Wednesday, March 7, 2018

5 Signs it's Time to Change Your Pet's Food

Dog Food
(C) Allen Pearson
There was a time when we thought that keeping our pets on the same diet was beneficial to their health and longevity. However, through the process of research and science, we now know better. Just like us, our pet's dietary needs can change due to their life stage, overall health, and activity levels.

Here are 5 signs it's time to change your pet's food.

# 1 - Dull Coat or Flaky Skin
A dull coat or flaky skin can both be signs that your pet's current diet is not rich enough in Fatty acids. The Omegas, found in sources such as fish oils or supplemental forms, will benefit your pet's coat and skin. They will strengthen your pet's fur, giving it a shiny luster and may even reduce shedding.

# 2 - Age of Your Pet
Dogs and cats are considered to be entering into their senior years from five to seven. As our furry companions age, their dietary needs also change. Senior foods are lower in calories but higher in fiber. The better brands may also add in joint supplements to help with arthritis and will also include more fruits (or supplements) to boost the antioxidant counts. Look for a food formulated just for seniors or one that is labeled as "adult maintenance" to keep your aging pet in top condition.

# 3 - Weight Gain
Porky pets need a diet that reduces the calories and fat, while still keeping the nutrient levels at an optimal level. Diet foods should take advantage of the latest research to help your pet get that kind of food. Read the side of the kibble bag to ensure your pet is getting a whole, identified protein source (like chicken, beef or fish), with added vitamins and minerals. Avoid those foods that bulk up the kibble with poor quality fillers such as by-products that are not only unhealthy but can add on even more weight. You will also want to avoid those high-cal treats.
(C) Allen Pearson

# 4 - Upset Tummy
Persistent flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, and a rumbling tummy can all be signs of a GI disturbance. Some pets simply do not tolerate certain foods or the ingredients being used. This problem can be a big inconvenience to pet parents and an issue for the animal. If you are unsure what your pet's problem may be, ask your veterinarian for help in diagnosing it (or to at least rule out a more serious problem). The solution could be as easy as switching to a higher quality brand or a different protein source.

# 5 - Allergies
It is not uncommon for an animal to suffer from a food allergy. This condition can manifest itself as a persistent itch where your dog is scratching at his ears, or biting at his paws. If you think your pet has a food allergy, then you may want to switch out the protein source. For example, if your dog or cat is currently eating a chicken blend, try lamb. There are also foods on the market made specifically for allergies, ask your veterinarian or pet retail professional for recommendations.

Change Can Be Good
Part of being a good pet parent is recognizing the signs of upset or discomfort in our animal companions. Whether that be a poor coat, age, weight gain, tummy issues or allergies, being proactive in changing our pet's diet can be key to solving the problem.

About the Author:
Sandie lee is a regular contributor to the She enjoys writing informational articles to help pet parents everywhere. She hails from a small town in Ontario Canada, with her three rescue cats, two goldfish and a hubby of 20 years.

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