how to transition your dog to a new food with #PinnacleHealthyPets #sponsored

While some dogs have stomachs of steel, some don't. It can quickly become apparent when we've transitioned our dogs to a new food too quickly. While they pay in discomfort, we pay in messy clean-up duties. And nobody wants that. The two most important things to focus on when transitioning your pooch to a new food are QUANTITY (how quickly you transition) and QUALITY (how healthy the food is). When you transition your dog gradually to a food that has limited, quality ingredients, you set him up for success.

How to Transition Your Dog to a New Food.

How to Transition Your Dog to a New Food.

This post is sponsored by Pinnacle® and the Blogpaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Pinnacle's reformulated Grain Free Dog food, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pinnacle is not responsible for the content of this article.

quantity: how to make the transition

Any time you switch your dog's food, it's important to make the transition slowly for two reasons.

1. Your dog will likely be more accepting of the new food.

2. Your dog's digestive system will have time to ease into the new situation, which is especially important for dogs with sensitive tummies.

I suggest a 1/4 over 4 days formula, which will gradually transition your pet over the course of 12 days. You'll switch 1/4 of your dog's food to the new food for four days, then increase the amount of new food by 1/4 every four days. It looks like this:

How to Transition Your Pet to a New Food Chart.

How to Transition Your Pet to a New Food Chart.

quality: what you transition to matters

I am a firm believer that the quality of food you feed your dog affects their overall health. A poor quality diet (I'm not naming names) means your dog won't shine–literally. If you notice the dull coat and lack of energy on the outside, what do you think is going on on the inside? 

Instead, do your research and read the ingredient list. Make sure the food your select for your dog is of the highest quality. What's not in the food is as important as what is in the food. Pinnacle® Pet Food is a great example of a high quality food that will provide your dog with the energy and nutrients he needs to be active and healthy. We've recently transitioned N.A.S.H.A. to Pinnacle's duck and sweet potato formula. 

We believe in canine rotational feeding, which means N.A.S.H.A. is fed a few different high-quality foods, and we transition her frequently. We feel that this keeps her interested in eating and since each food has something a bit different to offer, we feel that it keeps her healthier. We have a few favorites that we come back to, and grain-free Pinnacle is now in our lineup.

Pinnacle is offered in several different recipes.

Pinnacle is offered in several different recipes.

what's great about pinnacle

Pinnacle is all about holistic pet nutrition, an approach that focuses on the overall health of the pet. They say:

Natural foods, carefully chosen and meticulously cooked, are the basis of the Pinnacle concept. Our precise preparation and packaging of high quality natural sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats makes sure the full value of our fine ingredients remains intact for your pet's benefit. The vitamins, minerals, and probiotics found in Pinnacle foods are in to provide a balanced diet for complete nutrition. We've also taken great care to make sure that Pinnacle is made with limited ingredients, so even pets with sensitive systems may enjoy the fine flavors and health benefits of Pinnacle's superior ingredients...Our goal is to provide you with a clear choice of optimum nutrition so that your dog and cat will benefit from good health.

In order to have a healthier, more active, and happier dog, food choice is key. We tried Pinnacle's duck and sweet potato recipe, which has healthy ingredients focused on nutritional balance. And since the food is made in their California plant, they have complete control over production.

what's inside pinnacle's duck and sweet potato recipe?

• duck–provides an excellent source of protein that your pet needs to be active

• sweet potato–antioxidant-rich to support a healthy immune system

• quinoa seed–contains amino acids to support muscle development, essential for keeping active

• peas, canola oil, flax seed, and kelp meal–antioxidant-rich ingredients to support your dog's immune system and overall health

• fiber–essential for healthy digestion

N.A.S.H.A., eager to give Pinnacle a try.

N.A.S.H.A., eager to give Pinnacle a try.

the results of N.A.S.H.A.'s transition

First and foremost, N.A.S.H.A. loved the duck and sweet potato formula. We transitioned her gradually according to my formula, and, as we always do, we mixed in turmeric and apple cider vinegar. She took right to it and seemed very excited about the new culinary adventure. Most of the food she eats has either chicken, beef, or salmon as the meat-sourced protein, so duck is a fairly unique variety for her. 

N.A.S.H.A. loves to go on family hikes.

N.A.S.H.A. loves to go on family hikes.

