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Old 10-24-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Switching between foods.

I've read a lot of different posts here about the problems folks have had switching their dogs' foods. Tummy issues, diarrhea, vomiting etc., have all been linked to switching from one food to another.

I've never had any such issues with my dogs, and while I'm very grateful, I'm also curious as to why. They aren't related, two completely different histories, both rescues and both very sick when they came to me, Tango at 7 months and Jazz at 11 weeks.

The first thing I did with both of them after getting them to the Vet's for a full check up and medicines for their various ailments, was to put them on a 5 star, high protein, grainless kibble. I initially started out with Innova Evo Red Meat small bites for Tango, then after I rescued Jazz ad we got her through all her medical issues, I switched her to that too.

Since then, I've tried a variety of grainless foods.....Orijen, Taste of the Wild, Wellness etc., but always very slowly introducing the new food, over a 1 or two week period. Recently I ran out of kibble (I thought I had a whole other bag put up, but apparently not.) So I ran out to get them more, but my store was out of what they were eating...I think it was Orijen at the time. So I bought a different grainless food, TOTW I think it was. Anyway, I had to just give them that, no gradual introduction to the new stuff, just BAM! In the morning they were eating Orijen, and that same evening they were eating a full bowl of TOTW. I expected them to have digestive issues from the abrupt switch, but there was nothing. NOTHING! They acted the same, their poop looked the same, no problems at all.

Since then I've made it a point to cycle between foods, and haven't bothered to do the gradual introduction like I'd been doing. All the foods are high quality 5 star grainless, and they tolerate the switching of the foods perfectly without any graduation to the switch at all. It's been handy to be able to buy whatever is on special or sale within my personal selection, and not have to freak out, as I've done more than once, because the store was temporarily out of the brand I was feeding. I don't have many stores in my area that sell the food(s) I buy because they're not mainstream.

I'm wondering why they tolerate the switching so well. Even though the foods are all grainless foods, their protein sources are different. Evo, for example, gets it's protein from primarily red meat sources, whereas Orijen has a variety of protein sources including fish.

Just wondered if any of you have had similar experiences.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:41 PM
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Some dogs just tolerate things better like people. Sounds like they're young enough to be able to handle most anything & considering you're buying top quality dog food & they were so sick, their little bodies must be absorbing all the protein & vitamins as quick as they're eating it where there no time for their stomachs to get upset. I've never had a problem with my chi changing her over from low-quality dogfood to THK either (Knock on wood). Be thankful your chis don't have sensitive stomachs because that could be a real pain.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:46 PM
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I think switching foods is an individual thing, some dogs can some dogs can't, just like most else. It's actually GOOD to change up your dogs food periodically so they don't develop allergies to the same thing over and over and over. It just makes sense that dogs need variety
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:25 PM
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I am so glad you posted this. I have always switched gradually as well, but have, a time or two been in that situation you described and I didn't have any trouble either. It's not my preference to change abruptly, but it just happens. Like you, I've changed from one quality dog food to another quality food. I have no idea if that would have anything to do with it or not.

My biggest problem with a change like that is their not wanting to eat it initially, but by days end they are quite satisfied to eat the new stuff. lol
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:28 PM
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I've never had trouble either, I'm too impatient to measure out little amounts to change over, and right now my guys are fed a variety of foods, 4 or 5 different types, and they do fine...none of them are kibbles, but they are still different sources of food. I think it really depends on the dog, and I think it more heavily applies the worse a kibble is (pedigree, beneful, etc...)...the better kibbles seem to be easier to switch between, and you'd want to switch slowly between a crappy kibble and a great one.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin View Post
I am so glad you posted this. I have always switched gradually as well, but have, a time or two been in that situation you described and I didn't have any trouble either. It's not my preference to change abruptly, but it just happens. Like you, I've changed from one quality dog food to another quality food. I have no idea if that would have anything to do with it or not.

My biggest problem with a change like that is their not wanting to eat it initially, but by days end they are quite satisfied to eat the new stuff. lol
I don't ever have that problem. My dogs' portions are very controlled. I'm a complete NAZI about their food, because I'm determined that they will eat only healthy food, AND just enough of it to keep them at their ideal weight with NO overweight issues. They get fed twice a day, about 1/8 of a cup each, so their total intake is just under/just over 1/4 cup daily (Jazz weighs 8 ounces more than Tango so she gets a few kibble more than he does.) By the time I put food into their bowls, they're HUNGRY! I think at that point I could feed them shoe leather and they'd eat it.

I don't mean to imply that I'm starving them....that's not the case at all. They are extremely healthy, well filled out but with no extra "padding." I can feel their spines and ribs under their coat when I run my fingers over them, but neither are actually visible, which was one of the ways my vet gave me to ascertain whether they were at ideal weights. Too much padding and you can't feel their skeletal systems. Too little and you can SEE their bones.

Anyway, the point is that they are fed JUST enough to keep them extremely healthy and strong, but also very hungry by mealtimes.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:57 PM
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It's not only an individual thing but also something that can sometimes be "conditioned" so to speak. Some dogs are really sensitive and others seem to have iron stomachs. Those with iron stomachs are fortunate, and some sensitive dogs can actually be conditioned to be less sensitive to food changes.

I have one dog that has a stomach of steel, she can eat almost anything and be switched cold turkey to different foods and protein sources with absolutely no problem.

I have one dog that is at the other end of the spectrum and is insanely sensitive and almost always needs transitioning to new foods.

And last I have one dog that is kinda in between, he is very sensitive to food changes (and even a lot of foods) but with time and increasing exposure to a lot of variety his sensitivity has diminished some.

Regarding exposure and decreasing sensitivity that way, it's easier to describe it this way. If you were to eat the same thing every day for 6-12 months for example, you'd probably experience some stomach upset if after such a long period on one food you were to switch to something totally different. After 6 months of a chicken only diet, you'd probably have an upset stomach when you suddenly eat a meal of beef. But if you eat different things every day then your stomach is much less likely to be upset when eating chicken one day, beef the next, pork the next day, and so on. Your stomach gets used to all the different foods and isn't nearly as sensitive. That's not always the case but it is for some and can easily be avoided by having plenty of frequent rotation. One of my dogs is living proof of that.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:45 AM
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I have a dobie with an incredibly sensitive stomach, and kibble (TOTW) alone gives him terrible gas and diahrea. To help with this, I give him a half serving kibble, mixed with a half serving of homemade food that I make for him. I had tried many different high quality kibble for him, always with the same issue. For him, I have to introduce foods slowly.

My chi, on the other hand,, can eat anything, without any problems at all. I had switched recently to the TOTW kibble, and had to do a cold switch as I had run out of the other kibble, and she never had an issue. I also supplement her diet with homemade food, and chicken bones, and other various meats, and she never has a problem.

I think it comes down to the individual dog.

Last edited by JennB; 10-25-2010 at 01:49 AM.
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