It’s coming up for two weeks now since our initial nutrition visit at Pets at Home and we are almost entirely on the new food now. From now on I should be able to see if the new food makes any difference to how my dogs behave or look.
Why does it take so long, you might ask… well… changing dog food is a slow process. Dogs don’t take well to changes in food, so it can’t be done overnight. The balance of the bugs in their digestive tract need time to develop so that they can digest the new foods.
Most vets advise changing your dog food over a period of at least 7 days. You are starting with 75% of the meal in their old food and 25% in the new one and increase the new food as the days go by. To make things easier, Rachel (the lovely advisor from Pets at Home) suggested doing it over the 10 days period, increasing new food intake by 10% each day. We liked this plan and it seemed to us much easier, taking the complicated math calculation into consideration 😉
When changing your dog food it is very important to examine the maximum feeding guidelines very carefully. You have to know exactly how much your dog should be fed. And if you are feeding a mixed meal, such as adding fruit or veggies on a regular basic, this also has to be taken into account. Ideally you should put on paper everything your dog eats, count the total intake and reduce some of the main food to make space for all the additional bits and pieces.
Let’s take our Bunk as an example.
He eats dry kibbles mixed with:
- 2/3 of Nature diet pouch or jelly from home cooked trotters
- ½ apple
- 1 carrot
- 1 tsp or 2 tablets of fish oil
- 1tbsp of coconut oil
+ He gets about 10 treats a day (doggie milky bones, quite small in size but he really likes them).
He weights 62kg and according to Arden Grange Senior feeding guide he supposed to get 670g of dry kibbles a day. This would be perfect if he didn’t eat anything else. Now, because he gets all these additional foods, his daily allowance of kibbles had to be reduced. Taking into consideration all the additional things he eats his daily amount of dry kibbles eaten has dropped to 420g. Quite a big difference, isn’t it?
I think this is the main reason why there are so many overweight dogs.
Normally we just look at the back of the food bag, make our calculations and then just stick to them. Most of us have never even considered reducing the amount to make “space” for all the extras we feed our pets.
To be honest I didn’t know that a carrot or some apples would have to be taken into consideration too, but they have to… they contain sugars and are not calorie free (I wish they were).
What do you feed your pets?
Do you feed just one brand of food or like to mix it up?
27 responses to “30 Day Pet Nutrition Challenge with Pets at Home – Week 1-2 – Transition to the New Dog Food”
Alfie, our Jack Russel is so fussy when it comes to dog food. We have to buy the soft & moist dry food from Pets at Home as he doesn’t like anything too crunchy (though he can quite happily make his way through a handful of biscuit treats!), or the small dog bags by butchers. If we have scraps left over from dinner (roasted meats mainly), we tend to give them to the dog in place of a full bowl of food. and maybe top him up with a small potion later on if he still seems hungry. 🙂
Looking forward to seeing if it makes any difference to behaviour 🙂
Wow great tips for those who has pet dog at home! Thanks for sharing 😀
Unfortunately Baxter our Cocker Spaniel will eat just about anything……And I mean anything. Love Pets at Home and we are regular visitors to our local store. xx
It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference! Great tips too.
This is really interesting. We mainly feed Alvin a dry food recommended by the VET. He also gets some meat and veg, but he is not overweight.
I never knew that dogs like eating apples! My mum is thinking about getting a dog, will be interesting to see what she feeds it having read this…
Apples yes but make sure they do not eat seeds. In bigger amounts they can be toxic for dogs.
My dog eats a mixture of kibble, raw meat and natural instinct raw minced dog food. He acts hungry all the time but we weigh out all his food so know he is getting the correct amount! I watched a show about it once, often people just fill the bowl with kibble, not realising how calorific it is, or don’t take into account treats etc!
We would love to feed raw, but they do not want to eat it. We did almost two week trail taking it really slow and no luck.
I never knew it was so complicated. My son has declared this morning that he wants a dog. Hope it all goes well.
Good Luck if you are getting one!
We don’t own a dog, though maybe some day. It will be a steep learning curve if ever I do.
Our spaniel eats anything he can get hold of really. We tend to stick to the same type of dry kibble but he hoovers up most scraps and anything disgusting he can find when out on walks!
Thanks for the tip….. used to have a dog for 8 years ! Reading this, made me miss her so much……
Don’t be sad. I am sure she is looking after you from the bridge.
This is a very interesting post. We don’t have a dog, but our cats need slow transitions to new food too or they’ll get horrible tummy problems.
My dog is on the hills science diet, he has hip dysplasia and we give him the joint support food in the hope it helps!
I am sorry to hear it Sonya. I hope your four legged friend feels comfortable. There are very good supplements for hip dysplasia for dogs… at least this is what a lot of people say on Newfie forum (this is very common problem for this breed)
I look forward to reading as to whether or not there has been any difference x
I didn’t realise pets could be so sensitive to changes in diet. I can understand why Pets at Home service would be really useful if your dog had weight issues now. Bunk is so cute too
We hope to be getting a dog soon…I’ll have all this to look forward to.
We don’t have any pets and don’t plan on getting any! I hope the diet change works well for your dog xx
Great tips and I’m interested to know if the changes do make a difference…
I tend to stick to one brand
Stella’s main part of her meals is a brand called Gentle. It is a cold-pressed food rather than a kibble and is much better for her sensitive tummy. She loves apples especially, but since being on medication she is a scavenger that will eat anything she can get her paws on. I have to be really careful about what’s left lying around now!
I remember now… we had a Twitter chat about this once… I will have to look into it in more details… as it ended up I need a new food for Bunk.