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The Food Transition- From Puppy to Adult Food

Category: Dog Care, Dog Walking, Pet Health, Pets | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Date: January 20th, 2011

This transition may seem simple but it can wreak havoc on everything from your puppy’s stomach to your patience at dinnertime.

Your puppy’s food is NOT working for him if he has developed any of the following: loose stool, diarrhea, constipation, stool eating, skin rash, allergy, a rise in hyperactivity, a rise in aggression or  other personality changes.  Here are some possible solutions, but also consult your veterinarian FIRST!

  • Loose Stool or Diarrhea – Make sure your puppy’s food does not have oils added to it. Also, consider a food that is used for food allergies. And don’t give your puppy or dog scraps from the dinner table!
  • Constipation – Make sure your puppy’s food does have oils added to it. Also, the food should have a high fiber content, and should not be highly processed.  Also make sure your puppy is getting enough exercise!
  • Stool Eating – There are many reasons for stool eating and diet is one. Poor nutrition can lead to this so up the grade of food if this is a problem.  Puppies may have a vitamin or mineral deficiency and they eat feces to restore this balance.  You can check out some pet supplements, like Nuvet (www.nuvet.com; order code: 46654).  Also, could be the result of over feeding. If a puppy is over-fed he doesn’t properly digest his food, therefore his feces will still smell like the food he just ate! Make sure you feed your puppy or dog twice a day, instead of once, that he gets plenty of exercise, and you could also try to put a tablespoon of pineapple in your puppy’s food, because it is suppose to taste really bad after it comes out the other end.
  • Skin Allergy – This is usually caused by a food allergy if diet is indeed the culprit. Try a food made specifically for this such as the duck and sweet potato mix.  You can also try supplements- see Nuvet above.
  • Hyperactivity – Puppies who become more hyper on a new food probably need a little more protein. Try a high protein food but watch for weight gain.  Also, make sure that sugar and other food chemicals are not present in your puppy or dog’s food.  In addition, your dog might need more exercise!
  • Personality Changes – Dogs’ moods are affected by diet just as ours are. Too much sugar or a food allergy can cause a sharp shift in a dog’s aggression or irritability. Make sure there are no additives or preservatives in your puppy’s food which can be a hidden cause.

If you’re noticing some of the signs of a food disagreeing with your puppy, it is probably time to try a new one. Always introduce a new food slowly, switching about 1/4 cup of food over a week. Give him another week or two on the new food to see how he does on it before switching again. You can also give him breaks between food by feeding him cooked chicken and rice for a few days.

Good nutrition is essential to your puppy’s health. Different puppies have different needs and it’s through trial and error and recognizing health issues that you can choose the best food for him.

Some of us may think that a change in food is only fair to our pups but once you find a food that fits, stick with it. Offer variety by adding small amounts of vegetables, chicken broth or a high quality canned food.

For puppies and dogs a steady and consistent diet means better health.