Choosing the best possible dog food can be a daunting task for many reasons. Not only are we constrained by factors like our budget and our dogs‘ tastes, but there are also a staggering number of brands that can complicate our choices even further. Of course, pet parents want to stick with options that their dogs like best, but there are certainly circumstances that may prove a change is necessary.
As a leader in the pet food industry, Freshpet recognizes that pet parents may not be aware of some of the signs that it’s time to switch from their favorite dog food to another brand. Here, Freshpet explores some common reasons you might want to consider making a change.
Food allergies are a common reason pet owners switch their dog’s food, and it’s a good idea to be aware of the signs. For example, if your dog’s coat is dull and flaky, or if he scratches himself often, he may have an undiagnosed allergy. Experts often point to protein sources as one of the most common causes of allergies in pets, which means switching up their next choice of protein source can help alleviate their symptoms. One thing to remember about allergies is that it can take up to six to eight weeks to determine if your diet is the cause of your complications. For this reason, pet parents should consult their veterinarian to begin the transition process immediately.
change phases of life
Many pet owners are aware that age plays an important role in dog nutrition. Puppy food contains more calories and certain nutrients to help facilitate a healthy transition into adulthood. Senior food, on the other hand, often has fewer calories, since dogs tend to be less active in their old age. Choosing an option that suits your dog’s life stage is crucial, as formulas that meet their needs and lifestyle are essential to their continued health. Feeding them the wrong foods can result in weight loss or gain, or prevent them from getting the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.
If your dog is underweight or overweight despite consistent and veterinary tested nutrition, this can be a sign that a change is necessary. Dogs can gain weight for a number of reasons, including issues with portion control, their metabolism, or even their activity levels. Pet parents should keep in mind that making changes too quickly can lead to problems such as nutrient and vitamin deficiencies or organ problems. The best ways to treat weight issues can be outlined by your veterinarian as they can help you figure out if food is the main problem.
Overweight dogs can usually control their weight through diet changes, portion control, or physical activity
Pet parents usually notice that chronic stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea are bad signs, but they may not be aware if their food is the culprit. If your dog’s poop is noticeably loose or he’s been vomiting, it’s important to take a step-by-step approach to the problem to derive the true cause of his indigestion. This is because changing food too quickly in response to stomach problems can make it harder to find the source of the problem and can even make it worse. A trusted veterinarian should educate pet parents about the reasons for their dog’s upset stomach and make a plan to alleviate symptoms by changing food options.
When Freshpet examines the reasons why pet parents switch their favorite dog food to other brands, health issues stand out as one of the most common. After all, dogs can develop a variety of medical conditions over the course of their lives, even if they are otherwise active and healthy. Diabetes, kidney disease, bone and joint problems, liver disease, and stomach disorders are all common health issues that can lead to dietary changes. Luckily, many different brands have recognized the need for formulas that address health concerns, and pet owners may not have to look far to find an option that meets their dogs’ needs. Many of these options are well known to veterinarians and are often recommended when diagnosing their condition.
Low Energy Levels
Low energy or lethargy can be a problem caused by malnutrition and can be related to a dog’s diet. Typically, this is because dog food does not contain the nutrients the dog needs to maintain their energy levels, resulting in them becoming drowsy or unable to participate in activities they typically enjoy. If you think your dog’s lethargy is related to their diet, your veterinarian can rule out other issues, like illness, and help select an option that meets all of their needs.
How can pet parents make the switch?
Pet parents who feel it is time to switch from their favorite dog food can do so by following just a few simple steps. One of the most important is consulting a veterinarian, who can help diagnose potential problems, create a feeding schedule, and evaluate options that may be a better fit.
Freshpet examines how purchasing decisions can make a huge difference to our pets’ health and finds that pet owners can benefit from expanding their knowledge of the options available to them. By looking closely at the packaging, avoiding harmful ingredients, and noting which products have caused problems in the past, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect option for your pet!