When switching to a new food, dogs should gradually adapt to this process, just like cats. Dogs may need to change their food due to changes in their life stages, weight gain due to decreased activity levels or health problems they experience. At the point where it is necessary to adapt to the diet recommended by veterinarians, “How to change food in dogs?” The answers to the question become important. In this article, you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about changing food for dogs.
Should Dog Food Be Replaced?
One of the most common myths about pet nutrition is that dogs should be fed only one food throughout their lives. Depending on the change in requirements, dog food needs to be changed. Sometimes, as a result of the dog owners wanting to use a different food, the food can be changed, while in some cases, it may be an important necessity for dogs to change the food.
Deterioration in Hair Health: If dogs are combed and brushed regularly, but their hair looks unhealthy and dull, it may be the right time for a food change! In order for dogs to have a healthy skin and coat structure, it is important to feed them with foods rich in essential fatty acids. For this reason, dog foods containing Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids can be preferred for dogs with impaired hair health.
Pregnancy: Food exchange becomes an essential requirement when adult female dogs become pregnant. Pregnant dogs need to be fed differently than usual. Dogs during pregnancy should be fed with high quality and balanced dry food. Their food should contain a minimum of 29% protein and 17% fat. High soluble carbohydrates and low fiber content are critical for getting enough energy and preventing low blood sugar. For this reason, it is recommended that our friends during pregnancy be fed with puppy food.
Changes in Life Stages: The nutrients, minerals and vitamins needed by dogs differ in their puppies, adulthood and old age periods. Racial characteristics are also very effective in this sense. Dogs enter adulthood and old age at different times according to their breeds. For example, those who belong to the small race are considered adults when they are 12 months old, while this period is 18 – 24 months on average for those who belong to the large race. Likewise, it is known that the time periods in which they enter the old age can also change in line with their racial dimensions. In general, dogs are evaluated in the senior class when they reach the age of 5 – 7 years. As dogs age, their nutritional needs also change. Senior dog foods are low in calories but often high in fiber. It also has satisfying values in terms of antioxidants and minerals that will support joint health.
Obesity: Both cats and dogs may experience excessive weight problems as a result of malnutrition, lack of exercise and health problems. Obesity in dogs is considered a condition that can lead to serious health problems and disrupt the psychology of dogs. Change of food may become an important necessity for dogs who start to gain weight and whose health is in danger as a result of the weight they gain. For dogs with overweight problems, light dog foods should be preferred with the approval of veterinarians.
Allergies: Chronic itching is among the most common allergy symptoms in dogs. Dog food is also considered a risk factor for dogs that can be sensitive to many different sources of allergens. If the cause of allergies in dogs is dog food, the change of food comes to the fore as a necessity rather than a preference.
Health Problems: Diseases usually increase with age, but they can occur at any age. If some of the diseases seen in dogs require a transition to a special feeding program, veterinarians will recommend suitable food. Health problems are among the most important requirements for changing food in dogs.
Is Food Change Harmful for Dogs?
In cases where a food change is necessary in dogs, it can be stated that the food change is beneficial rather than harmful. However, changing food frequently and not making this change in a correct and systematic way can be harmful for our friends. In order to change food in dogs, veterinarians’ recommendations should be followed. Although it is not a factor that makes the change of food compulsory, if it is desired to switch to a product of a different brand, it should not be ignored that the transition should be carried out in accordance with the rules so that the transition is not harmful.
How to Change Food in Dogs?
If a food change is to be made in dogs, it should not be acted quickly. This process should be carried out within a minimum period of 7 days. The American Kennel Club recommendations are that 25% of the meals on the first two days of the change, 50% on the 3rd and 4th days, 75% on the 5th and 6th days, and 100% on the 7th day of the food change should be new food. . Some dogs’ stomachs can be quite sensitive; food allergies or other digestive problems can result in a longer time needed to change food. The most important element of the food change process in dogs is the dog-specific reactions. If the dogs’ appetite decreases during the transition phase, and if there are complaints such as diarrhea and vomiting, the 7-day period may need to be extended to 2-3 weeks. In this regard, the recommendations of veterinarians should definitely be taken into account. If dogs are having a much harder time adapting to the transitional stage, the new food may also need to be changed.
Does Food Change in Dogs Shed?
Hair loss in dogs can occur both as a cause and as a result of food change. Food is the most common cause of hair loss in dogs. Hair loss may occur in dogs that consume allergenic foods or change food without consulting veterinarians. In this case, it is important to determine the causes of hair loss correctly and to take precautions according to the cause.
Do Dogs Have Diarrhea When Changed Food?
The answer to this question may vary depending on whether the change process is planned correctly or not. When food transitions are made quickly, the metabolism of dogs may react and various problems may arise. If the food change is not carried out gradually in dogs, it may be possible to encounter results such as vomiting, diarrhea and refusal to eat.
When choosing dog foods, the ages, general health, activity levels and recommendations of veterinarians should be taken into account. By examining the dog food category, you can make the right choice for your friend and contribute to his health.