Hi Everyone, I thought I would offer a few tips and my personal experiences with switching from a lower quality grain food to a higher, no-grain food which is much richer and denser.
Just a note about *PREMIUM FOODS* and how they can affect our fur babies. One reason, that some pets may throw up on premium foods, is *the denseness and the richness of it. When switching to a premium grain-free food, from a lower quality brand, it needs to be done very slowly. Mix it in with the lower quality brand for about month to see if they tolerate that without throwing up and help them to get acquainted with a new taste and smell. Once that month is up, then start decreasing the lower quality food, a bit at a time. Do this even if you have to purchase more of the lower quality brand. It will pay-off in the long run. The whole process should take about two months. At the end of that time, or before, you will know if their systems can tolerate it or not.
Premium, dry, grain-free foods are much *richer* in higher quality ingredients, and so they are a *heavier/denser* food, and your pet will be eating less of it, as they will get full quicker and, feel and remain satisfied longer. The system can use and absorb, more ingredients with a grain-free, rather than the foods with …fillers… like corn, for instance, which the body can not use and comes out looking exactly the same way it went in.
Picture yourself eating popcorn for a meal, or just corn, or a bowl of ice cream, verses a steak and vegetables and potatoes. Which ones are going to cause you to feel full longer~ and are more nutritious for you ingredient wise? Some foods you eat, you are going to need to eat a lot more often because the nutrition is not there. Pets and the foods they eat, function the same. I know, because since the 2007 recalls, I have experimented with this extensively, with Lil-Lea and both my cats, using numerous brands and methods of feeding. In the long run, the cost of feeding *monthly*, a better, higher quality grain-food is either, exactly the same, cost wise, or a tad bit more, but not that much more………. per pound! It’s the per pound, per month that you want to look at, not the cost of the bags alone. Quality always lasts and will satisfy longer.
The same 18 lb bag of the cheaper, dry, grain-loaded food, that you have to buy each month, for one or two pets, will cost you the same (in the long run) as a *smaller bag, (lets say 10lbs to 14lbs) of better quality grain-free brand, which will last you 2-3 months. Take the cost of the smaller bag and how long it lasted you, and divide it by the month/weeks it lasted, and compare it to the cheaper brand. It will be the same or with in a few dollars difference per month.
When I first attempted to switch Lil-Lea from pet foods, to cooked foods (back in 2007, before I started feeding her raw) she would throw up a lot and some of her stools were just plain a scary looking. I had to learn to back track, and feed her less cooked foods and more of her pet foods. She has a very, very sensitive system and had never had human foods, at least not totally and, although she loved human foods, they would make her sick if I gave her just that alone. It was a shock to her sensitive system and she needed time to adjust gradually, to this new food.
Now…… she never gets sick on human foods regardless of whether they are fed after her raw, or alone. Rick and Lil-Lea many times, eat breakfast together, on his days off, and her tummy can tolerate just about any food now, even bacon, which we do not give her very much of due to the fat content. Her stools are also, very healthy looking.
So, with the majority of pets, it basically is a matter of *introducing* a new food, especially if it happens to a Premium grain-free food, very, very slowly, in most pets~ In fact, it needs to be done much slower than you would if you just changed their foods from one lesser quality brand to another because of the richness.
Now, there are… ..pets that nothing bothers~ They can eat anything, anytime and do fine !
With the cats, I had to go back down to a Natures Variety Praire, with brown rice. I also feed them both about an ounce of canned, every two days, for two days in a row and then skip two days. (roughly) It took months to get to this place, and even get them to eat the canned food at all ! Now Sammy loves it. He is also showing a small bit of interest in raw and tries to steal Lil-Lea’s food right from underneath her mouth. ~ So, I purchased some raw chicken and Sammy likes it. Lil-lea hates raw chicken and it is the hardest to get her to eat, so I don’t bother with that one for her and feed her raw turkey, beef, and lamb. If Lil-Lea walks away from her food and waits for Daddy to sit down, Sam will steal her food in a flash, if I don’t catch him first.
So, if you have to feed a food with grain in it whether it be for monetary reasons, or system intolerance reasons, rice is the better choice, always, rather than corn or wheat. And, brown rice is better than white rice also, nutritionally.