Switching Pet Foods

dogvegetablesBasic recommendations for changing your pet’s food from brand to brand or from certain ingredients to others.

It is important to know that even if you are switching from one of the poorest quality dog or cat foods to one of the highest quality available, your pet may experience digestive distress. This can come in the form of gas, diarrhea, soft stool or vomiting. This happens because dogs and cats have very small and sensitive digestive systems that can shock very easily when a change in diet is made abruptly. The human small intestine is about 24 to 26 feet in length.

The dog or cat small intestine is about four to six feet in length. This allows much less time for food matter to be absorbed. A fast change will often cause problems, so a gradual change over several days is always best.

Here is an easy plan for switching foods:

Day One 80% Old Food / 20% New Food
Day Two 60% Old Food / 40% New Food
Day Three 50% Old Food / 50% New Food
Day Four 40% Old Food / 60% New Food
Day Five 20% Old Food / 80% New Food
Day Six 100% New Food


A Few more things you should know:

In cases where the ingredients in the old food are considered to be the cause of digestive distress, it is recommended to do an immediate changeover.

To make the change as gentle as possible, we recommend giving a supplement of  enzymes & probiotics.  Natural Pet Market offers several different natural products from Animal Essentials, Bac-Pack, Transition or Solution from Eagle Pack.

To sooth an already upset system, give the pet cooked ground beef and rice or chicken and rice. Canned pumpkin is also known to be an effective remedy.

If diarrhea is severe, give a small, less than half a child’s dose of Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol. We don’t recommend Immodium as it can be too harsh on a pet’s system.

If  your pet has become dehydrated, we recommend that you add Nupro Electrolytes or Animals Natural’s Go Dog to his or her fresh water for fast recovery.

If you need additional advice, contact Mike at Natural Pet Market or your trusted veterinarian.