Dogs are similar to people when it comes to food. They need a variety of tastes and nutrients to thrive. No single type of dog food can satisfy this need. Changing your pet’s diet regularly ensures proper nutritional variety. Providing your pet with different types of proteins, grains, vitamins and minerals is essential. New additions to your dog’s food bowl will also keep your dog happy and satisfied.
Perhaps your dog has digestive issues or skin problems. These conditions may stem from a food allergy. By gradually eliminating items from your dog’s diet, you will likely uncover those allergens and be able to avoid them in the future. Your dog may have a sensitive stomach. Foods like oatmeal, potatoes and white rice are more easily digestible.
Age Related Diets
Older dogs need softer diets to be able to chew their food better. Try switching your dog from hard kibble to softer foods. You will notice positive changes in your dog’s digestion and ability to chew almost immediately.
Older dogs are more sedentary and need a low fat diet to prevent obesity. Kidney and liver issues are often seen in older dogs. These age related conditions require a diet low in phosphorus and void of artificial additives.
Younger active dogs need more protein and fat to keep them healthy. Look for grain free dog food products that are age specific.
Good Nutrition Is Key
Whether you like to cook for your dog or buy prepared dog food, make sure you choose a well balanced diet with good sources of protein, vegetables, grains, vitamins, and minerals. Protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, pork, eggs or fish should be the first ingredient listed on the package.
Avoid meat by-products as they are deficient in quality protein. Products with corn and wheat are not easily digested by dogs so keep these ingredients to a minimum. Quality dog food brands will have their ingredients and food analysis listed on the packaging.
Making The Transition
A gradual transition over 7-10 days will avoid digestive upset in sensitive pets. Add a small amount of the new food to your dog’s diet, gradually increasing the new diet and decreasing the old diet until the transition is complete. Watch for any negative changes in your dog’s behavior and bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation. If you are in doubt consult your veterinarian.
Take the time to provide your dog with a variety of quality food products. Dogs depend on their owners to make good food choices for them and they return the favor with love, loyalty and companionship.