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Just like human beings, pets need a change in their food and diet. You can't expect them to eat the same pet food their entire lives. Your pet’s dietary needs can and will change over time due to factors like age, overall health, and activity level. Here are some of the signs that let you know that you need to change your pet's food.
- Your dog's coat starts looking dull. Pet food that is rich in essential fatty acids ensures that your pet’s skin remains healthy, and results in a shiny and healthy coat. Most pet foods are specially made to improve your pet's skin and coat. Pet food that contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is known to make your pet’s coat shiny and bright in no time.
- Your pet has diarrhea. Chronic diarrhea and regurgitation are not good signs. It is one of the most evident signs that your pet's food is not appropriate. Having a case of loose stools can affect your dog's health negatively. It is also a sign that your pet hasn't digested the food properly.
- Your pet is becoming increasingly lazy. Your pet might suffer from malnutrition or the lack of enough nutrition because of the low-quality pet food or if your pet has recently gone through a stressful event, illness, or surgery. Pet food that has high levels of antioxidants can help boost the immune response to accelerate your pet’s recovery and get them back on their feet in no time. Before you change your pet's diet in this case, consult a vet as well.
- Your pet is growing older and going through the Senioritis phase. Pets are usually considered middle-aged to senior around 5-7 years. Senior diets, for example, are lower in calories but higher in fiber, and often have supplements that are specific to this life stage such as joint support and antioxidants. Look for pet food labeled for “adult maintenance.”
- You find your pet itching very often. Like humans, pets can suffer from allergies, and food allergy is just one of several possible causes. Itching manifests as dry and itching skin. You can consult with your veterinarian, who can recommend either a prescription diet or an over-the-counter sensitive skin diet, depending on your pet’s individual needs.
- You find your pet itching very often. Like humans, pets can suffer from allergies, and food allergy is just one of several possible causes. Itching manifests as dry and itching skin. Pets who are allergic to certain food may benefit from a low-allergen diet. You can consult with your veterinarian, who can recommend either a prescription diet or an over-the-counter sensitive skin diet, depending on your pet’s individual needs.
Check for these signs and consult with your vet to make sure that your pet receives the right food.
Is It Safe To Switch Your Pet's Food?
If you have a dog at home, then you may be aware of their exacting nutritional requirements. In order to meet them, many pet food companies have emerged these days. The variety of pet foods available in the market is overwhelmingly large as each pet food brand offers different selling propositions. However, it is a long-held notion that changing your pet's food would alter your pet's eating habits, which makes many pet owners bound to the same food forever. It is therefore important to understand that your pet's dietary requirements change over time due to several factors such as age, health condition, and activity level.
Signs that call for food change
You don't have to keep your pet on the set diet for its entire life. You will have to change your diet for some reason or the other. The following signs show that its time for you to consider switching your pet's food:
- Flaky and dull coat
- Weakness and lethargy
- Seniority attained by the pet
- Increase in weight
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Onset of allergies
How to change your pet's food safely?
Regardless of your pet's age, you can change its food gradually over a period of at least a week. Care should be taken while switching your puppies' food because they have a sensitive stomach and a change may upset it. A gradual change is possible by mixing the new food with the old food for allowing the pet's body to adapt well to the change. The directions mentioned below lay down the proportion that could help you change your pet's food safely:
- Day 1: Use 80% of old food and 20% of new food.
- Day 2: Use 60% of old food and 40% of new food.
- Day 3: Use 40% of old food and 60% of new food.
- Day 4: Use 20% of old food and 80% of new food.
- Day 5: Feed the pet with 100% of the new food
Additionally, you must ensure that the new food closely matches the old food. A sudden change in ingredients may cause vomiting or diarrhea in your pet. To ensure that your choice is appropriate, read the list of ingredients on the package thoroughly. If the first few ingredients match, then you are safe to go ahead with the change. Probiotic supplements can help in reducing diarrhea by changing the diet. It is also recommended that you should avoid huge changes in the quantities of fat, fiber, and protein as much as possible. If the diet change has caused unwanted diarrhea and vomiting in your pet, then you must consult a vet immediately to avoid further complications.