Changing Your Pet’s Diet: What You Need to Know

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Posted by Pets Best on 3/21/2007 in General Articles

This week, we have been receiving many calls regarding the pet food recall, and one of the primary questions we have heard is, “How do I switch foods without causing stomach upset?”

Normally I would advise pet owners to switch foods slowly by mixing in the new food with the old food to facilitate the adjustment of the pet’s digestive system adapting and help avoid stomach upset and diarrhea.

However, when a food is suspected of causing medical problems, especially something as dangerous as kidney damage, you should eliminate the offending food immediately.

If you suspect (or know) that your pet’s food is included in the recall, do not feed one more morsel of the offending food! Why? Because with many toxins or tainted food, it is the amount of the food and how long the pet has been eating the food that exacerbates the problem. The longer they eat the food, the more damage that can result, because of the buildup of the toxin or harmful ingredient.

Suggestions for switching food are numerous and depend on the types of food your pet has been eating, your pet’s health, his or her age and how sensitive their digestive tract is to changes in food. It is always best to consult your veterinarian if your pet has health problems, is older, or has a history of digestive problems.

For a healthy pet, you should be able to switch to a good quality food immediately with no resulting gastrointestinal problems. If diarrhea results, then you may have to take other measures or see your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication to treat and prevent diarrhea, they may suggest a special bland prescription diet or they may suggest you try mixing rice with the pet’s food, to tone down any dietary indiscretion from changing foods.

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Remember, diarrhea can be very harmful and a symptom of more severe problems. If diarrhea persists see your veterinarian, and remember that you are your pet’s biggest champion and spokesperson.

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