The most important way to keep your pup healthy and happy is through their diet! In truth, dogs are highly individualised, especially in terms of their nutritional needs and preferences. Their nutritional needs also change as they grow older. For instance, Wellness Core’s Grain Free Senior Dog Food can help provide additional nutritional support for older dogs.
To help them meet their needs, it’s vital to smoothly transition your pup from one diet to another. Let’s talk about how you can easily manage your pup’s changing dietary needs!
Why Change My Dog’s Food?
As mentioned before, your dog’s dietary needs will change several times over the course of their life. The most common reasons for these changes include:
Changes in their life stage: For instance, puppies need plenty of protein as they grow up, but adult and senior pups need only a moderate amount. In fact, a protein-rich diet could harm a senior dog’s liver and kidneys. Consider special diets like Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Coated Kibbles Puppy Food that are perfectly formulated for dogs at specific life stages.
Changes in their dog food sensitivities:If your dog develops an upset stomach or itchy skin, it could very well be their diet. In these cases, it’s always a good idea to consult with a vet and try transitioning your pup to a new type of diet if the need arises.
Better Health Benefits: Different diets provide different health benefits. Raw dog food or fresh diets, for instance, can be great for picky dogs. Different brands of diets can also help improve different aspects of your pup’s health.
Although our pups' needs are changing, their stomach still needs time to get used to the change. This is where gradual mixing comes into play! By gradually changing your :pup’s diet, they’ll avoid painful digestive upsets and tummy troubles. It also helps them get used to the taste of their new diet.
Over a period of around 7 or more days, gradually decrease the amount of your pup’s current food. At the same time, increase the amount of new dog food. Always make sure to monitor if your pup is eating their new dog food.
A good rule of thumb for a dog feeding guide is:
- Day 1: 25% new diet with 75% old diet
- Day 3: 50% new diet with 50% old diet
- Day 5: 75% new diet with 25% old diet
- Day 7: 100% new diet
They may take some time to get used to the new diet, so make sure to take things even slower if you notice your pup isn’t finishing their food like they used to. Appetite boosters like The Barkery’s delicious Beef Muttballs can help ease the transition. Plus, it helps give your pup a nice boost in protein!
Cold Turkey Switch
Sometimes, a gradual change is difficult. This could be due to urgent health issues or certain foods making your pet sick that require an immediate switch in your pup’s diet. In these cases, it’s always a good idea to consult a vet on whether a cold turkey switch is good for your pup.
If they do give the okay, here are some tips:
- Fast Your Pet: To help your pup get used to their new food more quickly, you can fast them for at most one meal. This makes their new dog food seem much more palatable. That said, make sure to monitor your pup even closer to make sure they finish their recommended amount of food.
- Feed Less: At the same time, try to feed them half the recommended amount of their new diet so not too much of their new dog food is introduced in one go.
- Digestive Aids: If you’re worried about your pup’s digestion, try adding digestive aids like pumpkin to your pup’s new meal. Stella & Chewy’s also carries Stella’s Solution (Digestive Boost) Raw Dog Food. These serve as great digestion boosters, and can be used as toppers.
For older dogs, you may have to give them additional supplements like Four Leaf Rover’s Digestive Enzyme Support Dog Supplements. The enzymes and probiotics in these supplements will help dogs, especially older dogs, digest their food more easily.
If your dog is in need of a diet change, remember to take things slow! If your pup has special dietary needs or has other health issues, make sure to consult a licensed veterinarian before making too many changes in your pup’s lifestyle.
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.