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7 Signs you need to change your dog food brand

7 Signs you need to change your dog food brand

Nutrition is the foundation of your dog's health. The food you feed your canine companion directly impacts their lifestyle, weight, gut and dental health. The wrong dog food can lead to disease and health issues such as diabetes.

As puppies grow, their dietary needs evolve in order to ensure that they develop and grow correctly.

Whether a puppy, adult or senior dog, how do you know it is time to look for a new dog food

Here are 7 signs you need to change your dog food brand.

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1. Your dog is showing allergy symptoms

Allergies are quite common amongst dogs and can be caused by dust mites, pollen, flea saliva and even food substances. 

If your dog scratches their ears, paws, rear ends incessantly or they suffer from an upset stomach for longer than a week, they may be having an allergic reaction to their food. Different proteins found in wheat, dairy, soy and different meats like beef, pork, chicken or fish can trigger an allergic reaction in your pooch. 

Consider purchasing hypoallergenic dog food and treats - they work wonders for dogs with allergies and dietary restrictions. Hypoallergenic diet is free of artificial preservatives. It regulates your dog's digestive health and reduces dry skin, ear infections and obesity. 

2. Your dog food is not balanced

Feeding your pooch a balanced meal is important to regulate their digestive and metabolic health. Though dogs have varying nutritional requirements as they age, there is a general guideline of the amount of proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals you can keep in mind to make a healthy meal plan. 

Ingredients

Recommended Amount Per Day

Proteins

>18%

Carbs

30% to 60%

Fats

1% to 2%

Vitamins & Minerals

<100mg/Mcal

The best kind of proteins are animal meats and bones while plant proteins are difficult to digest for dogs. Chicken, fish oils and flaxseed are incredible sources of fats; potatoes, wheat and oats are good sources of grains or carbs. Vitamins and minerals are required in trace amounts. Your vet may also recommend a supplement if your pooch has a certain vitamin deficiency. 

As a general guide, always make sure to read the percentages of protein, fat and the fiber and moisture content in the food. In addition, natural preservatives are good and improve the shelf life of dog food. 

Grain-free dog foods like the High Prairie Dry Dog Food and Black Hawk Wet Dog Food promote nutrition-rich, balanced diets for your canines.

3. Your dog food contains harmful ingredients

Your dog food brand may contain a harmful ingredient that can trigger an abnormal response in your dog. When purchasing dog food and treats, keep safe from the ingredients given below:

  • Vegetable Oil - the least toxic. Your pooch may have an allergic reaction or increase risk of hip joint problems.
  • Corn Syrup - may cause obesity or lead to diabetes.
  • Excess Salt - increases the risk of high blood pressure.

Healthy and natural dog food and treats are a good option when changing your dog's food.

4. Your dog is under or overweight

You can judge whether your pooch is at an ideal weight by running your hand across their side. If you feel their ribs on a firm press, your pooch is at their best weight.

<20% ideal body weight

Ribs can be seen

<10% ideal body weight

Bones can be felt

Ideal body weight

Slight fat cover between skin and ribs

>10% ideal body weight

Ribs are felt on hard press

>20% ideal body weight

Ribs are difficult to feel

My dog is underweight

A high-calorie, balanced dog food like the Black Hawk Dry Dog Food allows your pooch to bulk up and develop muscles organically. 

My dog is overweight

Serve your pooch a low-calorie dog food like the Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food to keep them feeling full for longer.

5. Your dog is maturing

Dogs have varied nutritional needs as they grow older. We have listed down the nutrients your dog needs according to their age below. 

I have a puppy

Little canines fulfill their nutritional needs from premium kibbles like Vetalogica Dry Puppy Food that fuels their growth and muscle development since it is difficult to maintain their nutritional requirements using raw diets.

I have an adult dog

Raw meats and bones are typically introduced at this stage. Commercial dog foods like Ivory Coat Adult Dry are also excellent options to balance your adult dog's nutrition.

I have a senior dog

Senior dogs need their health regulated often and do not require constant feeds. Rich sources of probiotics and antioxidants as found in Canidae Senior Pure Dry improve your mature dog's immune system with limited ingredients.

6. Your dog is experiencing digestion issues

Digestive issues in dogs are imbalances in nutrition or their absorption. Such issues are categorised by:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration

Some causes include: 

  • An inflamed stomach lining 
  • Highly processed foods

Serve your dog special formulations like the Hill's Prescription Diet Digestive Care to promote healthy digestion.

7. Your dog is feeling weak or has low energy

Lethargy in dogs is caused by infections and metabolic diseases like diabetes. It can be fatal if the cause isn't regulated. The following factors can lead to your dog feeling weak:

  • High calorie foods in excess 
  • Sugar-loaded dog food 

How to change your dog food

It is important to introduce new dog food brands slowly instead of switching cold turkey. 

  • Try different flavors of the same brand then branch out towards variety. 
  • Mix in a couple handfuls along with their regular food and increase quantity gradually. 

Check out more of our guides to ensure your pets are happy & healthy!

Loved reading this comprehensive guide? Look into 10 ways to make your dog happier, the right way to brush your pet's teeth or reasons for their bad breath

Consulting a professional is never the wrong way and with VetChat, you can have experts answer your concern in a click.

References:
  1. Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment, Accessed on 27/07/21
  2. Dog Nutrition: Guide to Dog Food Nutrients, Accessed on 27/07/21 
  3. 24 Bad Dog Food Ingredients to Avoid, Accessed on 27/07/21 
  4. What should I feed my dog?, Accessed on 27/07/21
  5. Introduction to Digestive Disorders of Dogs, Accessed on 27/07/21 
  6. Dog Weakness and Lethargy: Causes and Treatments, Accessed on 27/07/21 

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JK Growling likes the finer things in life (except wizards, don’t get her started). She only eats the bougie treats, loves showing off her tricks to the humans to get her bougie treats. 

She has one human: Delores, who she has wrapped around her little paw.