How To Change Pet Food
How To Change Pet Food
Have you ever thought about why your pet refuses to eat his dry kibble food? If you give your dog tempting table scraps often, he’s more likely to say no to a dinner of just plain pet food.
If you’re going to give your dog bacon for breakfast or steak from your plate, how can you blame him if he shuns dry pet food?
It's Never Too Late
The good news is that even though your dog may be a picky eater, there are ways you can encourage healthier eating or change his diet for the better.
A Gradual Process
First and foremost, it is important to remember that your dog should ideally change from his current dog food gradually, to a new dog food to avoid upsetting his digestion and/or have stomach trouble. When changing, mix his current food with a small amount of the new food. You can then gradually decrease the amount of the current dog food while increasing the amount of the new dog food, over a minimum of 7 days.
Make The Process Longer If Necessary
During this process, you should keep an eye on your dog's reaction to the new dog food. As well as signs of an upset stomach, you should also keep an eye on the appearance of your dog's stools. If they appear runny or softer than usual, or if your pet shows other signs of an upset stomach, you should give him more than the minimum of 7 days to make this adjustment.
Read on for more helpful advice and a detailed breakdown on changing your dog's(pet's) food.
Dogs and Food
There are two types of dogs. The first type lives to eat. They will eat anything you put in front of them. The second type eats to live. They pick and choose, take longer to finish meals, and sometimes won’t finish them at all.
A dog’s size, breed, and age often dictates whether he loves food or couldn't care less. A dog such as a Labrador is happy to eat anything. Smaller dogs, such as Maltese and Yorkies, tend to be fussy eaters.
Tips for Encouraging Your Fussy Eater to Develop Healthier Eating Habits
Don’t feed from the table. Giving out table scraps will cause your dog to shun dry or canned dog food and hold out for more mouth watering options. It can also cause health problems, such as pancreatitis. In addition, variety or changes to the diet may cause diarrohea, as well as reinforce the inappropriate behavior of begging.
Keep dog food and people food separate. Never let a dog associate your food with their food. You have to keep it very separate. Otherwise they’ll start to think they can eat their food and their owner’s, too. Your dog should only eat food out of his bowl, and should never see food as coming from your plate or from something you’re preparing for yourself.
Stick to a schedule. Feed your puppy two to three times each day, as recommended by your vet. Gradually increase the volume of food as you decrease the frequency of feedings as your puppy matures. Your adult dog should be fed once or twice daily without leaving the food out more than a short period of time. To ensure equal portions for each serving, use a measuring cup. Sometimes it may help to mix healthy people food such as low fat vegetables into the kibble to get them used to eating kibble on a more regular basis. Variety may be the spice of life for humans, but consistency is key for your dog.
What if you started on the Wrong Foot?
It’s never too late to start over, but if you want to get your dog off one food, and on to another, it’s best to take it one step at a time.
Compliance From Everyone
It’s going to be tough and requires 100% compliance from the entire family. We suggest lessening one food and gradually adding more of the new dog food bit by bit every day until your dog is off the old food entirely.
The Importance Of Patience And Determination
If your dog refuses to eat, he is likely holding out for what he is used to, but it’s important to hold firm. Just because he skips a few meals, don’t give in and give him what he wants. Leave the bowl out for 15 minutes, and if he’s not finished or not eaten anything, take it away. Then present him the same food 15 minutes later. He’ll eventually choose what he's given over no food at all.
Switching From Wet Food To Dry Pet Food
If your intention is to switch your pet's love of wet food to our healthier dry kibble food, but it proves difficult, we suggest adding some warm water to our dry pet food, ideally from out of a kettle. Allow our food to sit in the water for a while then feed your pet our food including the water. This allows the food to become a compromise between wet and dry pet food. This ensures your pet gets all the great nutritional benefits of our products and better enjoys healthier dry pet foods.
* You can also do some of the following for additional encouragement -
- Scatter (ideally plain) shredded chicken or a small amount of scrambled eggs into the dry food (kibble) and mix it all up.
- Add a tablespoon of low-sodium chicken broth (bouillon) to the dry food.(ensure the broth doesn't have onions in it because they are toxic) and give it a good stir.
Our Mouthwatering Dry Dog & Cat Food Diets
The following dog and cat food ranges are all formulated to make things easier to switch from wet to dry pet food as they all contain fresh meat and fish, which dogs and cats love.
- Gourmet Grain Free Dog Food
- Gourmet Grain Free Cat Food
- Natural & Hypoallergenic Dog Food
- Natural & Hypoallergenic Cat Food
Ideas To Make Switching Easier
We'd like to mention that if your pet has been on wet food more or less all their life, then having dry kibble food all of a sudden may seem a little strange, especially at first.
If this is the case, then we advise that you make up a meal with 90% wet food and 10% of our food for a few days. It may help to add some warm water to this mixture and give it a good stir with something like a fork. You should then give it a little time to settle and allow our food to soften from the wet food and water.
You can then give it to your pet once you feel satisfied that both foods have been mixed into one. This should make our food a lot more appetising to your pet that is used to wet food but also healthier.
Make Gradual Changes
As the days/weeks go by, you can then slowly increase the amount of our dry kibble food you add to this mixture. Eventually your pet will just see the new food as a normal part of their mealtime and should eat as normal. Even if only half of this mixture is our dry kibble food, it will certainly still be much healthier and cheaper than giving your pet 100% wet food. Wet food can be as much as 70% water so it's actually much more expensive than a good quality dry pet food. The gravies and jelly from wet food is also usually made from ingredients/additives which generally won't do your pet much good and these additives are generally frowned upon within the pet food industry that has an interest in producing healthier pet food.
Beneficial In The Long Run
With a little time and patience, we are confident you can change your pet's diet, and it's certainly something that can benefit both you and your pet in the long run, especially when this means you can both enjoy many more healthy and happy moments to come.