Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine: When should you switch your dog’s food?

Pet Of The Week

Imagine Eating the same thing every day. Your dog might do it, but is it wise to switch up your pet’s food? 

For today’s Pet Doc segment, we are joined by the wonderful Dr. Staci Cannon with Metro Animal Care and Control. We are talking about changing your dog’s food, Should you do it periodically? And if so, when do you know to do it?  

Dr. Cannon:   Sure, it’s a common question, especially for different life stages.  

So, you get a puppy, you feed them puppy food, usually until they are about a year old. Definitely follow the recommendations of your veterinarian but then they will be transitioning from puppy food to adult food. Or maybe you have an older dog so you might transition them to senior food or sometimes for a medical reason you might need to transition your dog’s food.  Sometimes people might accidentally change their dog’s food when you run out of a bag and you have to go to the store and buy another bag.  
There certainly is an ideal way to transition your dog’s food and that would be to do it gradually. That’s what people always hear.  That means something different for different dogs.  Some dogs have rock solid stomachs, nothing is going to upset them. They are not going to get diarrhea or vomiting or anything, but some dogs have sensitive stomachs. 

The best thing to do when your are transitioning is do to over about 5 to 7 days and so you want to introduce a small amount of the new food each day and gradually increase that.  So what that could mean for your pet is on day one, you do 25% of the new food, 75% of your old food, and that could even be from a brand new bag of the same type of food, but sometimes there are very small variations of the formula. That could be 1/4 cup of the new food mixed with 3/4 cup of the old food and then you just gradually increase it throughout the week.  

If your dog has an upset stomach from that definitely contact your veterinarian to get further recommendations.  

Nikki Burdine:  Now what if, as humans, we get bored with the same food. Do dogs get bored with the same food?  Do we need to switch it up for them? 

Dr. Cannon:  That certainly can happen.  We do think dogs, they may eat the same thing every day for years. They are usually pretty energetic about it.  If your dog seems like he wants to try something new, I would ask your veterinarian first. Sometimes you can create some confusion and even some aversions if you are constantly introducing new things.  New proteins, new sources of carbs throughout their diet.  Usually what you want to do is find a food that your pet enjoys and that they are healthy and it agrees with them and stick with that. That’s the best case scenario for everybody.  

Nikki: If it works it works, thank you Dr. Cannon. Back to you.

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