5 Subtle Signs Your Pet Needs New Food
With the huge market for commercial pet food, finding the right food for your pet is pretty much a process of trial and error. If your furry friend happens to be fussy, it might take a while before you land on the right one. But sometimes, the indicators of whether or not your pet is consuming the best food for it may not be as obvious. Here are five ways to tell if your pet needs new food.
Note: Always gradually introduce new food to your pet, starting with 20 percent new and 80 percent old for the first day, moving on to 50-50 on the second day, then increasing the new food to 80 percent on the third day before a complete switch on the fourth day. Always monitor your pet for any physical or behavioural changes during this period.
1. Digestive Issues
Has your pet been having diarrhoea, flatulence or constipation? Such symptoms are sometimes caused by intolerance to certain foods. This is especially so for chronic cases of the digestive tract that don’t seem to be responding to treatment. It may be a particular ingredient that is causing the gastrointestinal upset, in which case it is best to consult a vet for professional advice on what your pet can and can’t eat.
2. Persistent Itching
Does your pet seem to have a constant itch that won’t go away? If you have already checked for ticks and fleas, it is possible that your pet might be having an allergic reaction to the food it is eating. In this case, it is advisable to seek the help of a veterinarian to locate the source of the allergy. Common causes of food allergy in dogs are beef, chicken and wheat, so you might want to try grain-free, fish-based food for sensitive pups. For cat owners, there is a range of commercial hypoallergenic cat food you can consider if your feline shows signs of food sensitivity.
3. Flaky Skin And A Dull Coat
If your pet’s coat is looking dull and flaky, it might be due to a lack of fatty acids in its diet. Fatty acids are a key component for a healthy, shiny coat, so pay attention to the ingredients in your pet’s diet to ensure it contains both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. If you notice that your pet’s food is lacking these components, it is probably time to make a diet change.
At times, it is not just the amount of food that is causing your pet to gain excess weight, but the type of food as well. If you are a dog owner, you can refer to this guide to check if your pup is overweight. Your pet’s current food might be too protein-rich and high in calories for its lifestyle. Pets aged five years and above will begin to require diets lower in calories but higher in fibre, so if you’re noticing that your fluff is starting to gain a little, it might be time to review its diet.
Read more: How to Control Diet for Overweight Dogs
Does your pet appear lethargic and tired all the time? Apart from possible mental issues such as depression and stress, it may be due to a lack of nutrition in its diet. Low-energy pets may be responding in such a way because they are not receiving the proper nutrients required for their age, breed, or temperament. Consult your vet to find out if this is the case; it might very well turn out that your pet is just a lazy fluff!
Read more: Why Does My Dog Eat Dirt?