Changing Your Animal’s Food
Changing your animal food requires patience to monitor your animal for any reaction and creating a written record. Our animals rely on us for their food and the media has swayed us with commercials on television . According to Zion Market Research they estimate the pet food sales in 2016 was 24.60 Billion dollars and 2017 will top that. Pet food is a big business, and manufacturers will often use toxic dyes to make the food look appealing to humans. Years ago I learned what the ingredients were in the majority of pet food and is when we decided to find healthier choices for our animals.
I read and compared all the ingredients on the label and if had a chemical it’s not natural or good for them. Each of our animals at one time or another required different health needs. Over the past 6 decades we have shared our lives with 30 animals. With the exception of one that came from the humane society, 3 that were our puppies, the remaining 26 animals showed up at our home, running loose on the street, or at the workplace. Some have had serious digestive issues when they came to us, some were picky eaters, and some were fine with anything that they were given.
To simplify your choices, make sure the first ingredient is meat, NOT meal, sugar, chemicals or preservatives.
Our Animal’s Food Journey
In the late 1980’s our animal family was 5 large dogs and 9 cats and we fed them a popular canned food. The amount of cans to recycle each week was too much and we decided to experiment making their food to decrease our recycling. We experimented with several recipes before we found one that they all enjoyed. For the next 5 years we continued to make their food and our animals loved it. By the end of those 5 years we were introduced to organic brands and decided to see what a difference it would make. For the next few years we tested our several organic brands of canned, and dry which worked well with our work schedules. Then we switched to frozen raw which they ate for 3 years. Our biggest obstacle was keeping a sufficient amount on hand because the manufacturers and distributors did not always have the supply when ordered 2 weeks in advance.
Our Current Animal’s Food
Our current furry family is one dog and one cat 6 years old and two 16 year old cats. Our cats love Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Chicken Raw and at night they get a small amount of Life’s Abundance grain free dry. It took 3 months for our youngest cat to eat the dehydrated raw. Our dog is an active Border Collie, and very happy with Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Raw Turkey or Chicken. She maintains her normal weight and her coat is soft and shiny. If interested you can check out Honest Kitchen here.
Steps To Changing Food
Before making any change (even a different flavor of the same brand) it is suggested to make notes of the brand, flavor, and amount fed each time. Please be sure to monitor your animal’s stool and any other reaction. If your animal is uncomfortable or has a serious reaction please seek your veterinarian’s advice immediately.
These are the steps we took each time to change our animal’s food to the new food. Use the same brand and the same flavor with steps 1 through 3 unless your animal has reactions or is allergic. Repeat steps 1 through 3 each time you change flavors or brands. Be sure to have a large bowl of fresh water available at all times.
1. Days 1 through 5: Feed your animal their current food, decreasing their old food by 1/3 and substituting the same amount with the new food and mix together. Monitor your animal for diarrhea or any reaction.
2. Days 6 through 8: if there is no reaction from the first 5 days decrease the old food amount by another 1/3 replacing it with the same amount of the new food and mix together.
3. Days 9 through 14 you will be feeding only the new food. Be aware that some animals may have a reaction to different flavors of the same brand. Read the labels, not all animals can digest every meat source or vegetable.
Our animals had digestion issues with beef, duck, venison, and pheasant, but they like chicken and turkey. You may also find adding a good probiotic and enzymes will assist your animal’s digestion.
Each animal is different and it is suggested to begin feeding them the new food when you will be home and able to watch them for any reactions or loose stool.
This article is provided for information & educational purposes only. It is based on my own personal experience with our animals.
Suzi Dalling © 2017