A Doggie Diet
Why You Shouldn’t Suddenly Change Your Dog’s Diet, and How To Do It Right
People love to eat! Some like burgers, while others like burritos. Some enjoy a nice warm meal, and some a cold one. So why do dogs only eat the same food every day? Wouldn't they like to change it up? People may ask. Dogs only need one type of food, but why? Changing food isn't something we should always do; changing it needs to be a transition.
The Appetite of a Dog
A dog's diet is quite different from ours. While humans like to switch it up, it's not the same for our furry friends. It's safest, healthiest, and easiest to pick one brand, flavor, and type of dog food and stick with it. There are lots of types of dog food; soft or hard, this or that flavor, one brand or another, but when we try to switch these up and give our dogs new tastes, it hurts them more than it helps. They aren't as fancy as us humans; they are more than happy with the same old daily. It's better and healthier for the dogs if we keep their diet the same.
Why They Need Only One Type Of Food
Why would changing their diet hurt more than help? Well, when a dog's food is suddenly switched with no transition, it causes them to be very sick. A sudden stitch in food results in diarrhea, vomiting, stomach aches, and more. Their bodies just aren't made to experience new foods all the time. When changes in food happen, they should happen irregularly and over a period of time. According to the BlackHawk dog food company, “ Dogs develop diarrhea when their food is changed and a long enough transition period between diets isn’t allowed. This is because “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria are both present in the gut at all times. When changing food, the good bacteria in the gut need time to adapt and change to cope with digesting the new food. If a transition period isn’t allowed, the good bacteria are overwhelmed, and an overgrowth of bad bacteria will occur.” So, if we are constantly changing their food, the bacteria in their stomachs will never be able to adapt, resulting in stomach aches and health problems
Doing It the Right Way
So what about when we do need to change their food? When a puppy comes to their new home for the first time, the food will often differ from the one given to them while they are still at Grace Wood Farm. Our Sheepadoodles and Poochons will eat Purina Pro Plan High Protein Dry Puppy Food, Chicken & Rice Formula - 34 lb. Bag (Packaging May Vary) - you can find it here on Amazon. If you switch to a different dog food when you receive your puppy, this can only happen after a while. It is a step-by-step process. First, before your puppy comes home, you would need to make sure you have a bag of your new food and a bag of the food that your puppy ate while at GWF. Second, when your puppy comes home, you would need to fill its food bowl full of the food the puppy has been eating, then add in a little bit of the new one you have chosen. Each day you would add a little less of the old food and a little more of the new one. This process does take time over the operation of a couple of weeks. If you do not take time on this, they will have stomach problems. Lastly, after a couple of weeks of mixing the food, you can finally switch to the new food.
When, What Time, and Why Would You Switch
Though we want to keep their food the same, it is inevitable. You will keep your puppy on puppy food until they are 1-2 years old, and then, under your vet's advice, you will switch to adult dog food. This will happen in the same process as described above. Other times you may need to change your food if you find out your brand has something wrong with it if your dog food isn't available anymore, if your vet says you need to because of a health concern, etc. These things will also happen over a transition. If you find out your dog needs new food under a vet's advice, we suggest you do so. For the health and safety of your dog, if you find out the brand of dog food you use has something wrong with it, we strongly advise you to switch.
When it comes to our furry friends, we should always put their needs and health first. It would be much work if you were trying to clean up diarrhea every hour because you switched food too quickly, not to mention it hurts the dog's stomach. Though over a transition, this can all be avoided; it's all about doing it the right way.
If your home is missing a sweet little fur baby, Grace Wood Farm can help! Check out our Available Puppies page to see photos of adorable puppies available to go home today! Our locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Ohio have litters born every season. We are happy to add your name to our waitlist for Standard Sheepadoodles, Mini Sheepadoodles, Micro Sheepadoodles, Micro Bernedoodles, and Poochons! For more information on joining the Grace Wood Farm Family, please call us at 803-888-4149.
About The Author
Hadassah Stasi is the oldest of six children in the Stasi Tribe and has spent most of her life around the dogs of Grace Wood Farm. She has attended countless births, raised more puppies than she can count, and done more than her fair share of farm chores. She has naturally developed an understanding of the nature of dogs, their needs, and the best training practices. She enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gained from her experience through writing and teaching others. Already a world traveler, Haddasah lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and is building her expertise in training African rescue dogs.