A good question! My dog is happy on it’s current diet so why should I change their food. There’s a lot of good reasons to keep your dog on the same food, but there are also lot’s of reasons why that food is no longer the best for your dog. Some of the most common reasons for changing your dog’s diet are described below. As ever with your dog, always refer to your Vet for specific advice.
1. I’m Not a Puppy any more!!
The most significant change in a dog’s life is when they move from being a puppy to an adult. Puppyhood is obviously the biggest period of growth in your dogs life and accordingly, needs a food that will power this growth.
Puppy food has a higher calorific value than other food types and is specifically designed to power this growth period.
Adult food has a lower calorific value as it does not need to support any growth and just maintains dogs weight. The only time an adult dog would need extra calories would be for a specific weight gain, advised by your vet, or when a dam is pregnant or lactating and needs to also support her pups. At this point you would generally put her back onto a puppy food.
2.They have been spayed or neutered
A dog that has been spayed or neutered does not need as many calories as an intact dog. When the body no longer needs to support a reproductive system, it no longer needs the calories to do so. Remaining on the same diet can lead to your dog becoming overweight.
If your dog is still on puppy diet when neutered of spayed, now is the time to move to an adult food with reduced calories.
3.They’re getting old
As our dogs get older their nutritional requirements change. They will generally need less calories in their diet as the naturally become less active. Reducing the calorific value of their food whilst retaining the volume allows for our senior dogs do still feel full whilst ensuring they stay in good condition. Our senior dogs also need different supplements in the form joint care for example, glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) all of which help ageing and arthritic joints.
A large and ever growing proportion of dogs in the UK are overweight with a staggering 20% deemed to be obese. Like in humans, obesity can lead to serious health issues like Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and joint issues. These are generally dogs that have a lower activity level. A good food brand will offer a light version of their food with a lower calorific value whilst also supporting the needs of overloaded joints.
5.They have a food allergy
It is not unusual for our dogs to suffer from an allergy to a particular protein or carbohydrate. Symptoms of a food allergy include loose stools, itchy feet or ears, skin issues or stomach issues. These symptoms can be just as upsetting for your dog as they can be for us humans. A good food brand will be hypoallergenic, provide the option for a single protein type and for a single carbohydrate type. Brands can also be grain free, dairy free and include novel proteins. These are proteins that are generally new to or dogs diet e.g Herring, Duck, Venison, Tuna.
6.Their activity level has changed
As our dogs get older, their activity level reduces. Senior dogs need less calories to maintain their weight. A good brand will have a light and a senior recipe to move to keep your dog well in their senior years.
7.They have been diagnosed with a disease
Our dogs can suffer from many of the diseases that we do from diabetes to kidney disease, pancreatitis to cardiovascular disease, digestive problems to arthritis. A vet will advise on a food type to help with a specific illness but a good food will cover most of these issues, with slow releasing carbohydrates to avoid sugar spikes, MOS and FOS prebiotics, fibre and added vitamins.
How would you like to eat the same food every day for your whole life? Dog’s can get bored of their food just as easily as we do. Variety is the spice of life and that is just as true for your dog as it is for us. A good brand will have a number of different flavours to chose from whilst still having the same basic formulation allowing is to vary their food regularly and avoid boredom.
Like our food, our dog’s food can be recalled for manufacturing issues. If your dogs food is recalled, you should obviously stop feeding them the products and asses whether you can move to a different flavour, batch or brand depending on the alert. UK alerts are issues by the Food Standards Agency and can be found here.
10.Our food covers all these situations
Our Country Mutt Kitchen range of Grain Free, Hypoallergenic dog foods are a premium range of Vet approved recipes that cover all situations.
We have a range of puppy foods tailored to small and large breeds. A range of single and multi protein adult foods, including novel proteins to help with allergies, boredom and variety. A range of light foods for overweight dogs and a range of senior brands for the older dog.
All our grain free foods have sweet potato as the primary carbohydrate. This benefits a slow release of sugars avoiding any sugar spikes and increased fibre.
We are available for any questions at any time by emailing email@example.com