This article is featured on behalf of Jenna Brown.

as a pet owner, keeping your pet healthy is a priority

If you’re a twenty-something pet owner, you know you’re already willing to put your pets needs before your own. While that often means paying for vet bills and making sure they exercise, it also means focusing on their nutrition as well.

There are a ton of reasons that a person might need to switch their dog’s food. Whether your puppy has outgrown puppy formula, your dog had a terrible reaction to a certain food type, or you’re just interested in feeding your furry friend something that will prove more beneficial to its health, you’ll want to take your time with this process. Unlike humans who can handle a lot of different food changes, dogs’ digestive systems are not designed the same.

Is Your Reason to Switch Valid?

Since your dog may have an adverse reaction to the wrong food change you need to be sure that switching is in the best interest of your pet. Here are some scenarios in which you might consider switching dog food:

  • Not Enough vitamins – Like humans, dogs require the right amount of minerals and nutrients to stay healthy. If you feel that your pet is not getting enough from the current food, you might switch.
  • Allergic Reaction – There are instances in which the dog becomes allergic to various grains or ingredients from the food.
  • Changes in Health or Behavior – There is also the possibility that your pet is giving you signs it’s time to switch their food. Maybe they’re behaving differently or not performing as they normally do.

Switch the Food Gradually

Companies like The Missing Link offer solutions for dog owners who are looking for a healthier alternative food to improve the health and performance of their pets. You’ll need to check online to compare a few products to see which will work best for your pet. Once you have found the right food, you’ll want to take the next steps in moderation.

It is ideal to give your dog at least a week to fully transition to the new food. This will give them time to adjust and for you to see if there are going to be any digestive issues you need to address. The best recommended method for switching dog food is to mix the old food and the new food together increasing the ratios every day. Of course, if your dog was allergic to or acting erratic because of the old food, you’ll want to forgo mixing the old food in.

 5 Day Mix Schedule

Here is an ideal mix schedule for the next five days.

1.  The first day, mix 20% new with 80% old food.

2.  The second day, mix 40% new with 60% old food.

3.  The third day, mix 60% new with 40% old food.

4.  The fourth day, mix 80% new with 20% old food.

5.  Give dog a complete bowl of new food and see how they do.

Be sure to monitor your dog carefully as you make the switch. If you notice any changes in behavior, physical changes, or changes in their eating habits you’ll want to stop incorporating the new food and contact a vet. They will assess your dog to determine what the core cause of their health issue is and from there you can determine which is the best diet for your dog.

What you feed your dog matters and will ultimately determine the quality of their life. Take your time in making the decision to switch dog foods and also follow the above recommended steps accurately to ensure your dog has an easy time transitioning. Remember, at the first sign of trouble, be sure to reach out to a vet for further advice. 

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