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Vet Tech Rounds: How To Add A New Regimen To Your Pet’s Diet

Vet Talks 4 min read
Schnauzer dog sitting at a table with a woman who is offering dog kibble and fresh veggies.

For many of us, we will end up changing our cat and dog’s diet and regimen at some point in our lives. Whether that’s for weight loss, moving from puppy to adult food, adding a new supplement, or just wanting to try something different; there is always a process when it comes to adding a new regimen to your pet’s diet.

Don’t Rush! Take Your Time When Changing Your Pet’s Diet or Introducing Something New

cat eating. how to add a new regimen to your pet's diet

The main reason why we would want to change your cat, dog, or pet’s diet, is because we want to avoid causing any tummy upset or digestive issues. Switching foods too quickly can cause some side effects such as vomiting, excessive gas, and loose stools. These tips may be able to help you avoid a bad case of diarrhea or stomach upset in your pet.

With a new regimen, it is normal that your pooch or kitty may experience diarrhea or excessive gas.

There may be times during this gradual process that your pet will experience some tummy upset. If at any stage your pup or kitty ends up with loose stools, keep the ratio of the old food consistent for one week. This gives your furriend a chance to adjust to the new ratio before you add more of the new food or supplement. Some pets may be even more sensitive than others so this may need to be adjusted depending on their sensitivity to new things.

Food reactions can be a common issue in dogs and cats. Not only can it cause GI upset but it can cause other adverse reactions, such as skin reactions too! Some of these adverse reactions include irritated skin, inflammation, and hair loss.

Less Food Can Be More!

If you are giving basic dry pet food and want to switch to higher quality food, it is important to note that the higher quality food can be denser in nutrients. Usually, with these high-quality products, they will contain a higher number of calories per cup, so your pet is getting less food but the same number of calories. If you end up giving the same amount of the new food as the old food, it may cause diarrhea or weight gain. Most pet food bags will have their recommended guidelines for feeding on the back so be sure to check this too!

dog with empty bowl. how to add a new regimen to your pet's diet

Measure the amount

A measuring cup is great for giving the correct portion for your pet’s size and weight. Using other things like a coffee cup or drinking cup will not be equal. Using the wrong measuring cup can equate to overfeeding and also cause some tummy issues.

Digestion Foods

When adding new food or supplement to a regimen, pure canned pumpkin can be greatly beneficial in more ways than one. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and can help as a digestive aid. Sometimes if pets do not like the taste of their new food or supplement, pumpkin can help to mask it and most pets seem to find it very tasty!

Probiotics are another great dietary aid to add to your companion’s regimen. Adding a probiotic can help to balance the bacteria in the gut, especially when adding new food it may help prevent gas and loose stools.

As mentioned before it is really important that you take things slowly when introducing new foods. When adding new supplements you can start by giving the recommended dose for a week to two weeks. If you think the dose needs to be increased you can do so by increasing it slightly eg. Giving a 0.5ml dose twice a day can be increased to 0.75ml twice daily. Just ensure you are always starting off with the suggested amount or a little bit less if required.

We always recommend starting off the supplements by giving them food or a tasty treat. Even if the new supplements are natural, our pet’s gastrointestinal tracts are very sensitive and it is often best to line the stomach with some food when adding something new like herbal formulas or probiotics. With a new regimen, your pooch or kitty may experience diarrheaor excessive gas, this can be normal. It is only time to visit the vet if the symptoms persist.

Supplements To Add To Their New Regimen

If you’d like to know about what supplements can help support your pet’s overall health, here are a few that would be a great addition to their new regimen.

Yucca: Similar to a probiotic, full of nutrients and really good for digestion.

PetOmega 3 and Multi-Essentials are both great daily regimen supplements for healthy skin, coat, and digestion.

Being unsure of how supplements can react to your present furkiddo’s diet is totally understandable. If you have any questions or concerns, we are here to help. Feel free to reach out to our pet experts for more details.

Holly RVN

Holly RVN

Holly graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Nursing from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland. She also completed a 1-year Animal Care course. Worked in small Animal Veterinary practice for 3+ years before moving on to working in the Equine Industry. Holly is passionate about animals and spends much of her spare time going on long walks with her Boston Terrier, Lloyd.

Published: July 31, 2020

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