Dogs become an integral part of the family and will protect and love their owner for the rest of their lives. In turn, it’s your duty as a pet parent to provide them with their basic needs, which include a cozy place to sleep, sufficient playtime, clean water, and healthy food. However, your pet’s dietary needs may change significantly depending on their age, health, activity level, and life stage.
You may be accustomed to feeding your dog a specific diet, such as the recommended breed specific dog food or a combination of dry and raw food. But at some point, your dog’s dietary requirements may change. Here are some signs that could tell you it’s time to switch your dog’s diet:
- Your Dog Seems Unusually Tired
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your dog appears more exhausted than usual. They may not be as excited to go for walks or play with you as they usually do. Dogs that receive enough nutrition should be active and enthusiastic when they play or go for a walk. Symptoms like fatigue or lethargy may indicate that their food isn’t providing them with enough nutrients and energy.
But if you notice that your dog still spends a lot of time sleeping or lying down, it’s best to consult a veterinarian right away. Lethargy and lack of appetite usually indicate that a dog is not feeling well. Aside from dietary changes, they may have a chronic condition that must be addressed.
- Vomiting And Diarrhea
Vomiting, diarrhea, or restlessness are also indicators that your dog’s diet needs to be changed. If your dog vomits or is having loose bowel, these are signs that they may have digestive troubles. However, it’s best to be cautious and consult a veterinarian first in order to rule out other diseases and medical conditions that your dog might have.
- Your Dog’s Coat Is Dull Or Flaky
Healthy dogs would have a lustrous and gorgeous coat. Skin and coat health depends on a diet high in essential fatty acids. It’s critical to remember that if your dog’s coat is flaky and duller than usual, it may indicate a lack of nutrients in their diet and should be changed. Check your dog’s coat to see if it’s duller than usual by brushing it. Additionally, you should check whether your dog’s coat is brittle or dry.
Dog foods are often made to improve your dog’s skin and coat. So, check and read the ingredients before purchasing a certain brand. For healthy and shiny fur, your dog’s diet should contain generous amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Swollen Abdominal Area
You may find that your dog has a rounded midsection or an enlarged abdomen. Examine your dog from the back to see if a rounder belly develops. In this situation, your dog may be overweight due to its diet. Weight gain in pets occurs for several reasons, including changes in metabolic demands caused by treatment, endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism, or simply from eating more calories than they can burn.
A high-protein diet and a low-carbohydrate diet are recommended for this condition. Consult your veterinarian for a proper exercise schedule and feeding recommendations.
- Rashes Or Skin Irritation
Is your dog constantly scratching even though they don’t have fleas or ticks? That may be an allergic reaction to the food they eat. Any sign of a rash or irritated patches on your dog’s coat can indicate an allergy. A dog may develop rashes due to particular ingredients in food over time. This includes proteins from certain meat (like chicken), grains, and other food additives such as coloring and flavorings.
When your dog exhibits such reactions, one step you can take to address the situation is to change their food. It’s incredible what a simple change can do for your pet’s overall wellbeing.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
If your dog suffers from chronic UTI and kidney problems, then it may be time to switch them to a renal diet. PH and phosphorus levels in the urine can be decreased by foods such as Cranberries. Supplementing with Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) can also aid with bladder lining inflammation. Nevertheless, have your dog examined by a veterinarian to determine whether the urine issues are anatomical. Your veterinarian will discuss the best diet for your dog based on its needs.
You may be accustomed to giving your dog a specific diet, but it is occasionally necessary to switch things up. If you contemplate changing your pet’s diet, these are several signs you should look for. Knowing and comprehending these signs can benefit your dog’s health and even help improve their quality of life.
Originally a dentist, Anna Strout has written for three years for pet and animal publications. Anna is also a historian who studies dog breed progression throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog tales while traveling across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Luna. Anna kicks dust up dancing with Luna at home in Houston, Texas, where she teaches her obedience and tricks.