Changing Your Animal’s Food
Changing your pet’s food will require your patience in finding the best quality food for their optimal health. It is very important to monitor your animal when changing food. We kept a daily written record of the flavor, quantity given and if they liked it. Our animals rely on us for their food and it is our responsibility to provide them with the best possible.
Some Research Info
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 manufacturers will often use toxic dyes and chemical based food coloring making the food look appealing to humans.
I researched the ingredients in the majority of readily available pet food and decided to find healthier choices for our animals. Each of our animals has required different dietary needs over the span of their lifetime. We have shared our lives with 30 unique animal friends over the past 6 decades. With the exception of one that came from the humane society, 3 that were our puppies, the remaining 26 found our home on their own, or we found as strays loose on the street. Some have had serious skin and digestive issues, some were picky eaters, and others ate everything they were given.
To simplify your choices, make sure the first ingredient is meat, NOT meal, and without sugar, chemicals or preservatives.
Our Animal’s Food Journey
In the late 1980’s our animal family included 5 large dogs, 9 cats and we fed them a popular canned food. The amount of cans we recycled each week was excessive 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 they loved it. We became aware of organic brands and decided to see what a difference it would make. For the next few years we tested 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.
Current Animal’s Food
Our current furry family is one dog, one 6 year old cat and two 16 year old cats. Our cats love Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Chicken Raw, Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice All Stage canned and as a snack they get a small amount of Life’s Abundance All Stages Grain Free Dry. It took 3 months for our youngest cat to eat the dehydrated raw and canned and now she prefers it over the dry. Our dog is an active Border Collie, and very happy with Honest Kitchen Dehydrated Raw Turkey, Chicken or Beef. She maintains her normal weight and her coat is soft and shiny. If interested you can check out The Honest Kitchen, Life’s Abundance and for organic snacks.
Before making any change (even a different flavor of the same brand) it is suggested to take notes of the brand, flavor, and amount fed each time. Please be sure to monitor your animal’s stool and for any other reaction. If your animal has a 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.
Steps To Change Food
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 duck, venison, pheasant, they like chicken, fish and turkey. You may also find adding a good probiotic and enzymes will assist your animal’s digestion. With the reports of chemicals and nuclear waste in our oceans and streams we chose to forego fish.
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 and is based on my own personal experience with our animals.
Suzi Dalling © 2017