As a father of 3 teenage children I know all too well that nothing stays the same for too long. It only seems like yesterday that they howled with laughter at my jokes, fought to get the seat beside me, and above all, thought I was cool (children can be so gullible)!.
But, in what seems like the blink of an eye things changed. My jokes fell on seemingly deaf ears and instead of laughter they roll their eyes and give disapproving glares. All of a sudden I’m an embarrassment!.
Kids aren’t the only part of the family that change however. Our dogs do too, and over time so does their dietary needs. Adopting the right nutrition for your dog’s life stage can help them live a longer, healthier life.
Why And When Should I Switch My Dog’s Food?
Your puppy grows quickly in the early months and during this rapid growth phase it is important they get puppy food with a high calorific and high protein content. This will help support bone and joint development in your new puppy and fuel the energetic adventures that lie ahead.
As your Puppy reaches maturity (normally around 12 months old) he or she doesn’t need as many calories. Rich puppy food can quickly lead to excessive weight gain for adult dogs, so the transition to adult dog food is important. The dog food you select and best time to transition to adult dog food should reflect factors such as your dog’s size, breed, activity level and address any intolerances or medical conditions they may have.
As your dog grows older, many things change – including their activity levels, calorie requirements and state of health. Not unlike ourselves in many respects! Nutrition is a key element of helping older dogs keep that spring in their step (and wag in their tail!). Mature dog food tends to have fewer calories and is formulated to contain all the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support ageing joints and keep their immune system healthy.
Apart from the three stage of life, there are a number of other reasons why you may wish to change dog food. These include upset stomachs, allergies, if your dog is pregnant / lactating, medical conditions and weight problems. We’ve also came across dogs who get bored with their dog food.
How Do I Switch Or Transition My Dog’s Food?
A dogs digestive system needs time to fully adjust to a new dog food and so you should gradually replace the old dog food with the new diet over a week or ten days. We changed Rogens food when he turned one. For the first few days we fed 75% of the old diet with 25% of the new, then on day 3 we went 50/50 and then on day 6 moved to 25% of the old dog food mixed with 75% of the new.
Rogens digestive system is not particularly sensitive. He’ll happily wolf down anything set in front of him including flower beds, sticks and of course not forgetting the odd amazon delivery (when he can get his little paws on them!)
Like kids however, you may have a fussy eater or one with an easily upset tummy that turns their nose up at everything. Luckily there are a range of hypo-allergenic and grain free dog options available to help you find just the right dog food. If your dog has a sensitive stomach you should change their dog food over a longer period of time.
Finding the Dog Food that’s “Just Right”
Make no mistake, food is one of the most important factor in your dog’s life. After all, we are what we eat! Through diet, your dog gets everything their body needs, from energy to keep chasing those balls to the incredible array of nutrients essential for mobility and flexibility, healthy skin and coat condition, digestive health and the promotion of a strong healthy immune system.
There are thousands of dog food options available, so deciding on the right one can be tough. Different dogs do better on different diets, so choosing a dog food will always entail a certain amount of trial and error. Your dogs health should always be the final indicator of a the suitability of their dog food, so when you find a dog food that makes your furry friend happy and healthy, stick with it!
Back in the day my kids loved me telling them the story of Goldilocks, and her three attempts at getting the food that was just right for her. So don’t worry if it takes you a few attempts to find just the right dog food for your furry friend. Rest assured, your dog will still think you’re cool, long after the kids have figured out that you’re not!.