Countryside Veterinary Services and Wellness updates the blog frequently with pet health information and clinic news. Please check back often for Countryside Veterniary announcements and helpful pet information!

Need to Switch Your Pet's Food? Here Are Key Steps to Take

Dog EatingHas your veterinarian recommended a change in your pet's food? Maybe it's a change because they have digestive problems, urinary problems or just need to lose some weight. Here are some helpful tips to successfully switch over to a new food.

When changing a pet's diet, always take it slow - diet changes should usually be made over a period of at least a week. When a change is being made, the pet is receiving different nutrients which may take a while for the pet's digestive system to get used to. You may see signs of soft stool, gas, vomiting and possible other symptoms if the change is not made slowly.

Choosing the right time and place may affect how your pet reacts to a new diet. Typically it's best to change a diet once the pet is home from the hospital/veterinarian clinic and feeling better, however, if the diet needs to be made right away, check with your veterinarian on how to achieve this.

There are a number of strategies that can be used when trying to change over your pet's food. One strategy is placing the old food and the new food in separate bowls next to each other so the pet can get used to the smell of the new food. Always offer fresh food rather than leftovers. Gradually decrease the portion of old food and increase the portion of new food until your pet has fully transitioned to the new food. Another strategy is mixing a small portion of new food in with the old food, gradually increasing portions of the new food into the old until your pet has fully transitioned to the new food.

Always keep in mind, diet changes are for the better of your pet's health. If you notice persistent vomiting, diarrhea, gas, weight gain/loss, refusal to eat etc. contact your veterinarian for more solutions to your pet's problems.

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10 Best and Worst Holiday Foods for Pets

Turkey

With the holiday's right around the corner, there are several opportunities to indulge in family gatherings, parties and of course food, which also brings temptations to share your leftovers with your family pet. Even though pets really don't need human food, there are some humans foods that are safe to give them in moderation and some foods that you should never give your pet. As always, be sure to check with your veterinarian before introducing new food into your pet's diet.

Check out the following list for better food choices for your pet:

  • Turkey (You can give your pet a little bit of Turkey, without the skin and no bones, and avoid raw or undercooked meat.)
  • Mashed Potatoes (Mashed potatoes are okay as long it doesn't contain butter, garlic, cheese, sour cream, bacon drippings or other right toppings.)
  • Carrots (Cooked carrots without any added sugar or salt are safe to give your pets. Raw carrots are usually safe for dogs, but can be choking hazards for cats.)
  • Gravy (Most gravies are too rich for your pets; rather pour a broth over your pet's food.)
  • Green Beans (Cooked green beans are a safe treat for both cats and dogs. Raw green beans are safe for dogs, but can be choking hazards for cats.)
  • Chocolate (Chocolate should never be given to pets as this can be life threatening.)
  • Unbaked Bread Dough (This may seem safe, however, if ingested it can expand in your pet's stomach and cause several health problems.)
  • Alcohol (It is never a good idea to give your pet alcohol.)
  • Sugar-Free Candy and Baked Goods (Even though these may seem safe, sugar-free candy and baked goods should be kept away from pets. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candy and mints. This causes a sudden release of insulin in a pet's body and can lead to several health problems.)
  • Macadamia Nuts (These nuts may seem like an innocent treat to give your pet, however, several health problems can arise from eating these.)

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Why Your Pets Seek You Out When Something's Wrong

Cat

We all know pets do not tell us when something is wrong with them. They do however come to us when they are in pain, we just don't realize it. Actions speak louder than words, and with pets, we have to understand that pets communicate with us in different ways. Looking past the obvious signs of pain and taking closer observations of your pet can help them or even save their lives in the long run.

Since pets do often come around when they are hurting and in pain and we don't realize it, we have to take a closer look at their behavior. Something as simple as your cat or dog rubbing or licking a specific area can tell you something is wrong. Narda Robinson, DVM from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine says "Just look for areas where the fur is roughed up from rubbing or licking. When you see the spots, feel them. You typically find that they are warmer from inflammation than surrounding tissues.” If you notice this with your pets, simply massage those spots with a gentle, steady touch.

Your pet is part of your family and you want to do everything to keep them safe and pain free. Our pets come to us when they are hurting or in pain because they trust us to help, even if they can't speak up to tell us what is wrong. Keep this in mind when you see your pet behaving differently or licking or rubbing certain areas because this could potentially save their life.

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Testimonials

  • Temperance

    My wife and I have been taking our dog to Countryside Vets for about three years now. We had an unfortunate encounter with our previous veterinarian but switching to Countryside Vets years ago has been the best decision! She has always been treated well at Countryside and Dr. Popp has always been more than friendly! Thank you!
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