Doggy diarrhea: pretty gross and not a great topic for discussion, right? Well, if you want to switch your dog’s food, you need to follow a few tips or you may be talking about it with the vet, cleaning it from the carpet, and yelling at your best four legged friend.
I adopted my dog, Edi, when I was going through cancer, and she is truly my best friend. I wanted to switch her to a better food than she had been getting at the humane society. These are the tips her veterinarian gave me to avoid any accidents and doggie mishaps.
Take It Easy:
When you switch your dog’s food from one brand to another or from wet to dry, you’ll want to do it very gradually. If you just change it one day, I can almost guarantee you’re going to have a nasty mess to clean up, not to mention, it’s going to really upset your beloved pets stomach. Remember the first time you ate some really spicy Indian food? Think about it. Take it easy on your pets stomach. Incorporate a little bit of the new food into the current food each day. I switched by dog Edi’s food very slowly; it took two weeks but she did great with the gradual change.
Pet M.D. has a changing food plan that only takes five days. If you have to change your pets food quickly, you can try following the 20 percent rule. On day one; mix 80 percent old food with 20 percent new food. On day two; mix 60 percent old food with 40 percent new food and so on and so forth. If your pet throws up or develops watery stools then you are going too fast and need to back off a little bit.
Over the years, I’ve noticed a few things about switching a pets food. The worst thing you can do is go from dry dog food to wet or vice versa. It’s okay if you go really slowly, but most dogs get really upset stomachs if you just change it one day out of the blue. Another problem I’ve noticed watching my friends and their pets is that often a dog owner will overfeed their dog. When the dog starts to become overweight, we think we should switch the brand of dog food. In reality, we need to make sure we aren’t overfeeding and that our dog is getting exercise each and every day.
Sometimes, your vet will tell you to switch brands for a variety of reasons. Some dogs are really picky eaters, other dogs have intestinal issues, and even serious medical issues like cancer or a weak heart. I had a dog named Christy that I got when I was five years old. She had seizures a couple of times per week. I remember having to feed her wet food instead of dry because that was the only way we could trick her into taking her medication. Another example is my dog Edi. She takes pills to keep fleas and ticks from biting her. We tried putting the pill in a hotdog, pushing it to the back of her mouth, and even put it in bread. She will eat around whatever we put it in and spit the pill out. Our vet had us crush the pill and mix it with wet food, then mix that with her dry food. She never notices it now.
Whatever reason you have to switch your dog’s food, just remember to do it as slowly as possible. If you have a finicky eater, a dog that eats everything in sight, or a sick dog…adjust your method and food choice accordingly.