the very situation they’re put in.
It’s important to ensure that your dog receives everything they need from their diet as they grow older. It also pays to be wary when your dog develops symptoms that can lead to costly diseases further down the line. By feeding your dog everything it needs for its immune system to fight the problem from the beginning, this can be avoided.
In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at these issues and provide guidance on how you can help your dog maintain its health by ensuring a complete diet.
Just like allergies in humans, dogs can have negative reactions to certain ingredients in their food. Symptoms such as irregular stools, hair loss, and itchy skin are often the result of a food sensitivity. These reactions can even develop at random times throughout their lives, as opposed to always being present.
If your dog seems to be showing symptoms, pay your local vet a visit or try changing the proteins in their food. Some brands offer more premium proteins in higher percentages, such as ostrich as opposed to chicken.
Throughout the stages of a dog's life, their nutritional requirements change. Puppies require larger percentages of protein and carbohydrates in their food to help with growth. However, too much protein in a senior dogs’ diet can harm their liver. Puppies also require more calcium to help their evolving teeth and bones.
Senior dogs will benefit more from chondroitin and glucosamine, which helps maintain movement in a dog’s joints as they become weaker. These days, most dog food brands provide puppy, adult, and senior versions of their standard and premium lines, making it easier for you to choose the most suitable food for your dog.
There are also moist food satchels that contain higher percentages of nutrients for each age group. These are great because they not only add more nutritional value but will work as a tasty treat to occasionally add to their standard food.
Making the Change
Instead of immediately switching to a new food, it’s safer to do it systematically and gradually over time. Over the course of a week, slowly mix more of the new food into the old one before completely switching up. While experimenting, it’s better to avoid giving any treats or additional food, in order to better assess the results of the change.
Keep in mind that this can be a time-consuming process, taking up to three months to fully see the difference a new diet makes. But it’s completely worth it, as you’ll have a happier and healthier dog in the end.