Should You Switch Your Dog’s Food?
Just like people, your dog’s nutritional needs (and tastes!) change throughout their life. That means switching up their formula every few years. But selecting a new dog food recipe can be challenging, especially for picky eaters.
Why You Should Switch Recipes
Your Dog Is Entering a New Life Stage
Your dog’s nutritional needs change as they grow. Tailoring their food to their current life stage ensures that they are getting the proper nutrition for the life they’re living today.
- Puppies grow the most in their first six to twelve months, and they are more playful than their adult and senior friends. That’s why your pup needs a nutrient-dense formula to help support growth, proper development and an active lifestyle.
- Adult dogs need the right blend of nutrients for maintenance, but with fewer calories to help them maintain a healthy weight.
- Senior dogs usually aren’t as active as adult dogs, and they might require additional nutrients to support healthy digestion and immunity, as well as strong bones and joints.
They’re Experiencing Food Sensitivities
Throughout their life, many dogs may experience some kind of food sensitivity, food allergy or intolerance. Typical signs of a food sensitivity include:
- Itchy skin: If your dog is always itchy or has a rash on their belly, they might be sensitive to one or multiple ingredients in their food. A limited-ingredient formula with novel proteins might help alleviate some of these symptoms.
- Gastrointestinal issues: A soft, firm stool is a sign of good digestion. Diarrhea and constipation, however, could mean that your dog’s stomach disagrees with the ingredients in their food. Dogs with certain food intolerances might also benefit from a grain-free dog food.
They Need to Lose a Few Pounds
Veterinarians will often recommend a reduced-calorie diet to help overweight and less active dogs achieve a healthy weight. These specially designed formulas provide the right blend of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to give them the nutrition they need and hearty flavors they crave.
How to Switch Dog Food Formulas
Switching dog food recipes too quickly can upset your dog’s stomach. So, when transitioning between formulas, always follow the directions on the back of the package. Most dog food brands will recommend slowly introducing the new food by mixing it in with their current formula. Monitor your dog’s behavior and stool during the transition to make sure they are tolerating the new recipe.