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Changing Pet Diet

Why would a person need to change their pet’s food?

Both cats and dogs have their own tastes and preferences when it comes to food. The reason for changing their foods are quite similar, therefor this post covers both cats and dogs together.

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Nutritional diet changes with age

Our furry friend’s diet changes gradually with age. For example: a puppy needs a large amount of protein in order to grow big and healthy, whereas an adult dog would need a lesser portion of the protein in their food. And when it comes to a senior dog; a big amount of protein could cause a deterioration in their stomach or liver.

 

However, in kittens, they need a portion that is 3 times the size of an adult cat’s diet because of their high body demands for bone and growth maturation. Adult cats eat less than kittens in general, and senior cats ear even less. Much like humans, appetite decreases with age.

Since these diets are important in a pet’s life; there are certain foods and nutrients that should be followed throughout their stages in life.

In a situation where you need to change your pet’s diet for a specific reason but do not know which the most suitable option would be; a visit to the veterinarian for inquiries is always a good idea!

Your vet will suggest the best regimen to follow for your pet during a specific age and to even check if your furry friend may be allergic to specific foods.

 

 

A sensitive digestive system

If you notice your pet has symptoms such as continuous itching or vomiting. This may be in an indication to an allergy your dog has due to specific ingredients in their food regimen. Dogs can develop reactions to certain ingredients in their food, sometimes even after eating that ingredient for years with no problems. If your vet suspects that your dog has a food sensitivity, a diet switch is in order!

 

 

The dangers of suddenly changing your pet’s food

When changing your cat or dog’s food, making an addition to the diet or giving new treats. This may have a negative affect on their digestive system. Such as:

∙ Vomiting

∙ Diarrhea; due to their body not being used to the new food.

∙ Loss of appetite;

∙ Decreased urine or stool output

Therefor, it is best to always start a gradual transition in a complete diet change or even when incorporating new foods.

The proper way to change your pet’s food without causing nutritional harm or appetite loss

 

Cats: Cats are creatures of habit, so they do not particularly enjoy a change in routine. That’s why its important to transition slowly. Some cats are easier and more accepting of a change in food and are tiny food monsters. Others.. not so much. 

A way to start transitioning is incorporating a mixture between your cat’s old food and new food over a period of 7 days. Gradually decreasing the amount of current cat food while increasing the amount of new cat food. A ratio can be clearly seen here:

 

Remember to be patient. For finicky, older cats with health conditions, the transition time could take 10 days or slightly longer.

Keep in mind! In some cases, such as acute gastrointestinal issues, your veterinarian may not recommend a transition and want you to immediately start feeding the new cat food. 

If your cat experiences symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or a decreased appetite start to decrease the amount of new food and increase the amount of old food that you were giving him. Stretch out the transition schedule for your kitty so his tummy and intestines can get used to the new food.

Things to avoid: Do not starve your cat and expect them to accept the food immediately. They can develop hepatic lipidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition known as "fatty liver” due to starvation where the liver starts converting body fat into energy and fat starts to accumulate in the liver. 

A slow transition is the best transition!

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