The ideal solution is to switch from one meal to another gradually. For this to work correctly, we will need a bit of both food, the new and the old.
Changing a dog’s diet is more complicated than we might think. Dogs have fewer bacteria in their stomachs, and therefore are much more sensitive to changes. Hastily modifying your dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Next, we will tell you some tips around it.
Why Are We Switching Dog Food To Homemade Food?
In principle, dogs do not get bored of always eating the same thing. Actually, they are very grateful. But sometimes, it is unavoidable. The main reasons that can motivate a change to homemade dog food are:
- Weight Control
- Improve food quality
If your dog has been diagnosed with any pathology, he may need a specific veterinary diet as part of the treatment. In these cases, it is essential to follow the veterinarian’s guidelines to the letter.
Scientist believed that the nutritional needs of dogs evolve. An adult dog does not have the same needs as a puppy, nor does a puppy need the same dietary intake as a senior dog. Thus, for each stage, a specific feed.
If your dog needs to lose weight or gain weight, it will be necessary to review his diet and probably the best way to balance or control his weight is by applying changes to your dog’s diet.
Improve Food Quality
Please pay attention to what they eat. A healthy lifestyle also influences our pets. Dog owners must be attentive to new trends in dog food and do not hesitate to try new quality natural food, free of preservatives and artificial enhancers.
Personalized natural food guarantees that the contribution of nutrients and the quality of the ingredients will be adequate for a healthy diet. Thus, quality and customization are precisely the main reasons that motivated the change from industrial food to customized dog food.
Let’s not forget that quality food is the best preventive medicine of any illness. But even if you improve the quality of the food, it is essential to switch the food gradually so that the chances of success are greater.
How Long Does It Take To Change The Dog Food
The duration might differ from one dog to another. However, some dog experts suggest the changing process for at least seven days.
Not correctly following the step-by-step change of food can be one of the main reasons for rejection. Here is how:
- Days 1 and 2: Mix 25% of the new food, with 75% of the old
- Days 3 and 4: Mix 50% of the new food with 50% of the old
- Days 5 and 6: Mix 75% of the new food with 25% of the old
- Days 7: You can now give him 100% of the new food
By making the change of food little by little, you will avoid stressing their digestive system too much and having to start over from the beginning. The health and well-being of your dog are well worth a little effort on your part. Don’t you think?
Side Effects of Changing Dog Food Too Quickly
The bacterial flora of the intestine of any dog adapts the usual diet that that animal receives. When the diet varies, the intestinal flora requires time to adjust to the new food.
If that adaptation time is not allowed, and the change is too abrupt, the dog can suffer gastrointestinal disorders as a consequence. The side effects that may appear are:
- Food intolerances and vomiting
- Incoming gut bacteria and parasites
One of the most common side effects of changing over dog food is diarrhea.
A dog is considered to suffer from diarrhea when his droppings are too soft or liquid in texture. Besides, the animal defecates more frequently and volume than usual.
In a normal digestive process, the dog’s body can absorb up to 80% of the water contained in the food it eats. When a dog has diarrhea, however, it will not absorb that percentage of water and neither will the nutrients contained in the food eaten.
That is why the greatest danger of diarrhea in dogs is dehydration and the progressive deterioration of its general state of health. A dog can have diarrhea for different reasons.
Moreover, any incoming food that is toxic or unsuitable for the canine diet can result in mild or severe gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea. It is common for some dogs to eat things off the ground when they go for a walk.
It is necessary to pay attention during walks because your dog can digest inappropriate foods or even objects that cannot be digested in the stomach. It can be very dangerous.
Food intolerances and vomiting
Food intolerances manifest with problems of the gastrointestinal system such as vomiting or diarrhea. Therefore, a food intolerant dog tends to have diarrhea every time he ingests it.
Other symptoms of food intolerances are vomiting, increased flatulence and even discoloration of the stool. For their part, food allergies can also cause some digestive issues, although their main symptoms are changes in the hair and skin (redness, flaking, etc.).
