There are a number of reasons why you might want to change your dog’s food.
They might be graduating from puppy food and you’re looking for a new brand that will give them everything they need as they continue to develop. Your furry friend might also be eating less or acting differently, and you think a change in diet might help.
Perhaps you’re worried that your current choice of pet food is triggering or worsening existing allergies. Or, maybe you’re just on the lookout for a more sustainable, natural dog food supplier with a smaller carbon footprint.
Whatever the reason, changing your dog’s food is something you shouldn’t do lightly. Dogs are just like us, and putting them on the wrong diet or changing their diet too quickly could affect everything from their skin and coat to their mood and overall happiness.
When should you switch your dog’s food?
As dogs age, the nutrition they need changes too. Growing puppies need different levels of vitamins and nutrients than senior dogs, for example. This means that you will likely need to adjust your dog’s food at certain points in their life.
Ageing: Puppy to adult
Puppies should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they are roughly 12 months old, depending on the breed size. This will give them all the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.
After this point, you should switch them onto an adult dog food. Adult foods are generally formulated for weight maintenance and size, so check your pup’s target weight and identify whether they should be receiving large, medium, or small dog food.
Circumstances: Pregnancy, illness, or stress
As well as ageing, there are other periods where you might consider changing your dog’s food.
Pregnant or nursing dogs will need foods that are very energy-dense, with increased calcium content. Often puppy food is appropriate in this case. Your vet should advise you of the best food to properly support your dog during this time.
If your dog is not feeling well, lacking in particular vitamins, or has developed an allergy, you might consider switching foods, maybe to a sensitive stomach dog food or hypoallergenic dog food. In these situations, a more natural dog food formula might be better suited to ensure gentle tummies aren’t aggravated.
A change in diet can work wonders for us humans, and the same is true for our pets. If your dog seems stressed or anxious, a change in food to a formula designed to tackle anxiety, such as our Percuro hemp seed oil and chamomile mix, might be just what they need.
Again, you should seek the advice of your vet to make sure you’re getting the best food for your dog’s specific needs.
Circumstances: Environmental concerns
More recently, a lot of people are changing their dog’s food out of concerns for their environmental impact.
Our dogs and cats eat a whopping 20% of all the world’s meat and fish, and the meat and dairy industry creates a colossal amount of pollution, with one of the largest carbon footprints of any industry by far.
We can all do a lot to limit our environmental impact when it comes to the food we eat, and the same goes for our dogs.
Dogs are omnivores and can thrive on plant-based diets, as long as they receive the right amount of protein and other key nutrients. Keep in mind however that dogs can’t be 100% vegan, as they need animal-derived vitamin D3. If you want to reduce the amount of meat in your dog’s diet, you should take a look at dog food alternatives which source the protein your dog needs in a different way.
This is actually one of the reasons why we created Percuro: to provide pet parents with a different, more sustainable dog food option. The protein in Percuro actually comes from insects, specifically an amazing little fly called Hermetia Illucens. This allows us to minimise the environmental impact of our production methods while still providing tasty, healthy food for your dog.
While insects might not sound all that appetising to you, dogs love it. In fact, in our studies, 92%* of dogs chose Percuro over the leading competitors’ dog food!
You can find out everything you need to know about our clever dog food alternatives here.
The slower the better
Whatever the reason for switching your dog’s food, you need to make sure you do it right.
Many dogs have sensitive tummies, and a sudden shift in diet could impact their health, leading to an upset stomach and a very unhappy pup.
You should gradually change your dog’s food over a week or so. This will help avoid potentially nasty side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
You can use the following as a rough guideline:
Day 1-2: introduce a small amount of the new food into their standard food.
Day 3-5: gradually add more of the new food and remove the old food as you do so.
Day 6-7: continue with the above until only the new food remains.
This timeframe will give your dog time to adjust to the new food and prevent any potential tummy upset.
Is it time to switch your dog’s food?
Whatever the reason, switching your dog’s food can be great for both you and your pup. A better diet means a happier, healthier dog, and plenty of energy to play.
Whether you’re considering switching to a traditional dog food alternative such as our all-natural Percuro blend, or to a different brand, make sure you do it safely and gradually, to prevent any tummy upset or unnecessary stress. Your dog will thank you for it.
Ready to join the insect-based dog food revolution? Click here to learn more!
"Ted has been eating Percuro for a month now and it's going amazingly. He loves the taste and we can use it for any training! We love that it's way more sustainable than standard dog food. As vegans, it means a lot for us that there's no farm animal meat in his kibble but it still has all the nutrients needed for him to thrive! It's a more ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly choice."
Ted the Kelpie's Hoomans