Switching Dog Foods – Whole Dog Journal

This article is a sidebar to our submit “Diet, Dogs, and DCM”, which appeared within the November 2019 situation

If that is the primary you’re listening to about this situation, please don’t panic and instantly swap your canine’s food plan, except your canine is used to consuming totally different meals. Suddenly altering meals is prone to trigger digestive upset in canine which might be unused to it. The longer you’ve been feeding the identical meals, the extra probably your canine is to wish time to regulate to one thing totally different.

Start by changing very small quantities of the previous meals with the brand new. If your canine is doing nicely, regularly enhance the quantity of the brand new meals whereas reducing the previous. This might take just some days, or up to a couple weeks, relying on how lengthy you’ve been feeding the identical factor and the way delicate your canine’s digestive system is likely to be.

Stick with new meals which have the same degree of fats to what you’ve been feeding, a minimum of to start out with; it’s extra probably {that a} canine will develop digestive points if switched from a low-fat food plan to 1 that’s greater in fats, notably if the swap is finished too rapidly or the canine has been on the low-fat food plan for a very long time.

If your canine is liable to meals allergy symptoms, it’s probably he’ll react rapidly with itching and scratching when you feed an ingredient that he’s allergic to. Digestive upset might level towards a meals or fats intolerance, or may be the results of making an attempt to change too rapidly; in case your canine vomits or has diarrhea, return to the previous food plan till he’s again to regular, then attempt the swap as soon as extra, going much more slowly the second time. If your canine continues to have digestive upset with that meals, attempt one thing else. Keep a journal of which meals you attempt to the components in every, and also you might be able to pinpoint those that trigger issues in your canine.

If you’ve been feeding a limited-ingredient food plan as a result of your canine tends to have both allergic (itchy) reactions or digestive upset with different meals, right here’s what we’d advocate. Start by feeding one other meals in the identical line of meals, in order that solely the protein supply modifications. Keep observe of which proteins your canine has issues with, and which he does nicely with. Once you recognize which proteins your canine can tolerate, attempt one other model of limited-ingredient food plan with a protein your canine is okay with. Continue making an attempt totally different proteins from the identical traces, and totally different manufacturers of meals utilizing these proteins to get a greater thought of which components trigger issues in your canine. Once you’ve recognized the precise components that your canine has bother with, you possibly can then attempt branching out into different meals that aren’t limited-ingredient diets.

We know that many individuals feed the identical meals to their canine on a regular basis as a result of it’s simpler, or as a result of they suppose it’s higher (since that’s what pet food firms and lots of vets advocate), or as a result of they tried a unique meals a few times and their canine didn’t prefer it or didn’t do nicely on it. In these circumstances, we nonetheless advocate making an attempt to change your canine to a unique food plan, or ideally a number of diets utilizing totally different manufacturers of meals and totally different major components. We nonetheless consider that this method is just not solely extra prone to forestall DCM, but in addition helps forestall meals allergy symptoms from creating, and offers safety towards any dietary deficiencies or excesses present in any single food plan, in addition to points that result in remembers.

For those that feed a rotational food plan, we advise proscribing meals in at-risk classes to lower than half the general food plan. That means when you feed only one or two meals, neither ought to be in any of the at-risk teams we describe. If you feed three or 4 totally different meals, one will be among the many at-risk classes. If you feed 5 – 6 totally different meals, two will be among the many at-risk classes. Foods that match into greater than one of many at-risk classes are prone to be the next threat than meals that match into only one; the extra classes a meals suits into, the upper the potential threat. At least half the meals you feed ought to have: frequent meats equivalent to rooster, turkey or beef (not lamb), a number of (not restricted) components, little or no legumes, and average to excessive protein.

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