Incoming gut bacteria and parasites
Carelessly changing dog food with a low-quality one can cause your dog to ingest unwanted bacteria and parasites egg. Some of the most common parasites in dogs, especially puppies, are roundworms, tapeworms, and flatworms. They are commonly known as “gut worms.”
These parasites reach the body of the dog to feed on what the animal ingests. That is, they steal the nutrition that the dog eats.
Therefore, they are very dangerous because they can cause severe deterioration of their health. Bacteria can also cause diarrhea in a dog. They are much smaller than intestinal worms, but they can also be very harmful because they tend to occur in very high numbers.
Diarrhea Treatment After Changing Over Dog Food
In most cases, the most appropriate thing to do is go to the vet. They are medical professionals who make the diagnosis and guide the treatment.
While you make an appointment with your veterinarian, here are some tips and home remedies to treat your dog’s diarrhea:
- Maintain a 24-hour fast.
- Prepare rice water to drink (recommended by WHO).
- Offer a soft diet after the first few hours of fasting: low in fat and easy to digest. A little grilled chicken or fish accompanied by boiled rice are ideal diets in these cases, as long as the dog does not have a food intolerance or allergy to any of these ingredients.
- Serve the food in several, frequent and reduced doses: three or four servings distributed throughout the day is the most recommended.
Again, the important thing is to rule out any serious problem that may hide behind diarrhea, and for this, it is essential to go to the vet. He is the one who will tell us more what to do if our dog has diarrhea and how we can treat it.
How Long the Diarrhea happens after Changing Dog Food
Defecating regularly is a great indication of how the transition plan from one feed to another is working. But the fact that their stools are softer than usual may not be good.
A sudden change in your dog’s diet can cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or loose stools, and even vomiting. The first few days (up to 3 days), it is normal for its stools to be somewhat softer than usual.
But if these turn into diarrhea or your dog is continually vomiting as you increase the amount of new food, you should go back to its previous diet or look for a new alternative.
If the change of food has been successful, the problem is not over yet. If after a few days, your dog has flatulence, loose stools or vomiting, go to the vet to examine him and rule out possible pathologies or the presence of intestinal parasites.
What about Changing Dog Food Within the Same Brand?
If your pet seems dissatisfied with the taste, you can switch to some other brand within the same category without much trouble. But if your pet has allergies or other disorders, your vet may recommend a change from a conventional kibble to a grain-free kibble.
If you are only switching over Solid Gold High Protein Red Meat Buffalo to Solid Gold High Protein Chicken, the move should be reasonably fast. Recipes in the same line typically contain the same secondary ingredients. It should be the first component that affects taste.
Most nutrients and vitamin concentrations may stay constant. If you know your dog tolerates chicken as well as buffalo, you will typically make a move in only two to three days without any complications.
Now you know how to proceed with a change in dog food. If you decide to carry it out, make sure that the new food is high quality. It should cover all the nutritional needs of your furry friend.
The difficulty in changing the dog’s feed will finally depend on the personality of your pet. Some dogs are more practical when it comes to eating.
However, in other cases, the situation is different. Dogs get used to the food they receive, and when they notice a change in it, they can even stop eating.
It happens much more with puppies, especially when you are changing the food of a puppy to an adult. That is why to change the dog’s food, the recommendations of the experts are essential.
Some people make the mistake of not making a change of food in dogs. They consider that it is not necessary, especially when they notice that their pets continue to eat as usual.
However, you should know that the nutritional value provided in the diet of dogs is vital. Not only does it allow them to develop naturally, but it also helps them to have a healthy coat and is influential in protecting it against diseases.
Without a doubt, changing dog food is quite an essential task and one that must plan very precisely. In some cases, the food that we give to our pet is not adequate to guarantee its growth and correct development. Each type of food serves its own purpose and use different ingredients.
Some dogs may suffer from feed change diarrhea. This can cause them a lot of stress.
We recommend that you adjust your pet’s diet progressively without going beyond what is suggested. Remember that dogs usually have less bacteria at the digestive level.
If you notice something out of the ordinary with your puppies such as lack of appetite, weight loss or any intolerance between the change of food, it is best to see a specialist.