Changing Your Dog's Food

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Your dog’s nutritional needs gradually change throughout its life.

Switching from one source of nutrients to another should be carried out in an equally gradual way. Plan diet changes to occur over a five day period. Sudden diet changes affect the living environment of microorganisms in your dog’s intestines and the demands on digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes need time to adjust to new food. These are the reasons why diarrhea can occur if you abruptly change from one food to another. Change diets carefully. Begin by adding a little of the new food to your dog’s existing diet. Gradually increase the proportion of new food over the following days. Any bowel problems or signs of going on hunger-strike because of smell, taste or texture become obvious before these potential problems become serious. Remember too that, like us, each dog, especially the little ones, has its own particular preferences for odours, textures and flavours. Finicky eaters are made, not born. Don’t turn your kitchen into a canine restaurant with your customer choosing from a varied menu. From early in life offer your dog a fresh, tasty and nutritious diet. As time moves on, modify that diet according to your dog’s unique demands. Provide more nutrients when they are obviously needed, for example as the weather gets colder. Weigh your dog routinely. Steady weight is just about as good a simple sign of good health as there is. Weight increases or losses mean that the natural balance has been upset. Almost certainly something is wrong and central to resolving the problem may be changing nutrition.

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