Should You Change Your Dog’s Diet?
Everything your pet eats has been vetted carefully by you. You have taken great care to understand her nutritional needs and decide on the kind of diet she must be on. Some pets thrive on commercial dry food, while others do better on home-made cooking. It all depends on the nutrients that your dog requires.
A common myth is that a dog should always be on the same food. As your dog grows older, or her health requirements change, she needs a change in the food she eats. While it’s true that dogs generally do not need the variety in diet that their human parents do, their systems accept a change in food type if it’s done gradually and with care.
A few reasons to change your dog’s diet would be:
- The age of the dog. Older dogs have higher requirements of fiber and lower need for calories. She is less active and her lifestyle doesn’t need the same diet that she was on when she was younger. For that matter, the food that kept her body energetic a few years ago could do serious harm to her now. Her joints and organs need supplements to keep them functioning optimally, and your dog needs a new diet suited to her health and activity level at this age.
- Obesity. Pet parents often don’t realize that even in moderation, certain food types contribute a lot more to their pet’s weight than others. When your dog’s health becomes threatened by the weight she’s put on, one of the first advice that a veterinarian will give is to change her diet. There are food groups and packaged products especially meant to encourage loss of weight by giving her less calories and more essential nutrients required to keep up her level of energy and shed the pounds.
- Allergies and skin conditions. Most issues with your pet’s skin is directly related to her diet or her environment. In case of allergies, vets prescribe non-allergen diets, or food groups that avoid triggering your dog’s allergic reaction. While the transition might take some time as you figure out exactly what your dog is allergic to, the diet she ends up with will be far healthier for her and will help her lead a better life. A deficient diet is also often at the root of dull, matted coats which reflect poor health in your pet. Look into food containing Omega-3 fatty acids which improves coat quality and gastric health.
- Surgery. A medical procedure often leaves dog with anxiety and tiredness. A change in diet, with an eye on immunity boosting properties is the best way to shore up your pet’s natural healing process and bring her health back to normal.
- Gastro-intestinal issues. One of the most common reasons for changing your pets diet is realizing that her system is not reacting well to her current one. Devoted pet parents make a study of shape and consistency of their dog’s stool, and can easily tell when their meals don’t agree with them. Dogs also have other ways of explaining that their nutrient needs are not being met. She may go about chomping on leaves or raiding the garbage bin. At these times, it’s best to look into what is missing from your dog’s daily meals.
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