When Should You Be Switching Your Dog's Food?

When Should You Be Switching Your Dog's Food?


As we get to know our pets, it becomes so easy to draw parallels between their needs and ours. We all need to eat, sleep, and of course a little love every so often, but most importantly we can see that for both humans and our pets, nutrition plays a huge part in living a healthy and wholesome lifestyle.

The nutritional needs of humans change throughout our lives, just like that of our pets. We don’t eat the exact same food today that we did as babies, so why should our animal friends be any different? There are times in your pet’s life when switching their food is an obvious decision, like when their bodies react unfavourably or their previous food is no longer available, but there are a number of other indications that show it’s time to make a change to your pet’s diet. Here are some common reasons you may wish to change your pet’s food.

Stage of Life

Your pet may require a new recipe each time they enter a new stage of their life. A dog’s food is specially prepared for certain life stages, such as puppy, adult, senior or for all life stages. Each life stage has its own nutritional requirements. How is that determined? Well, that depends on the general size of your dog’s breed. If you have a small to medium sized dog then they are considered a puppy up to 12 months of age. For larger breeds, they are considered to be puppies until 18 months of age. At this point it’s a good idea to transition them to an adult or large breed adult dog food to ensure they receive the required nutrition for a dog of their age and size.

It may be difficult to admit that your dog is aging. Their senior years depend on their breed, but generally dogs approach this life stage between 7 to 8 years of age. Senior dogs require extra care, such as mobility and immunity support, so it’s important that you transition your dog onto a senior-specific recipe in order for them to be at their healthiest in their mature years.

Activity Level

Another factor that could indicate it may be time to switch your dog’s food is if there’s been a change in your pet’s activity level. Different activity levels require different caloric intake to fuel your pet. Dogs who are out there hiking with you regularly versus dogs who take a couple of shorter walks a day each have different needs when it comes to the food that they’re eating. You want to ensure that you’re giving your dog enough fuel if they’re an active dog and not overfeeding a less active dog calories that they’re not burning off. If your pet is more active in the summer months than the colder winter months then this is another important factor to consider. Be sure to check if your recipe offers feeding guidelines for both active and less active dogs!

Current Food

Have you taken a look at the ingredients in your pet food lately? If not, we suggest taking a peek. Looking for natural ingredients that you eat yourself or are available at your local grocery store is a great way to make sure that your pet is eating a wholesome and nutritional recipe. Ingredients like low-glycemic green peas, chickpeas and lentils are sources of healthy carbohydrates and quality protein. Pumpkin provides a rich source of fibre which aids in digestion. Flaxseed and salmon oil are great sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Antioxidant-rich ingredients such as blueberries, blackberries, pomegranate or raspberries are all great components when giving your pup a healthy diet.

It is possible to find a pet food with familiar ingredients, and if this is something that’s important to you then it’s probably a good time to switch your pet’s recipe.

Special Pet Wellness Needs

The overall wellness of your pet is such an important outcome when determining your pet’s food. It’s possible that food sensitivities may arise or nutritional requirements may change throughout your pet’s life, so it is important to be cognisant of any changes in your pet’s health. If you notice signs of gastrointestinal upset, itchy skin, lethargy, red itchy paws or weight gain, these are common signs that indicate there could be an issue. When your pet has special wellness needs you’ll want to pay close attention to their diet and the effects that it has on their overall health.

This Content Is Brought To You By Nutram

Nutram is the creator of dog and cat foods produced with Optimum Combinations™ of holistic and natural ingredients that come together to better your pets’ health. Find out more about transitioning your pet’s food at nutram.com/otc.

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