Veterinarian recommend dog foods are popular choices because they often represent products that use healthy, quality ingredients, and address various health needs that dogs may develop over time. After all, pet parents look to vets as a source of knowledge and support, and their considerations are not taken lightly.
Freshpet recognizes that vet recommended dog foods are steadily growing in popularity as pet parents become more educated surrounding the health needs and food preferences of their furry friends. But the company warns that not all vet recommended dog food options will be the best fit for every pet.
When considering our pets’ breed, age, size, activity level, and several other factors that influence their health, it becomes apparent that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting the right dog food. This means that pet parents should know what steps are required to make the best choice for their dogs.
To help pet parents transitioning their dogs to a vet recommended pet food, Freshpet explores a few steps to help match them with the best fit for their dogs’ diverse needs.
Check in With Your Vet
Some pet parents see a “veterinarian recommended” label on a product and believe that it will automatically be a good fit for their dog. The issue here is that the label is far from a guarantee that the food is a great fit for their dog specifically.
The nutritional and dietary needs for dogs can differ wildly from breed to breed and even between individuals of the same breed. As dogs age, they may develop allergies or intolerances that they did not have earlier in their lives. Pet parents need to keep in mind that their dogs’ food plays a crucial role in their continued health.
For this reason, Freshpet recommends a quick check in with a trusted veterinarian if you are considering switching your dog’s diet or notice any changes in their eating habits. Vets can help figure out if your dog has any undiagnosed issues and can help you through the sea of dog food options to find clear best candidates.
Read the Labels
Reading the labels of dog foods is an important for several reasons. Naturally, we want our dogs to have the best food available and want to be mindful of the ingredients that we put into their bodies.
For pet parents who have received list of recommended foods from a veterinarian, it is likely that the options will have simple, healthy ingredients that encourage a long, healthy life. Still, it can help to get into the practice of checking labels because it can help increase your knowledge as a pet parent.
For example, if you are conscious of the ingredients and notice that something seems off about your furry friend, knowledge of the ingredients can be helpful when taking them to the vet. Many pet parents know that dogs can have allergic reactions or intolerances to fillers, but dogs can also develop issues with protein sources and otherwise healthy ingredients as well.
By having a clear understanding of what ingredients are in your dog’s food, you can better establish which vet recommended pet foods are the best fit and which may cause more harm than good.
Slow and Steady Transitions are Best!
One factor that is not well-known by all pet parents is that dogs need a slow, steady transition to a new diet. Like humans, new foods can upset their stomachs and make them unlikely to enjoy their meals.
The best strategy is to transition your dog slow and steadily from their original food. It may feel like it will take a very long time, but most dogs can transition to a new food within 5-7 days and a bit of patience.
By starting with a 25% new recipe to 75% recipe split for the first couple days of transitioning and slowly moving up to 100%, pet parents can better monitor how their dog reacts to the food, giving them time to acclimate.
Introducing new foods to dogs too quickly may result in them rejecting it
One important thing to remember is that you want to be on the lookout for any adverse food reactions. This can include anything from itching, hair loss, and rashes to stomach symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Any of these issues are grounds for a trip to the vet.
Listen to Your Dog
Our furry friends can be picky eaters, and this can certainly factor into their food choices. This is especially true when introducing a dog to a new vet recommended pet food after they have become accustomed to another choice.
Pet parents that notice their dogs refusing to eat a new food will want to consider the potential reasons for their lack of appetite. It is possible that they have an undiagnosed allergy to the new food or simply do not like it very much. In these cases, getting a few more healthy recommendations for your dog can provide more options.
A possible exception may be prescription dog foods, which are formulated for a specific issue that your dog may have such as urinary track problems, arthritis, obesity, and certain allergies. If your dog has issues with a prescription dog food, your vet will be able to point you to similar formulas that can also take their needs into account.
Patience is a Virtue!
Switching dog foods can seem daunting at first- especially when we experience any obstacles along the way. We all want our dogs to be happy and healthy, and this can make us feel rushed as we undergo the process.
Freshpet acknowledges that making a clean transition to a vet recommended pet food is a clear priority but recognizes that patience is key for finding the best fit for your furry friend. Using all your resources, some common sense, and some assistance from a trusted vet, pet parents will find a recommended option that will give their dogs everything they need to stay happy and healthy!