There is no shortage of choices to consider when it comes to deciding what to feed your dog.
Kibble, wet food, raw food, or a combination of different options will benefit different dogs depending on their health and nutritional needs and choosing the best food for your individual dog might not always be easy.
The good news is that if your dog could benefit from a change in its diet, there are usually some tell-tale signs to look out for. Whether you notice a change to your dog’s behaviour or health issues that have suddenly arisen, it’s often the diet that is at the root of the problem.
It’s always worth visiting your vet if you notice any of these problems to check that your dog is in otherwise good health. However, these signs are often indicative of a necessary diet change.
Most dogs will scratch a little throughout the day just like humans, so your dog having the occasional itch should not usually be a cause for concern.
However, if scratching has begun to take over your dog’s life, is stopping them from doing their normal activities, and everybody has noticed it, it could be a sign that your dog needs different food.
Of course, there are many other potential reasons behind it, so always check your dog first to ensure that they’ve not become infested with fleas.
If this isn’t the case, itching is often a common symptom of a food allergy. Your vet will be able to help you determine exactly what ingredient in your dog’s food is causing this reaction.
Every dog can get a little bit gassy at times, and some breeds tend to pass wind more than others – it’s just a part of life.
However, while it might cause you to want to open a window now and again, your dog’s flatulence shouldn’t be causing a smell that’s impossible to be around and drives you out of the house.
If you have noticed that your dog is gassier than usual recently or you seriously can’t stand the smell of it, it might be a sign that something in your dog’s food is not sitting well in their digestive system or not being digested properly.
Bowel issues are often one of the first indicators that something isn’t right with your dog’s diet.
You probably pick up your dog’s poop from your garden and when walking several times per day, so you will have a good idea of what healthy poop from your dog should look like.
Healthy dog poop is usually quite firm and easy to scoop up into a poop bag, so if you’re struggling to pick it up because it’s too soft every time, this could indicate a need for a dietary change.
Other bowel problems like constipation and diarrhoea could both suggest that your dog’s food is not right for their digestive system, especially if these problems are lasting for over twenty-four hours or are happening frequently.
Many pet parents who have switched to grain-free dog food find that their dog has healthier, firmer poop as a result. Check out the dog meals available from Bella & Duke that can be tailored to your dog’s needs.
With raw and grain-free options, you can ensure that your dog is getting all the right nutrients for them delivered to your door in handy, prepared meals that are ready to feed. Read this guide from Bella & Duke to learn more about grain-free dog food.
Vomiting and Sickness
From time to time, every dog might throw something up – especially if they are prone to eating things out of your bins or tasting anything that they come across, which won’t always be good for their stomach.
Dogs might also be sick if they have eaten too quickly or done too much exercise right after eating a meal or a treat. It’s not usually a cause for concern and is typically an isolated event.
However, if your dog is throwing up regularly after eating and appears to be struggling to keep food down, it could indicate that a new diet is needed as soon as possible. Speak to your vet to rule out any more serious underlying health issues and get advice.
Differences in Weight
Some weight fluctuations are normal for your dog, and a change in their weight could be a result of several potential reasons including stress, health problems, changes to activity levels, and more.
However, if your dog suddenly gains or loses weight when they are not doing anything differently and has a clean bill of health from the vet, it could be their diet that is to blame.
If your dog is not getting enough nutrients from their diet, they might experience a weight change. However, it’s best to speak to your vet before making any changes to ensure that the change in weight is not due to a health problem.
A change in diet could impact your dog’s energy levels, especially if you have started feeding a dog a type of food that is high in grains and carbohydrates.
Since dogs get the majority of their energy from the protein in their food, a high-protein diet is essential to ensure that they are as energetic as you would expect them to be for their breed and age.
If your dog is acting more lethargic and tired recently, it might be down to what they are eating. Again, however, it’s worth going to your vet if this change has happened suddenly since it can also be a sign of an underlying health condition.
If your dog has recently started acting differently, there are many potential reasons behind the change.
Dogs that are still young and going through development might start acting differently as they grow up; this is healthy and normal and usually nothing to worry about.
Hormones can also impact your dog’s behaviour, and your dog might start acting differently to usual when they become sexually mature if they have not been neutered or spayed.
However, if there is no apparent reason as to why your dog might be acting differently except for a difference in their diet, it might be their food that is at the root cause.
For example, if your dog has suddenly started begging for food at the table when they never did this before, it might be that they’re simply not full and satisfied enough with their current diet.
Another sign that your dog’s new diet might not be the best fit for them is a change in appetite. When switching to a diet that is healthy and suitable for your dog, they should be eager to eat it and full after meals.
If your dog has gone from being excited about food to barely sniffing at their meal, or is ravenous and can’t get enough to eat, this could be a sign that what they are eating isn’t right for them.
However, as with many of the signs, it is also worth making sure that your dog is healthy with a visit to the vet since appetite changes can also be a sign of several health problems.
If you have recently changed your dog’s food, keep an eye out for these signs that could indicate it’s not the right fit for them.