Foodies unite! Exploring and trying new scrumptious food is a no-brainer when you’re in a different city or country, but what does this mean for your pet?
Much like babies, animals require a careful transition to trying new foods as to not upset their digestive systems. Moving to a new location, especially if abroad, might mean that your pet’s current food is no longer available. Ensuring you change your pet’s food in a certain way means avoiding messy cleanups or worse, a (potentially expensive) trip to the vet clinic if serious illness arises. As such, we recommend following these steps to changing your pet’s food: 1) Keep it similar When you arrive at your new location, check your local pet stores for similar food in terms of ingredients. Sticking to a similar formula will help minimize the risk of upset stomach due to changes in nutritional content. Stay consistent with textures as well – if your cat’s food is dry now, don’t change it to wet food simply because that’s all that was available at your nearest store. 2) Transition Make sure you bring along at least a week’s worth of your pet’s current food in your packed luggage. When it comes time to feed them, mix some of the new food in with the current food. As each day passes, reduce the current food and add more of the new food, eventually eliminating the current food altogether. If your pet does not experience any gastrointestinal issues at the end of the first week, make the full switch! Take note, however, that different countries have different regulations in terms of bringing foreign food into the country, animal food included. Consult the country’s import regulations or your pet relocation provider well in advance of your pet’s travel date to inform yourself of any restrictions. 3) Ask your veterinarian If all else fails and your pet isn’t taking to the new food, or your pet is experiencing gastrointestinal issues as a result of the new food, consult with your local veterinarian. They may have suggestions as to what next steps to take. Planning for a move can be complicated, but oversights can make things even more complex in the future. Take the necessary time to address what needs to be done to prepare your pet for travel, food included!