New Year, New Pet Food!
With a new year, comes new years resolutions- even for our pets! According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats in the US are obese or overweight. 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners said their pet’s weight was normal when it was actually overweight or obese.
Dogs + Cats ( for our small animal clients- skip below!)
Many big companies have EXCELLENT marketing that make us believe their food is the best, or the healthiest for our pets- but actually the ingredient list and pictures are catered to US, the HUMANS! But is full of coloring to make it look like vegetables, lacking grain for our grain-free trends or has way to much fat that can cause major issues like hospitalization -like Pancreatitis.
Depending on where you choose to purchase your pets food- online, grocery store, clubs, local pet store or Veterinarian – will depend on the recommendation we or other professional may give.
Once you do make a choice- GREAT JOB!Now the next step- transition-we cannot just cut and dry transition or can cause major tummy upsets for our pets.
It’s important to slowly transition your pet to a new food so their system has a chance to adapt to the change. The transition period should be at minimum 7-10 days and could take upwards of two weeks, depending on your pet’s sensitivity to change:
Here is a great example of a slower 10 day process:
Day 1 – 2: Feed 80% of your pet’s old food with 20% of the new food
Day 3 – 4: Feed 60% of your pet’s old food with 40% of the new food
Day 5 – 6: Feed 40% of your pet’s old food with 60% of the new food
Day 7-9: Feed 20% of your pet’s old food with 80% of the new food
Day 10 and on: Feed 100% new food
If your pet experiences any kind of digestive upset during this time, try slowing down the process to let his/her digestive tract adjust to the new food. Some loose stool/ diarrhea ( no blood!) can be normal when introducing new foods as the digestive process and the naturally occurring bacteria in your pet’s body requires is complex + delicate.
AT HOME AIDE: Adding a few teaspoons of 100% canned pumpkin puree is great fiber (not pie filling!) and a few teaspoons of all natural, no sugar, no flavor plain yougert (good bacteria!) to the top of their food 1-2 times a days may help with the transition.
If you experience any vomiting and/or diarrhea, be sure to reduce the amount of new food the next time you feed and overall, slow the whole transition period down even more. If it continues more then a few times a day, pet becomes lethargic, or blood is present. CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!
Aquariums– rotating food types really can bring a well balanced diet- be sure to check the freezer in the fish sections for frozen worms-AMAZING benefits for your aquarium, and the fish love them! Dried shrimp, dried worms, etc are also a great addition!
Avian/Birds- Fresh Fruits and vegetables, sprouts, and less Sunflower seeds in their seed blends the better!
Rodents, Hampsters, Guineas, etc– HIGH quality hay and FRESH Veggies and Fruits are KEY for their diet. Pellets help with our base- but without fresh foods- you will see health decline or shorter life span
Turtles/Tortoises- Fruit Pellets, Veggie Pellets, Meat Pellets, Dried Shrimp, Dried Worms are wonderful- but be sure to add those greens! Depending on the reptile will depend on the diet.
Other Reptiles/Amphibians: Reach out to your local family owned Reptile store to see what they have to offer for each species!
-Amber V. CPPS
Owner + Founder – Atta Boy! Animal Care
“Happy Pets, Happy People”