The number of adherents of natural pet food is constantly growing. It is difficult to overestimate the benefits of quality food for a dog’s body. But not every owner knows how to properly transfer his pet to a natural type of feeding and not harm his digestive system.
We will tell you how to make this process comfortable for the animal’s digestive system. And also let’s talk about the mistakes that the owners make as a result of the lack of special knowledge about the physiology of their four-legged pet.
A sharp transition to natural food and its consequences
Even the most loving and caring owners make a number of mistakes when converting an animal from a dry diet to organic foods.
Veterinarians say the most common of these is abrupt feed changes. The consequences of such a rash decision will be:
1. Disorders in the digestive tract. The body simply does not have time to adapt and indigestion occurs. It is due to the fact that a large amount of pancreatic enzymes is not needed to digest ready-made diets.
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And after a few months, its function decreases. Finished granules are presented in the most accessible form, so the fermentation process takes a minimum time period.
An impressive amount of enzymes is needed to digest natural products, so it will take time to restore the pancreas to work;
2. Refusal to feed. Only yesterday the dog received his favorite dry granules with an attractive taste, and in the morning they put a full bowl of porridge and vegetables in front of him. It is good if the owner adds a fragrant beef bone or organ meats to it.
In this case, the translation process will go much faster. But not every dog is ready to give up the usual diet and easily accept fermented milk products, cereals, fruits and vegetables;
3. Poor health. A sudden transition from the usual food will invariably cause indigestion, flatulence, heaviness in the stomach. The dog becomes lethargic, refuses to eat and walk.
Discomfort can also manifest itself in the form of apathy or aggression, depending on the temperament of the animal. After all, the dog does not understand why they stopped feeding him his usual food.
This is not the whole list of negative points that are associated with a sharp change in diet. It should be remembered that each pet is individual and requires a special approach.
Be sure to read our article: Which is Better: Dry Dog Food or Natural? All pros and cons
Transfer scheme from dry diet to natural feed
In order for the process of transferring a dog from ready-made rations to a natural type of feeding to be as gentle as possible and not to cause inconvenience to the pet, simple rules should be followed.
Veterinarians remind that there is a classic scheme, recognized by experienced dog handlers and veterinary nutritionists:
- Switching from dry pellets to natural feed should be gradually… The minimum interval for optimizing pancreatic function is 14 days for a HEALTHY animal. Only after 2 weeks can you expect that the amount of enzymes in the pet’s body will be sufficient to digest and assimilate all nutrients;
- Separate food… You do not need to add a couple of pieces of meat to a bowl of granules or pour kefir over them. In this way, you can only get a digestive upset and aggravate the pet’s condition. The best solution is pellets during the morning feeding period and natural products in the evening. Or vice versa;
- A gradual increase in the amount of natural products in the pet’s diet. An attempt to immediately replace half of the daily food intake with natural products will lead to dire consequences.
Lack of the required amount of pancreatic enzymes will prevent food from being completely digested. Consequently, the process of putrefaction begins in the intestines. And after a few days, the dog has a disruption in the digestive tract (inflammatory processes, decreased peristalsis, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation).
It is important: during daily walks, the owner should carefully monitor his pet’s stool. If you experience diarrhea, constipation, or undigested food debris in your stool, consult your veterinarian. The specialist will adjust the feeding regime and tell you what mistakes the owner makes.
Transferring a puppy from dry food to organic foods
A small pet should be transferred to a natural type of food if, when using a premium diet or food of the Holistic category, he has an intolerance to this food. If the basis of the daily menu is made up of economy class granules, then natural nutrition will be much better and healthier for a growing organism.
The owner must adhere to the same basic rules as when transferring an adult to natural products. When composing a diet, it is necessary to take into account the need to enter into its composition:
- 50% protein food… These are meat by-products, meat, fish, dairy products. At the same time, the amount of by-products should not exceed 15%, and the content of the fermented milk component should not be lower than 15-25%;
- 25% of a puppy’s diet is spent on vegetables and fruits… It is important to remember that the use of raw and potatoes and fresh cabbage is unacceptable. Also, do not get carried away with fresh beets. It causes loosening of the stool;
- 22% of veterinary nutritionists recommend using cereals… The best solution would be to use buckwheat, rice, oatmeal. In rare cases, it is possible to introduce barley, barley or wheat groats into the diet. Millet, corn or semolina lead to disruption of the digestive tract and are not recommended for feeding dogs;
- 3% should be taken by sources of vitamins and minerals. It can be brewer’s yeast or meat and bone meal, fish oil or ready-made vitamin and mineral complexes.
It is important: In order not to overload the pet’s digestive system, experts recommend pouring fresh broth into dry granules at the initial stage. This will teach your baby to use soft food for food. You can also transfer it to canned food.
If for an adult dog the transfer is carried out within 14 days, then for the baby it is better to slightly slow down and give him time to adapt. The ideal solution would be the duration of each stage, equal to 5-7 days:
- 25% natural feed: 75% soaked;
- 50% natural feed: 50% soaked;
- 75% nat. Feed: 25% soaked;
- 100% nat. Stern.
If the baby refuses to try natural products, then fresh minced meat (cottage cheese and other soft ingredients) should be gradually added to his diet to the soaked granules.
Nuances and features
Veterinarians remind that there are a number of features that owners should be aware of:
- In the first 7 days, the amount of natural products should not exceed 30% of the daily diet of the animal. The only exceptions are those pets that were previously on mixed feeding (dry granules and natural feed). In such individuals, the amount of pancreatic enzymes is somewhat higher, and in the absence of chronic diseases, the transition can be carried out in a shorter time;
- In the second week, the amount of natural feed should increase to 60-70%;
- The number of walks should be increased. The pet may have constipation or diarrhea. It should also be understood that natural foods contain more fiber. It stimulates peristalsis (contractions) of the intestines and bowel movements become more frequent. Frequent cravings are also associated with increased moisture content in natural foods;
- The dog begins to consume less water. This is normal. After all, now she does not need so much liquid, and the owner should not worry about this.
This is important: Some dogs flatly refuse to switch to natural food. The animal does not eat or vomiting, diarrhea, or other manifestations of disruption of the digestive system appears after eating.
In this case, you immediately need a veterinarian’s consultation. Perhaps the dog is suffering from chronic diseases and needs a specialized balanced diet.
It should also be borne in mind that many foods cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive animals.
Veterinary nutritionists call allergenic foods such as chicken, chicken eggs. Also, the pet may have an intolerance to dairy products or fish.
By carefully observing the condition of the dog’s coat, skin and stool, the owner will notice something amiss in time and will be able to prevent the development of pathological processes.