Diet Transition Guide For Dogs
With the sudden boom in the pet industries you find a wide array of pet foods available to you. From chews, to treats to main meals they are within arms reach and you don’t have to move a muscle to get a hold of them. Since dog food companies, compete to get your attention, most things that you buy from the market is reasonable; but is every reasonable and readily available product good for your dog?
Just a few years ago there was a ‘jerkey massacre’ in America where many dogs died because of the over consumption of jerkey treats. After this incident, many pet owners became wary of jerkey treats. But what about the everyday meal that you provide your dog? Have you ever wondered what goes into the production of dog pellets? Dry dogs pellets are a part of our canine’s everyday routine. We never questioned the pellets that look nothing like the food they are made of and never wondered why something that is ‘healthy’ for our dog can live on the shelf, un-refrigerated for years!
Are dry pellets as healthy as they say they are?
Ask yourself, would you eat something like that day in and day out? Probably not. Since we cannot see what is in our dog’s food we cannot estimate the percentage of healthy proteins and animal by-products. Some pet food companies lower the cost of production by adding a lot of fillers into their meals. Though dogs can digest starch, because of the years of evolution alongside humans, they still aren’t as equipped to digest chunks of fillers. Fillers like corn starch and rice hulls do not add any benefits to the meal other than filling your dog up till their next meal. But your pooch does not complain, they may even eat it happily. This is because, many dog food companies make their meals appealing by adding artificial flavours.
Poor quality dog pellets may have harmful effects on your dog in the long run. They may age faster and become lazy at a very early age. Others may have problems with their weight. Training and exercise is only effective when they are eating the right kind of food that gives them energy to learn and play. If you want to give your dog a long and healthy life, the first change you need to make is their food. We put a lot of emphasis on freshly cooked dog food. Our dogs have always had a balance of home-cooked meals and store brought pellets until our team made the complete transition to freshly prepared Petzenia Meals. They have never been happier, and they thank us every day by being more playful and active.
Dogs do not need food that is cooked and made tender for hours. But, fresh, lightly cooked meals are wonderful for their overall health. At Petzenia, we care for your dogs just like we care for ours and we feel the change is necessary in every dog household. All our meals are freshly cooked- free from preservatives and artificial flavours. Why? Because a fresh wholesome meal speaks for itself!
Why is it necessary to change their food gradually?
If you feel your dog needs a diet change, this is where you start. Unfortunately, changing a diet is not as easy as chucking away the older food and bringing home the new one. Many dogs have a sensitive digestive system and therefore does not do well with change. It is very similar to humans. Have you ever changed your diet for the better? If you have, you may remember that it was initially difficult to get accustomed to the healthier option but you got accustomed to the change with time and dedication.
Similarly, for dogs, a rapid change in their diet may lead to vomiting or diarrhoea or the sudden lack of interest in food. It may also make them irritable. Therefore, it is important to make the change gradually yet consistently. Sometimes changing a food can take from days to weeks depending on your dog and their sensitivity to new foods. It is a long process, but it does pay off in the long run.
How can you make the change?
Ideally the transition period should take ten days. But it all depends on your dog- their stomach and their acceptance to new food. Here is how you should gradually change your dog’s diet:
|Day||Old Food Quantity||Petzenia Meal|
|Day 10||Stop Old Food||Switch To Petzenia Meals|
If the change is too rapid, your dog may vomit or have diarrhoea. Others may show lack of interest in eating. In this case, you can deliberately make slow down the transition. Instead of changing 20% of their meal in 2 days, you can change only 10% of it.
The changes that you may see in your dog during the transition period
Just like humans, dogs also have some bodily changes when they switch to a healthier diet. They may become more energetic. Some even go through an excessive amount of shedding and regrow stronger, healthier fur. One of the biggest change that we noticed was the change in their motions.
As we said earlier, dry dog pellets have a lot of fillers and as a result dogs tend to go potty more often. Their motions are voluminous. But when you switch to homemade meals, it lacks added fillers. The roughage in this meal occurs naturally in the meat and vegetables. Hence most of what they eat, gets absorbed in their body and they expel a lesser amount.
The long-term benefits of switching to Petzenia Meals
Fresh home-cooked food increases your dog’s metabolism rate and dogs with a higher metabolism rate are more youthful, energetic and have more years ahead of them. Once the transition period is over, they will become more accepting to a natural diet. They will also develop a stronger immune system.
A dog that has a healthy diet is also more alert with training. As we know exercise and food works hand in hand, you will notice that in the long run, they will be more enthusiastic about learning new things and playing games.
Ultimately this change will help you earn a few extra years with your pooch. So why not make the change right away?