How Changing Food Affects Your Dog's Health

One of the main reasons for your pet's intestinal problems is having a variation in their feeding routine. Just like with barbecues in the summer or banquets at Christmas. How does the change in food affect your dog?
How Changing Food Affects Your Dog's Health
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 30 May, 2023

Dogs don’t adapt as humans do towards changes in their diet. Their bacterial flora isn’t as varied as that of humans, so a sudden change in their diet can cause gastrointestinal health problems, such as diarrhea or vomiting. Despite the above, it’s also a good idea for adapting the dog’s food according to their age.

Food changes that can cause health problems in your dog

Dog and bowl with a lot of food.
Making some changes in your dog’s diet is good, especially as they get older. Other variations in their daily diet are harmful and can cause diarrhea, vomiting and, in the most severe cases, gastritis. Some family activities are more prone than others to change your dogs’ health, such as Christmas gatherings, other types of celebrations, etc., due to your dog eating uncontrollably.

The way in which all these types of alterations affect the health of an animal appears in several symptoms, depending on the pathology. If these bad nutritional habits take place for an extended period of time, they can cause gas, gastritis, and gastroenteritis.

The tolerance level of these changes is also determined by the dog breed. For example, collies are more likely to have health problems. There’s a saying that the more pedigree a dog has, the purer their breed, the more delicate their stomach is and the worse they will adapt to dietary changes.

The ideal procedure for changing your dog’s food

Among the guidelines for producing less of an impact on a dog’s stomach health, is to continue with their usual food without making any changes. By doing so, it will have less of an impact on the owner’s pocket. 

When changing a dog’s food, it must be done gradually, by combining their normal food with the new one, all under the supervision of a specialist.

Throughout a dog’s life, their diet will have to be changed multiple times as they age. The right way to do this is by having a special, good quality food for all their stages in life. This way, you can prevent your dog from having digestive problems and they all of their nutritional needs will be met.

Food changes according to age

The first stage of a dog’s life takes place around a month and a half.  The puppies are weaning and they will transition from their mother’s milk to solid food. As they change, they will need good quality food.

When dogs turn five months old, they’ll need to start eating adult dog food because the won’t as many calories as they did when they were energetic puppies. The transition between these foods can be done with the mixture of the puppy and adult food.

After the age of seven years, dogs will need food suitable for more advanced ages in order to prevent health problems, such as osteoarthritis, gingivitis, and other conditions.

Types of diets and food changes

Black dog waiting for food.

The so-called balanced diets are designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs at each stage of their lives. It can also be part of the therapy for some diseases such as kidney, liver or heart disease, among other conditions.

In addition to these balanced diets, there are others, such as BARF diets that try to meet the same goal of concentrated diets while taking a dog’s own taste into consideration. This is because dogs like certain types of foods more than others and these diets make it easier for them to adjust.

The choice of diet will be based on the stages in dogs’ life, as well as the diseases they have if they have any. Making homemade dog food isn’t recommended because it can be deficient in substances that are vital for having a dog develop and grow properly. At the same time, there are some products that are poisonous to dogs, and most people are unaware of them.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.