The food you feed your dog has a huge effect on their general health and well-being, and it can be life changing for a dog with a sensitive stomach to be switched over to a milder kibble or wet food.
Sensitive stomach dog food is generally easy to digest, it helps to aid the metabolism and to provide your pup with essential nutrition, without causing stomach pain and other health issues. You can’t, however, buy a new dog food product and start using it on its own right away, as that will only upset your pup’s stomach more. If you are planning on a diet change for your sensitive dog – there are a few things to consider first.
Why the Diet Change?
One of the first things you want to ask yourself is why you want to change your dog’s food, and if it is necessary. If you are switching to a higher quality food, then yes, that’s great, or if you are switching from a regular dog food to a special food product for sensitive stomachs but avoid changing your dog’s diet just because you didn’t have time to run to the pet store or because a new product packaging caught your eye.
Too many dietary altercations can cause problems with the metabolism of any dog; which makes sense when you think about it. Imagine that you only eat cornflakes tor a whole year – nothing else – and then one day you decide to switch out that cereal bowl for a plate of steak. Would your stomach react to it? Probably. The same goes for dogs because when it comes down to it, many only eat kibble or wet food – making their stomachs sensitive to change. Only switch a dog’s diet if you have a specific reason for it and think it over to make sure you are doing it with your dog’s health as motivation.
How to Know if Your Dog Has a Sensitive Stomach
You should always treat dietary changes with caution, no matter how your dog’s body usually handles new food, but it can be even more important if your dog has a sensitive stomach. How do you know if your pup has special dietary needs or a sensitive gut? Common signs are a constant loose stool, sounds coming from the stomach, arching of the back (an indicator of a stomach ache) and other displays of discomfort – especially if reoccurring – but you should always consult your veterinarian first to rule out any more serious issues. Self-diagnosing is risky for both humans and dogs, so you should never experiment without first getting an expert opinion.
Picky eating is another sign of a digestive issue, as there could be a physical reason for why your favorite fur pup won’t finish their meals. If you started feeling queasy every time you ate something, you probably wouldn’t be so keen on eating either, and if this is the case in your household – your dog might need a diet change and food that aids with digestion.
As your dog’s owner, you know him or her the best, and it is your responsibility to do what is best and to foresee a potential need for a food change. There are so many different dog food products available today, which guarantees that there will always be a product that is perfect for your needs, and it is just a question of finding it, without making your pup’s dietary issues worse in the process. By doing proper research first, and following steps to ensure a safe transition, you up your odds of a successful changeover.
Little by Little
When it is time to make the switch, buy the new product before you run out of your previous one, and make sure there is enough left for several days. You then want to start adding small portions of the new food to your dog’s old food, and gradually increase the amount until you can leave the old dog food behind. This will help your pup stomach and digestive tract to adapt, and you will hopefully avoid unpleasant side effects like diarrhea and loose stool.
It is recommended that you switch your dog’s diet over about 5-7 days, to give that puppy stomach enough time to adjust. You can start by giving around 75% of your fur baby’s old food and mix in 25% of the new food on the first day of the switch. Do the same the following day, and then do 50/50 of the old and the new food on day number 3. Repeat on the fourth day, do 75/25 (new/old) on day 5 and 6, and on the seventh day, you can try to feed only the new dog food to your fur buddy.
Some dogs may need a longer adjustment period, and some might be okay with a quicker switch, but generally – try to change your dog’s food over 5-7 days for best results. It is also known to be effective to feed a dog at the same time every day, as it can help stabilize their stomach and metabolism, and prevent a gastronomical upset.
Give It Time
Don’t expect miracle results right away and be ready for some setbacks and a few tummies rumble before your pup is completely adjusted. The little-by-little tip mentioned above is just the start, and some dog owners report continues issues for a week or two, which is considered normal to a certain degree. Any concerns should be voiced right away with your trusted veterinarian. When you have a dog, patience is a virtue, and any accustomed dog owner knows that positive change does not always happen overnight.
When owning a dog, it is important to stay in tune with your pup; paying attention to small signs of something not being quite right. This applies also after you have changed your dog’s food because not all dog foods work well for every dog. You might have picked out one of the best dog foods for sensitive dogs, yet you notice that the loose stool, the upset tummy, and the picky eating persists, and that is something you should stay on top of.
Another thing that is worth remembering is to not blame yourself for your pup’s dietary problems, because while it can feel terrible to have to watch your dog battling a stomach ache – it is common and hard to prevent. If it is reoccurring, however, you can do something for your dog by investigating other dog food options and follow guidelines to make a healthy switch to a new food. Self-blame won’t get you anywhere, and it is better to learn from past food-related mistakes, improve and become better at giving your dog what he or she needs in order to thrive.
The signs are usually there, so learn how to spot a dog with a sensitive stomach, what you can do about it and how to best switch them over to new dog food for dogs with digestive problems. Our dogs only have us, and since they can’t talk to tell us what hurts or what is wrong – we owe it to them to learn to read their behavior, spot problems and taken action when needed.