It’s a long-held myth that pets should be fed the same food, day in and day out, for their entire lives. This may make sense in terms of maintaining a happy stomach, as something different may result in an upset stomach because of the system’s lack of familiarity in processing different kinds of food. But, the fact of the matter is, your pet’s dietary needs can and do change over time due to factors such as overall health, activity level and age. Think it might be time for a change? Ask yourself these questions:
Does Fluffy/Fido often clear a room with his noxious emissions, often have loose stool, or a raucous rumble in his belly? If you answered yes, it may be time to change foods. Each of these unfavorable conditions can be the result of food intolerance or low quality food. Some pets don’t tolerate certain ingredients as well as others; just like us, pets can experience gluten intolerance, food allergies and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Your pet’s GI upset is uncomfortable for him, and inconvenient for you, so pay a visit to your vet to diagnose the problem. The solution may be as simple as switching to a premium food or a diet specifically designed for sensitive stomachs.
Does Fluffy/Fido have a dull, dry, flaky coat? If your answer is yes, it may be time to change foods. Diets rich in essential fatty acids are key in keeping your pet’s skin healthy and his coat in top notch condition. Many pet foods on the market today are designed with skin and coat health in mind. Look for a food that contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.Is your pet older than 5 – 7 years? If you answered yes, it may be time to change foods. Depending on Fluffy/Fido’s size, most pets are considered middle-aged to senior at 5 – 7 years of age. As pets age, their nutritional needs change. For example, food especially for senior pets is generally lower in calories, but higher in fiber than food for younger pets. They also often contain supplements specific to the senior lifestage, such as antioxidants and joint support. Look for foods labeled “Adult Maintenance” or “Senior.”
Has Fluffy/Fido been unusually lethargic or weak? Has he recently experienced a stressful event, illness or surgery? If you answered yes to either question, it may be time to change foods. First off, a pet who is suddenly acting lethargic and weak should be evaluated by your vet, just to ensure nothing serious is in play. If your vet gives the “OK,” switch Fluffy/Fido’s diet to one with high levels of antioxidants, as they can help boost the immune response to accelerate your precious pet’s recovery and get him feeling A-OK in no time.
Is Fluffy or Fido’s nickname “Fat Cat,” “Tubby” or something of the sort? If you answered yes, it may be time to change foods. If your pet could stand to lose a few pounds, a diet specifically for weight loss will ensure he has the proper amount of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for proper health, while eating fewer calories.Ensure your pet’s long term health by supplying him with the proper diet. Good food and good choices can lead to a long, happy and healthy life for your four-legged friend!