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Feeding: How to Introduce New Foods

Allow at least one week to introduce a new food fully. The transition should be moderately gradual so we don’t overwhelm their stomachs. Digestive upsets are one of the most common complaints when introducing a new diet. It’s sometimes the primary reason humans fail to comply. There’s nothing worse than seeing your beloved Fido with gastric upset.

How to avoid gastric upset when introducing new diets:

Days 1 & 2: feed ¼ new diet with ¾ old diet
Days 3 & 4: feed ½ new diet with ½ old diet
Days 5 & 6: feed ¾ new diet with ¼ old diet
Days 7 and on: solely new diet

To enhance palatability try these tips and tricks:

  • Warm food
  • Add flavoring such as salmon or tuna juice or some low sodium chicken broth
  • Add an omega fatty acid supplement or a teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Use the “wet” version of the food to entice them with aroma

Treats:

The age old dilemma of feeling the need to give our pets treats. The pet food industry is choked full of options from Dental treats to treats that mimic bacon to spray cheese-like fillers. The rule of thumb is that a maximum of 10% of your pet’s daily calories should come from treats. Anything more than this creates an imbalance of nutrients. Obesity naturally follows over treating. 

Ideally “treats” should start off as positive praise for great behaviour. Using your pet’s normal maintenance food is another option. The truth of the matter is that as humans we like to give our pets something special such as peanut butter, table food etc.

Here are some great treat options:

  • Use the regular maintenance food as treats (if they’ve never been exposed to other things this will work great!)
  • Soft bake the “wet” version of the food they’re presently on to make “treats” that are healthy and nutritious
  • Try fruits and veggies. The 3 C’s: cantaloupe, carrots, cucumber
  • Royal Canin, Hills, and Purina all have treats that are both nutritious and have daily feeding amounts recommended to take out the guesswork.

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Last updated: June 21, 2022.

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- Your dedicated team at Talbot Animal Clinic