Whether changing your dog's diet for health reasons, or because they have simply stopped devouring their current food, it is essential to make the switch gradual. A sudden shock to your pet's digestive system could prove disastrous, leaving your dog with bloatedness, pain and diarrhoea; all of which are NOT conducive to a successful feed change!
A seamless transition should look as follows;
Day 1-3: Introduce a small quantity of the new food, perhaps during the day, and separate from his usual supper. This tactic will get his body used to the change in ingredients, and his palette used to the new flavours. Hopefully, the taste will pique your dog’s interest and leave him craving for more.
Day 4-10: Start the switch and begin to reduce the quantity of current food, and simultaneously increase the volume of new food. Serve the two as one meal; switching too quickly can result in an upset digestive system.
Day 10-14: By week two, the old food should be almost a distant memory, and by day fourteen, he'll be eating the new food only.
Transitioning in this gradual pattern will alleviate any stress on your pet’s stomach while getting him used to a new flavour and texture.
Reasons for switching feeds
Your dog has stopped eating their current food
The most likely reason to switch food is that your dog has decided they no longer like their current food. This isn’t unusual, it can just be slightly frustrating if you have stocked up on what was once your dog’s favourite meal.
If you find they are leaving their bowl half full, perhaps try them on something new. We all go off or have enough of our favourite foods from time to time.
Symptoms of canine food allergies include vomiting and diarrhoea, skin infections and chronic itching. However, food allergy's in dogs are rare.
If your dog is displaying any of the above symptoms, talk to your veterinarian.
Disease and sickness
With a diagnosis of diabetes or kidney disease, your vet will most likely recommend a dietary change.
Just like human diabetes, careful food management will help control the condition and act as medicine. For example; foods with a lower glycemic index (GI ) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a slower and lower rise in blood glucose and, and insulin levels.
With kidney disease also, nutrition is the backbone of a successful treatment strategy to lessen risks of progression.
Other ailments eased by a strategic diet include heart disease, liver problems and vitamin deficiency. In the case of any diagnosed disease; pet owners should follow the advice of their vet, as each case differs.
A change in activity levels
A shift in the seasons can spell significant changes in your dog's exercise levels. In turn, this shift will affect the amount of food he requires and will need a calculated adjustment to match his energy outputs.
With careful planning, your dog can be successfully transitioned to a new food within two weeks. Take it slowly and save your furry friend a host of digestive discomforts. And, in the event of an illness or allergy - always follow the instructions of your vet.
When feeding your dog, always keep the following in mind;
Feeding tables on your dog food packaging refer to the optimum weight for your dog’s particular breed. It's important to take note of this if you're attempting to correct a weight problem.
Weigh your dog regularly and in turn, weigh out the exact amount of food in accordance with the brand's feeding guidelines.
If you give your dog treats, you'll need to adjust the feeding quantities.
Meals should be consumed within 5-10 minutes. Always remove leftover food after this time. Make a note of any food left uneaten and reduce the amount if necessary. Uneaten food is unusual in healthy dogs; leftovers are an indicator of overfeeding.
Feed your dog a nutritious meal they’ll enjoy
If your dog hasn’t tried Vitalin before then they are in for a treat. View our range of carefully formulated, hypoallergenic recipes that cater to your dog’s health and wellbeing. Here at Vitalin, we believe that good health starts with great nutrition and are confident that your dog will enjoy our super premium dog food range.