• Atta Boy! Animal Care

New Year, New Pet Food!

With a new year, comes new years resolutions- even for our pets! According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats in the US are obese or overweight. 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners said their pet's weight was normal when it was actually overweight or obese.

Dogs + Cats ( for our small animal clients- skip below!)

Many big companies have EXCELLENT marketing that make us believe their food is the best, or the healthiest for our pets- but actually the ingredient list and pictures are catered to US, the HUMANS! But is full of coloring to make it look like vegetables, lacking grain for our grain-free trends or has way to much fat that can cause major issues like hospitalization -like Pancreatitis.

Depending on where you choose to purchase your pets food- online, grocery store, clubs, local pet store or Veterinarian - will depend on the recommendation we or other professional may give.

Once you do make a choice- GREAT JOB!Now the next step- transition-we cannot just cut and dry transition or can cause major tummy upsets for our pets.

It’s important to slowly transition your pet to a new food so their system has a chance to adapt to the change. The transition period should be at minimum 7-10 days and could take upwards of two weeks, depending on your pet’s sensitivity to change:

Here is a great example of a slower 10 day process:

Day 1 - 2: Feed 80% of your pet’s old food with 20% of the new food

Day 3 - 4: Feed 60% of your pet’s old food with 40% of the new food

Day 5 - 6: Feed 40% of your pet’s old food with 60% of the new food

Day 7-9: Feed 20% of your pet’s old food with 80% of the new food

Day 10 and on: Feed 100% new food

If your pet experiences any kind of digestive upset during this time, try slowing down the process to let his/her digestive tract adjust to the new food. Some loose stool/ diarrhea ( no blood!) can be normal when introducing new foods as the digestive process and the naturally occurring bacteria in your pet’s body requires is complex + delicate.

AT HOME AIDE: Adding a few teaspoons of 100% canned pumpkin puree is great fiber (not pie filling!) and a few teaspoons of all natural, no sugar, no flavor plain yougert (good bacteria!) to the top of their food 1-2 times a days may help with the transition.

If you experience any vomiting and/or diarrhea, be sure to reduce the amount of new food the next time you feed and overall, slow the whole transition period down even more. If it continues more then a few times a day, pet becomes lethargic, or blood is present. CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!

Small Animals/Aquariums/etc

Aquariums- rotating food types really can bring a well balanced diet- be sure to check the freezer in the fish sections for frozen worms-AMAZING benefits for your aquarium, and the fish love them! Dried shrimp, dried worms, etc are also a great addition!

Avian/Birds- Fresh Fruits and vegetables, sprouts, and less Sunflower seeds in their seed blends the better!

Rodents, Hampsters, Guineas, etc- HIGH quality hay and FRESH Veggies and Fruits are KEY for their diet. Pellets help with our base- but without fresh foods- you will see health decline or shorter life span

Turtles/Tortoises- Fruit Pellets, Veggie Pellets, Meat Pellets, Dried Shrimp, Dried Worms are wonderful- but be sure to add those greens! Depending on the reptile will depend on the diet.

Other Reptiles/Amphibians: Reach out to your local family owned Reptile store to see what they have to offer for each species!

-Amber V. CPPS

Owner + Founder - Atta Boy! Animal Care

"Happy Pets, Happy People"

Lakeland, Florida