The controversy about the advantages and disadvantages of ready-made diets has not subsided for many years. Each owner independently decides whether to feed his pet with dry granules or to give preference to natural food.
Let’s try to figure out how to properly transfer your pet to ready-made feed and not cause irreparable harm to his body.
- When you may need to transfer the dog to dry food
- Rules for transferring to dry food
- Scheme of transferring a dog from natural to dry food
- What to do if your dog refuses dry food
- How to transfer a dog from one dry food to another
When you may need to transfer the dog to dry food
There are a number of reasons why a loving owner would switch their four-legged pet to ready-to-eat rations. Statistics show that among the most common there are:
- Lack of free time. Work and long travels around the city take a huge amount of time. The owner simply does not have the opportunity to purchase fresh high-quality natural products for feeding the dog;
- Lack of experience in drawing up a varied and balanced menu;
- The appearance of various diseases in an animal, in which a specialized diet is required. It is almost impossible to prepare such food on your own;
- Frequent travels of the owner and his pet. Finding fresh food on the go and composing a balanced diet is not easy.
Be sure to read our article: Which is Better: Dry Dog Food or Natural? All pros and cons
There are many reasons for making such a decision as transferring a dog to a ready-made diet. And it is extremely important to do this as gently as possible so that her digestive system does not suffer.
Rules for transferring to dry food
Veterinarians remind that when transferring an animal from a natural type of food to ready-made rations, it is necessary to adhere to several very important rules:
- Choose only quality products. Do not give preference to economy class products. In 99% of cases, a low price is achieved due to the introduction of a large amount of soybeans, corn and other ingredients of little use for an animal into the granules. Experts recommend choosing premium feed or mixtures belonging to the holistic category;
- Consult your veterinarian beforehand. This will allow you to assess the health of the pet and select the optimal menu among the presented high-quality diets on the domestic market;
- Do not rush. Ideally, the duration of the transfer of the dog to another type of food should not be less than 14 days. It is this period of time that is necessary for a healthy pet to gradually adapt to unusual food and not have problems with the gastrointestinal tract;
- Individual approach. Not every dog will easily give up a juicy piece of meat and happily switch to dry granules. Be patient and give your pet time to get used to it. Excessive persistence of the owner can lead to negative consequences.
It is important: Breeders should remember that there are several taboos that should not be ignored. These prohibitions have a completely scientific explanation and are designed to preserve animal health.
So, it is not recommended to transfer to dry pet food:
- The age of which is more than 5-7 years. In this case, the digestive system is simply not able to adapt to the new menu and there is a high risk of developing chronic inflammatory processes in the intestines, pancreatitis and other equally unpleasant diseases;
- Puppies until they reach the age of 4-5 months. During this period, there is an active development of all organs of the digestive system. And by the age of 5 months, the pancreas produces enough enzymes to adapt the puppy to dry food;
- Dramatically remove habitual natural products from the animal’s diet. There is a great risk of causing psychological trauma to the dog, because new food is not always perceived with ease. And the pet is sure that the owner simply refuses to feed him;
- Leave the usual amount of water. The dry granules swell in the dog’s stomach. Therefore, she actively drinks. And if the breeder leaves the amount of water in the bowl the same as with natural feeding, then the dog is thirsty as a result of a lack of fluid;
- Add vitamin and mineral complexes after transferring the dog to premium ready-made mixtures. It is important to remember that good quality dry food contains a balanced amount of all essential nutrients. Therefore, the additional introduction of vitamins will lead to the development of hypervitaminosis. And it is also dangerous for a pet, as well as a lack of vitamins and minerals.
Following these simple rules, each owner will make the transfer of his pet from natural products to dry high-quality mixtures painless and comfortable.
Pay attention to our article: Converting a dog from dry food to natural food. Veterinarian advice
Scheme of transferring a dog from natural to dry food
Veterinarians recommend adhering to a certain scheme that will make the process of switching to ready-made rations more gentle for the digestive system.
So, the following ratio of natural products and dry granules should be observed:
- 1-5 days 75% nat. Products: 25% granules;
- 6-10 days 50% nat. Products: 50% granules;
- 10-15 days 25% nat. Products: 50% granules;
- From the 16th day, 100% ready-made dry rations.
It is important: Experts remind that you should not mix fresh ingredients and dry food in the same bowl. The only exceptions are those pets who flatly refuse to even try drying. In this case, you can mix a small amount of granules into the usual diet so that the dog gets used to their taste. In other cases, dry food is given in the morning, and natural food – in the evening. Or vice versa.
Perhaps our article will also be useful to you: Is it possible to combine dry dog food and natural food
What if the dog refuses dry food?
This question is often asked by perplexed breeders to veterinarians or experienced dog handlers.
The answer is simple. The pet may not like the taste or aroma of the menu the owner has chosen. Therefore, you should not immediately buy a large package of unusual food. Offer a finicky different taste. It is likely that the “Meat platter” will taste more to the animal than “Rabbit and Turkey” or vice versa.
Mixing a small amount of granules into your usual food is a good solution. So the dog will gradually get used to the new taste and aroma. The transition process will take a little longer, but it will be softer.
How to transfer a dog from one dry food to another?
Sometimes the dog refuses his favorite food for several days. Don’t insist. It is much easier to change your usual diet for high-quality dry food. If the initiator of such a change is a dog that refuses to eat drying, then everything goes much easier.
But what about the owners who, for whatever reason, need to transfer their pet to the ready-made feed of another manufacturer? For example, on a therapeutic diet? The animal is not always happy to accept such a change in food.
Veterinarians recommend gradually adding new food to your usual food. The four-legged pet will get used to the new taste. The duration of the transition can range from several days to two weeks.
It is important: The owner should closely monitor the condition of the dog. Disorders in the digestive system (diarrhea, constipation, the appearance of mucus or blood in the feces, vomiting, apathy) and other alarming symptoms should be the reason for contacting a specialist.
The veterinarian will help determine the cause of this condition of the animal and select the optimal diet, the amount of feed and the brand of the finished diet.