N.A.S.H.A. is a ten-year-old mixed terrier. Though she's getting on in years, her little legs keep up with our active family. And thank goodness it's fall so we can be more active outdoors. Those of us from Phoenix go into an indoor hibernation-like state during the sweltering summers, so fall is our time to shine. Whether she joins us for a family hike, splashes around in the pool, or plays catch (yes, she throws back, so it's more than fetch), she keeps busy and has a healthy, active lifestyle. We want to keep it that way, so we do a lot of research on the food we feed her. Her diet has to sustain her activity level and support her health as she's approaching her senior-ish (shhhhhh) years. Pinnacle is great for all life stages and definitely fits in with our standards for superior holistic pet nutrition, so we're happy to add it to our rotation. 

Connect with Pinnacle on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have an active dog who depends on great nutrition? What qualities do you look for when choosing a healthy pet food?


7 things to think about when hiking with your dog

wholesome, healthy treats #giveaway from happy tails barkery

Whenever I pick up a bag of N.A.S.H.A.'s favorite dog food at my local Pet Planet, I have to take a peek at their wide selection of healthy pet treats. I love that they are constantly searching for new products, so there is always something new and interesting to check out. This past week, I noticed offerings from Happy Tails Barkery for the first time. The packaging caught my eye because it has a big "Made in Arizona" stamp, and I love to support local businesses. 

I decided to contact Happy Tails Barkery to see what they are all about. Owner, Holly Pace, seemed genuinely thrilled that I would contact her. She invited me to come see her and her full line of dog treats at the Gilbert Farmers Market. I'd never been before, so I gathered the family, and we headed out so see her and the other local vendors. 

I learned a lot from Holly about her line of dog treats, which are homemade. Homemade might scare some people off, but Happy Tails Barkery treats are analyzed for quality and nutritional analysis by RL Food Testing Laboratories and are AAFCO compliant, something that sets them apart from other homemade treat companies. They print the nutritional analysis for each treat right on the bag, something you don't get with other homemade treat companies. So not only are you getting treats made with love, you can rest assured that they are safe and healthy. 

Happy Tails Barkery specializes in grain-, gluten-, and GMO-free dog treats made from human-grade ingredients sourced 100% in the U.S., and they also offer vegan options. They value local products just like I do, so they team up with local farmers and ranchers to source many of their ingredients. Just one look at the short ingredient lists lets you know that you're getting quality. The packages say "no corn, soy, preservatives, fillers, added salt or sugar, food-dyes, or yucky stuff." That's exactly what I look for in a healthy treat for N.A.S.H.A. In addition to being informative, Holly was super, super nice. My kids were excited about all the different treats she offers, so she hooked us up! We walked away with quite a few bags of treats:

Bacon Cheezy Bites: garbanzo flour, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, low-sodium beef broth

Chop Lickin' Chicken: hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken breast

Muddy Paws (HTB's Dessert Treat): oat flour, all-natural peanut butter, carob powder

P-Mutt Butter Hummus: garbanzo flour, all-natural peanut butter

Sweet Potato Jerky: sweet potatoes

Some of HTB's offerings at the Gilbert Farmer's Market.

Some of HTB's offerings at the Gilbert Farmer's Market.

It means a lot to me that HTB uses a limited number of ingredients. HTB's mission statement is "to provide the highest quality gourmet treats using all natural human grade ingredients." They are homemade with love in small batches "from farm to treat jar," they like to say. 

Just like Holly hooked us up, she wants to hook you up, too! Now, don't worry, even though she lives here in AZ, she'll ship these quality treats anywhere in the U.S., so go ahead and let your pooch get addicted. Holly warned me that they call their "Chop Lickin' Chicken" treats "puppy crack." She advised "don't give those to your pup first, because she may not want anything else." She was right. Those Chop Lickin' Chicken treats quickly became something that N.A.S.H.A. will regularly punch me in the leg to get. She gets her message across. 

N.A.S.H.A. exhibiting the many faces of HTB Chop Lickin' Chicken "puppy crack."

N.A.S.H.A. exhibiting the many faces of HTB Chop Lickin' Chicken "puppy crack."

Holly is offering our readers a chance to win one "HTB Pound Pack," a whole pound of their luscious, healthy dog treats! Trust me, your pooch wants you to enter.

Well Minded was not compensated monetarily for this product review. HTB provided samples for the review. We only share information that we feel is of interest to our readers.