The other day, my friend, Alison, posted a question on this blog. (Calling you out, Alison. HOLla!).

Actually, she posed 2 in the same comment, and both were great. Both worthy of separate blog posts.

First up: “Do you have to slowly transition to this like you have to when switching dog foods?”

The question deserves more than what I gave as an answer. Here goes:

From what I’ve read, it’s a good idea to give your dog time to adjust for a number of reasons.

Your dog could have an allergy to some of the new foods you’d like to introduce. If you serve up a bowl full of raw meat along with several other fruits or vegetables, you’re not going to be able to discern what is causing the reaction quite as quickly.

Also, if you’ve fed your dog dry dog food for his/her entire life, and never offered anything else, then yes, your dog may very well experience some digestive discomfort if you switch it too quickly.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your dog is otherwise in good health. Switching an ailing dog without a transition period might not end well.

My suggestion is to introduce one food at a time to see how well the dog tolerates it. If he eats it, it stays down, and he doesn’t have diarrhea on the new, white rug, then you’re probably good to go on that one.

Then gradually introduce other things a little at a time until you’ve developed a comfortable repertoire of healthy options that will provide balanced nutrition.

That’s the second point. One of the things that makes convenience foods so confounded convenient is that they take the guesswork out of the process of feeding your dog a balanced diet. You don’t have to think about what’s in the bag. It supposedly provides vitamins and nutrients in appropriate amounts so that you don’t have to fuss with supplements. But your dog does need balance, and you have to give it some thought.

It’s important to not let yourself get locked in to too much of one thing or another. Remember that dogs are not vegetarians. They need meats and essential fats more than they need fruits & vegetables. They need meats & produce certainly more than they need grains. So meat should make up the greatest percentage of what you’re feeding, followed by a small variety of whole, organic produce.

Just take a look back at the list of #WNTF (What Not to Feed), and the list of what you can feed (What’s for Dinner, parts 1 & 2) and start adding a small serving to your dog’s kibble and see how it goes. If he likes it, add a little more of it, while reducing the kibble. Then test a different item. And so on.

You can do it!

pugs & kisses,

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