By following this guide, you will be able to safely transition your pet from one food to another. But why is that important?
Just like us humans, our pets have their own tastes and preferences when it comes to the food they eat. Some pets will not take too kindly to a sudden change of food. Whether that is flat-out refusal to eat it, or if eating the new food causes some dietary and toilet problems.
Our pets rely on a careful balance of a variety of types of food, helping to provide them with the right nutrients and friendly gut bacteria to help they keep going.
A sudden change of food may occur if your vet puts them on a new diet, either for weight reasons or to tackle a certain medical complaint. Veterinary diets can help manage a range of conditions, from joint support to food intolerance.
But whether it is for medical or financial reasons, changing your pet’s diet should always be a gradual process and not a sudden change.
Sudden changes of diet can upset the bacteria in the stomach, and can lead to a range of issues such as diarrhea. You also need to be aware of what nutrients your pet may be losing with the new food. If your pet struggles with certain food types you need to ensure the new food does not contain high levels of these ingredients. The levels of salt, sugar and fat should also be thought about, as any sudden spikes in these could lead to weight problems.
It can be helpful to weigh your pet weekly when put them on to a new diet. This will help you monitor any sudden changes whether they be increases or decreases.
By slowly changing your pet’s food it will allow the friendly bacteria in your pet’s stomach to have enough time to adjust to the new food. This will help keep your pet’s digestive tract functioning normally, so you shouldn’t see too many changes.
It is recommended that you follow the 5-2 approach. This involves reducing the old food by a fifth every two days, increasing the new food by the same amount. Make sure you mix the food in the same bowl to ensure your pet does not start to ‘selective feed’.
When you start to feed your pet the new food, be sure to be vigilant on their toilet habits, looking out for consistency and frequency. If your pet is struggling with loose stools, you may want to consider something to help the gut flora and toughen up their movements. Products like Pro Kolin and Logic Diar-Stop will be useful in this situation.
As with any change of diet ensure that their exercise regime is consistent and your pet has constant access to fresh water.
If you have any concerns or questions about changing your pet’s diet, add them to the comments below.