Thursday, April 17, 2014
From the desk of Sharda Baker.
Hi and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with a wonderful newsletter about dog food.
Here we go!
Now that you have some idea on what different and good dog foods are available on the market, you may be tempted to change your current food right away.
There are risks with switching dog food diet and it needs to be done carefully depending on your dog and the new food you are going to.
Although we see many dogs as hardy creatures and marvel at what they manage to eat, the fact is that a dogs digestive system if very sensitive.
It is important to gradually change a dog’s diet slowly and over time.
Be on the lookout for any adverse effects caused by the change, and consult a veterinarian if any symptoms persist for more than a few days.
y not changing a dog’s diet slowly, you may subject your pet to:
- Stomach cramps
- Excess Gas
- Refusal to Eat
Even though you have found a healthier alternative to the current dog food, you dog may not know that and as a creature of habit, would prefer the old to the new.
With this in mind, the first few tries may be difficult. However, with a few simple tricks and tips, the transition should be easy.
Gradual change is the key, so start by mixing the old and new food together in a 25% to 75% ratio of new to old.
Over the next few days, slowly increase the ratio of new food while decreasing the old food. At the end of this process, the new food will make up 100% of the food bowl.
It is possible that the dog will be stubborn and eat only the old food out of the mix, but no need to worry as a healthy dog can go for a day of missing meals. He will soon come to like the new food with time and patience.
The gradual introduction of food is important so that the dog does not stop eating all together. When introducing the new food, do not be demanding and overbearing.
Instead, be encouraging and use a pleasant tone of voice as this will ease your dog into the new food.
SWITCHING TO THE BARF DIET
The switch from dry kibble to the BARF diet needs to be done with a few considerations in mind and a more watchful eye, as some dogs will have problems switching.
There are two methods used when switching dogs over to the BARF diet.
THE RAPID SWITCH
This is the popular choice as it is easy, fast, and hassle free. You simply make the switch with the next meal.
Considerations to keep in mind when making the Rapid Switch whether or not you believe your dog can handle such a change.
Usually, younger dogs and those dogs that have a healthy, normal gastrointestinal system are the ones able to handle such a switch.
Dogs that are older or that have problems with their digestive system may have issues, as they can not tolerate kibble and raw food in their digestive tract at the same time. This can result in vomiting and diarrhea.
This also means that owners have no choice but to hold off the rapid switch and allow the dog’s system to be flushed.
Another option is to have the dog fast for one or two days until the kibble is out of the system and then introduce the BARF diet.
While this may seem cruel, a one or two day fast is allowed as long as the dog can handle it and has no special dietary needs that are met through food.
THE SLOW SWITCH
his method takes time, sometimes a significant amount of time, to fully switch from kibble to the BARF diet.
It is not recommended to continue feeding the dog both kibble and BARF as this will lead to digestion problems. It needs to be one or the other.
There are three ways to go about the Slow Switch.
The first is simple enough; you feed the dog a meal of the BARF diet and a meal of the old food. Each day decrease the amount of meals of the old food until your dog’s meals are nothing but the BARF diet.
The second way is mixing the old food in with the BARF diet and gradually decrease the amount of old food until the dog is eating nothing but the BARF diet.
A problem with this way comes in when the dog cannot keep both kibble and BARF diet in its systems at the same time. If this is the case, you will have to follow the Rapid Switch method.
The last way is for owners who were already feeding their dog home cooked foods. Slowly introduce the dog to rawer states of those foods until he is eating nothing but the raw food.
However, if the dog suffers from an immune deficiency and cannot eat raw dog food, owners can cook the BARF diet, though this is not recommended for healthy dogs.
SWITCHING FROM CANNED DOG FOOD TO DRY DOG FOOD AND BACK AGAIN
It may become necessary to switch from canned dog food to dry dog food. Whether finances, medical conditions, or other factors are the reason, it is important to do the switch in a smart and responsible manner.
Canned food is drastically different from dry food in many ways aside from the texture. Often times, pets will resist the change and respond by acting out or just not eating the new food.
This is why it is important to change their food in a manner that is not stressful.
Most owners will slowly add dry food to the bowl and bit by bit reduce the amount of wet food present until the dog is eating only the dry food.
This is perhaps the best method as it slowly introduces the dog to the new food. The same can be done when switching from dry food to wet food.
If your dog is eating around the newly introduced food then you may need to switch brands. And if all else fails, a hungry dog will eat; just make sure that your dog is healthy enough for such a drastic measure. It is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to switch food.
Keep a close eye on your dog during any transitions in foods. Improperly switching foods can lead to several side effects like the ones discussed above.
A change in bowel movements and temperaments may also be a sign that the switch in foods is not agreeing with your dog. If this should happen, consult with your veterinarian.
I hope you learned a lot from today’s dog food newsletter.
I will be back for more!