If your family is anything like mine, your dog is considered an important part of the family. We want to ensure that our pooches are happy and healthy. You buy him expensive toys and take care in finding a great vet – you might even celebrate his birthday and buy him Christmas presents, but when was the last time you thought about changing his food? Consider eating the same meal every day for years. It probably does not seem particularly appealing, but besides that there are several other reasons that changing your dog’s food is important. It is also important to know how to change the food properly.
Not all dog foods are created equal. Besides having different main meat components, other ingredients can differ as well. Dog’s bodies are designed to eat a wide variety of foods, vitamins and minerals and each type of dog food offers different mixtures. By changing your dog’s food periodically, you are ensuring that he gets all the nutrition he needs.
Dogs who eat the same food all the time are more prone to develop allergies. While some dietary allergies appear suddenly, the majority develop over long periods of time by being exposed to the same food ingredients. Symptoms of allergic reactions include red, itchy skin and paws, paw chewing, and skin infections that reappear even after antibiotics are given. Changing your dog’s food regularly prevents allergies.
Food options should be changed periodically at regular intervals. Ideally, you should give your dog a different type of food that contains different meat, grains, and other ingredients every three months. You can rotate favorite brands, but ideally you should use three to four different options.
Food changes should be made gradually over a period of a week to 10 days. Start by mixing new food with the old. For the first three days mix 25% new with 75% old. For the next three days offer a 50/50 mix followed by 3 days of a mix of 75% new with 25% old. Finally, you can begin feeding the new food on it’s own.
This method prevents vomiting, loose stools and constipation. If at any time during the switch, you are concerned about your dog’s health or reaction, please do not hesitate to take him in to see your veterinarian.
Feeding your dog a variety will not only give him a tasty change, but it will also make him a healthier animal.