4 Reasons to Consider Changing What Your Dog EatsOctober 13, 2020
Have you recently made any changes to your canine companion’s diet? If so, you’re not alone.
Earlier this year, Packaged Facts conducted a survey and found that 29% of owners changed the foods they feed their pets at some point in 2019. This is indicative of a positive trend, as our dogs deserve to enjoy as much diversity in their diets as we do. It also points to a growing awareness of the health problems associated with modern pet foods.
According to the survey, the primary reasons for the switch were as follows:
- 49% wanted a higher quality product
- 41% said their dog prefers the new food
- 37% were looking for a healthier product
- 30% of dogs stopped eating the previous food
- 27% said the new diet is better for their specific pet
We can draw many findings from these results. For example, dogs that no longer wanted to eat their old food were likely being served kibbles that quickly went rancid. Fats that are sprayed on commercial foods can turn foul within weeks of the bag being opened. Owners are also frequently misinformed about what’s truly good for their dogs.
Building on the above-listed findings, there are several other considerations when it comes to deciding what your dog eats. Here are four reasons that every pet parent should be aware of.
Eating The Same Food
The introduction of ultra-processed commercial foods like kibble didn’t only bring on the canine obesity epidemic and countless health problems. They also introduced the idea that it’s acceptable for dogs to eat the same thing every single day. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It benefits manufacturers, but certainly not your pooch.
Dogs eat a variety of different foods in the wild depending on availability and their natural inclination to find what their bodies currently need. For picky pets, it’s a good idea to rotate through three or four different options on a quarterly basis. Every switch should come with a weaning period of at least two weeks for a smooth transition.
If you feed kibble, buying from a variety of less well-known companies can help you get your hands on higher quality food. Smaller suppliers often source safer ingredients. Incorporating (suitable) homemade foods can add a necessary element of variety into commercial diets.
Dogs that are over a year old and experience intermittent or chronic diarrhoea, or other digestive issues are often dealing with a food sensitivity. Tests such as the NutriScan can identify the specific intolerance at play. This will help you customise their diet based on what they should avoid.
At the end of the day, most problems stem from the consumption of modern kibble and canned foods. Switching to a raw diet made of natural foods is the best thing you can do. Healthy dog food doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. As raw dog food subscription service Bella and Duke explains, healthy dog food is worth exploring.
This UK company provides natural meals based on your dog’s individual requirements. Each meal is frozen and delivered to your door without an additional fee. They contain all the vitamins and nutrients your pup requires to be in shape.
Disorders and diseases can also call for a dietary change. For instance, dogs who suffer from pancreatitis need to stay away from cooked foods and processed fats. Their diets should also be supplemented with a high-quality digestive enzyme. Dogs with urinary stones or UTIs require less starch and more moisture in their food.
As you can see, it’s mostly a matter of cutting out the kibble. Sticking to a diet of naturally-balanced fresh food will cut out a range of health problems from the get-go. Touching on dogs with cancer, their diets should have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (starch-free) foods that are ideally raw or poached.
There should also be a higher amount of unprocessed animal fat and omega-3 fatty acids. There shouldn’t be any rancid oils, pesticides, preservatives or metabolic stressors.
Contrary to popular belief, aging dogs require more protein than their younger selves. This is mostly a matter of avoiding sarcopenia, which is muscle wasting. And quality is no less important than quantity. Moist protein that is more digestible and assimilable is easier to process and absorb.
If your canine companion is reaching retirement, make sure to give them nutritionally-optimal fresh foods that are rich in healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. They should also have medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs such as coconut oil) to keep their cognitive health in check. Refined carbohydrates (sugar) should be kept to a bare minimum.
It should be clear at this point that there’s one main reason to consider changing what your dog eats, which is when they’re eating kibble or another type of highly-processed commercial food. A raw diet from nature will help your pup make leaps and bounds in their health and longevity.