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Feeding: How to Introduce New Foods

Allow at least one week to introduce a new food fully. The transition should be moderately gradual so we don’t overwhelm their stomachs. Digestive upsets are one of the most common complaints when introducing a new diet. It’s sometimes the primary reason humans fail to comply. There’s nothing worse than seeing your beloved Fido with gastric upset.

How to avoid gastric upset when introducing new diets:

Days 1 & 2: feed ¼ new diet with ¾ old diet
Days 3 & 4: feed ½ new diet with ½ old diet
Days 5 & 6: feed ¾ new diet with ¼ old diet
Days 7 and on: solely new diet

To enhance palatability try these tips and tricks:

  • Warm food
  • Add flavoring such as salmon or tuna juice or some low sodium chicken broth
  • Add an omega fatty acid supplement or a teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Use the “wet” version of the food to entice them with aroma

Treats:

The age old dilemma of feeling the need to give our pets treats. The pet food industry is choked full of options from Dental treats to treats that mimic bacon to spray cheese-like fillers. The rule of thumb is that a maximum of 10% of your pet’s daily calories should come from treats. Anything more than this creates an imbalance of nutrients. Obesity naturally follows over treating. 

Ideally “treats” should start off as positive praise for great behaviour. Using your pet’s normal maintenance food is another option. The truth of the matter is that as humans we like to give our pets something special such as peanut butter, table food etc.

Here are some great treat options:

  • Use the regular maintenance food as treats (if they’ve never been exposed to other things this will work great!)
  • Soft bake the “wet” version of the food they’re presently on to make “treats” that are healthy and nutritious
  • Try fruits and veggies. The 3 C’s: cantaloupe, carrots, cucumber
  • Royal Canin, Hills, and Purina all have treats that are both nutritious and have daily feeding amounts recommended to take out the guesswork.

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Last updated: December 23, 2021

Dear Clients,

With the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in our region, we are temporarily moving back to curbside service, with no pet parents in the building during appointments. Our top priority here at Elgin Animal Hospital is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community. Our goal is to remain open in order to provide necessary care for your pets. In order to do this, we need to keep our team healthy and do our best to minimize exposure.

Here is what you can expect:

Appointments

  • When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 519-631-0430 to let us know you are here
  • Our Reception Team will let you know when we are ready for you, and ask you to come in the appointment door
  • A staff member will meet you just inside the vestibule to take the patient into the hospital for their appointment
  • Our Veterinarian will communicate with you via phone call - so please be sure to bring your cellphone to your appointment!
  • We have payment over the phone for credit cards, or a portable debit machine can be brought to the vestibule if needed
  • Food & Medication Pick Up

  • Will continue safely via the food/med pick-up door Come in the door on your right -- no need to call when you arrive
  • We are highly recommending our clients sign up for myVETstore for purchasing food for their pets
  • We also ask that you please call in your pet's medication & food refills 3-5 days in advance as we are experiencing some shipment delays once again
  • These measures are temporary and we will reassess as time goes on. We are constantly analyzing our day-to-day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up your prescriptions or food.

    Together, we can all help in stopping the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us at (519) 631-0430. Please note that we are receiving more calls than usual. We apologize for any delays that you may experience when reaching out to us.

    - Your dedicated team at Elgin Animal Hospital