Maybe you’re considering trying a new brand of dog food or perhaps your veterinarian has suggested that your dog needs a prescription diet. Whatever the reason why you want to change, switching your dog’s food is harder than simply placing a different food into a bowl. In order to stop your dog’s stomach from becoming upset, you will need to make the change in the right way. Here are some tips you should follow:
1. Find the Right Food for Your Dog
Choosing the best diet and food for your dog can be tricky. Will they eat it? Will they like it? Can you afford it? Which is the best for your dog’s health? There are lots of questions you should think about before choosing the right food.
Finding the right diet can sometimes feel overwhelming. The sheer amount of food choices available is outstanding. Unfortunately, it’s not one size fits all when it comes to finding the right food for your dog. Like us, dogs differ for a number of reasons such as age, personal preferences, health, and dietary needs. Here are some top tips for choosing the right dog food for your dog.
When choosing the best food for your dog, it’s important to pay close attention to the labels on the packaging. It’s always a good idea to choose food that says it offers a complete and balanced diet for your dog.
2. Don’t Rush It
Changing your dog’s food quickly can cause stomach and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and a reduced appetite. Any time you change your dog’s diet, you should transition to the new food slowly so that your dog can adjust to the change. It’s a good idea to introduce the new food over the period of a week. During this time, you should gradually increase the amount of new food by mixing it with what your dog currently eats. Most dogs respond well to a diet transition like this:
- Day 1 – 75% old diet 25% new diet
- Day 3 – 50% old diet 50% new diet
- Day 5 – 25% old diet 75% new diet
- Day 7 – 100% new diet
Dogs who have gastrointestinal diseases or food allergies may need a longer transition period. If your dog shows signs of vomiting, diarrhea or not wanting to eat, you should slow down.
3. Keep an Eye on Their Poop!
The best indicator of a dog’s digestive health is their stools. Minor changes in stool color and consistency can be normal, but any major changes can indicate that there is a problem. The best way to evaluate your dog’s poop is by using a fecal scoring chart. The ideal score on this chart is between 3-4. Numbers that are lower might indicate that your dog is constipated or dehydrated while numbers higher than this could indicate that your dog has an upset stomach, which can be cause for concern for a number of reasons. If it’s just one stool that is outside of the normal range then there might be no need to worry. However, if it is consistently outside the recommended range, then you should talk to your vet about your dog’s health and find out what you can do to help.
Choosing the best food for your dog can be a long process, but with the right advice and a gradual transition, you will be able to make it a success. During the process, you need to make sure you keep an eye on your dog’s stools, their behavior, and your dog’s appetite in order to make sure that you’ve made the right choice. As always, if you’re worried about your dog you should get advice from your veterinarian.