Beginning a dietary change of any kind can seem daunting, so it is useful to realize that such a transition is an individual process, gets easier with practice, and can evolve with time. A main takeaway is to start slow, giving your dog’s body a chance to adjust. Let me help you create a nourishing diet for your dog.
The approach may depend on your schedule, your lifestyle, your dog’s dietary needs and other factors. Taking these factors into consideration will make the transition less stressful and more enjoyable for you, and will empower you to keep going, as you will have a plan that is personalized to your needs and your dog’s needs.
To help figure out the best approach, it is useful to ask yourself some questions when considering a transition.
- What is your vision for your dog’s diet?
- Do you have a clear idea of what to put in the dog food? (That’s what I am here for!)
- Does your dog have special dietary needs or sensitivities?
- Are you comfortable shopping for and making the needed ingredients?
- Can you carve out a time to assemble dog food?
To help make things easy in the beginning, pick a time that works for you. Some people envision making dog food as something they need to do in the same way they might cook for their human family–for example, during a rushed morning or after a stressful day at work. This is NOT the case.
While assembling dog food is not very time consuming, it will benefit you to choose a time that works for your schedule and lifestyle.
Importantly, cooking dog food is quite different from cooking for humans. There is no need to present the plate in a beautiful way, for example. Making dog food can be much less demanding, and simpler than cooking for humans.
To make things even more convenient, you can begin adding dog food ingredients to your grocery shopping lists. When you shop for your own groceries, you can also pick up your dog food ingredients. Whether you shop in person or online, this helps simplify.
Your Dog’s Transition
Every dog is different. Some can handle dietary change with ease, and others need more time. Knowing your own dog’s tolerance for change will help make for an easy transition.
Fortunately, as your dog’s body adjusts, it is likely he or she will tolerate increased amounts of new foods as time progresses. To play it safe, opt for a slow transition over several weeks.
One method of doing this is to make a homemade dog food recipe, and slowly increase the amount you serve over a few weeks. At the same time, slowly reduce the amount of current food.
Another method is to add one new food periodically, for example one new item per week. Start with something simple like ground turkey, or a cooked vegetable. Take note of any reactions you noticed (on the unpleasant side: digestive upset, or on the encouraging side: cleaner looking ears, softer fur etc.) Not sure how much to add at first? This is one of the things we will work on together!
Your scenarios may vary each week, depending on your dog’s adjustment and your own schedule. The approach is not carved in stone. Adding new items slowly will allow you to gauge what is working for him or her, and what’s not. Let me help!