How To Help Your Dog Transition to a Different Dog Food
Throughout their lifetimes, dogs may have to adjust to eating different food from what they were used to. Whether it’s because of adverse reactions to their old food, changing dietary needs, dogs entering a different life stage, or the simple desire to give your pets something healthier, knowing how to transition dog food can make the adjustment easier for your dogs.
Some dogs are more willing to accept different food while pickier eaters may resist the change.
To make the switch smoother and less stressful for you and your canine companion, here is some information that will help.
3 Tips for a Smooth and Easy Transition
1. Introduce New Food Gradually
Will it hurt my dog if I change his food? As with most things, changing your dog’s diet is an adjustment that requires time. Suddenly switching its food can not only make the transition harder but can also cause stomach problems. Digestive issues that may arise include vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
How long does a dog usually have diarrhea after changing food?
Most dogs recover in 1 to 3 days. If your dog continues to have loose bowels after the 3-day period or you notice excessive diarrhea, bring your dog to the vet.
How to transition a dog to new food?
Gradually introduce the new food over a period of 7 to 10 days. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food and slowly increase the amount of new food over time. This will allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food gradually.
How long does it take for a dog to adjust to new dog food?
Most dogs can be fully transitioned to a new diet within a week or so. After 4 days, the ratio between new and old food can be 50:50. On day 6, it can be 75:25. Once 7 to 8 days have passed, you can feed them the new diet completely.
Pull quote: By adding new food to your dog’s previous diet, most dogs successfully transition to their new food within a week. On the fourth day, aim for a 50:50 ratio of new to old food. By day 6, you can make it 75:25.
2. Maintain the Same Food Temperature
As you might have guessed by now, the more things stay the same, the easier it is to slowly introduce changes in your dog’s diet. One of the aspects that your dog may notice is the temperature of the food when it’s served.
If you want to know how to transition dog food with as little resistance as possible, make sure that the new dog food is at the same temperature as the old one. If you used to serve its food at room temperature, then continue doing so until it adjusts to the new diet.
Pull Quote: During the switch, your dog may have trouble with its new diet. Watch out for gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach problems. If your dog encounters such issues, you may have to make the transition more gradual or consult a vet.
3. Monitor Your Pet
Whenever introducing new food to a dog, you need to keep an extra close eye on your pet’s health and well-being. Remain alert for any changes in energy levels, appetite, behavior, and if any gastrointestinal issues appear.
If you notice problems, you may have to make the transition more gradual by adding less of the new food over a longer period of time. Should you consistently experience problems during transition, you may need to talk to your vet for additional insight on why the new diet isn’t working.
Allergies, sensitivities, and food preferences all impact how well your dog adapts to its new diet. Your vet can advise you on these issues and recommend the best approach.
Pull Quote: A dog’s nutritional needs changes due to allergies and food sensitivities, health conditions that it has developed, the need to gain or lose weight, and different life stages. When these happen, owners must re-evaluate their dogs’ diets and see if they still meet their pets’ needs.
Reasons To Change Your Dog’s Diet
Changing your dog’s diet entails a period of adjustment but there are very good reasons for doing so.
1. Your Pet is Entering a New Life Stage
From puppyhood to adulthood to its senior years, dog’s nutritional needs change with age.
- Puppies need more energy, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and fatty acids to keep up with their growth and activities.
- Adult dogs need protein and less energy-giving food items. Their diets need to support their immune system as well as a healthy skin and coat.
- Older dogs need less fat, more antioxidants, omega 3, and food that support joint health.
2. Need To Lose or Gain Weight
If your dog needs to lose or gain weight, changing its activity levels and diet is usually the key. Some types of dog foods offer weight management benefits.
A dog’s ideal weight will usually depend on the breed’s average size and life stage. If you suspect that your dog may be over or underweight, consult your vet for additional guidance.
3. To Address Certain Health Conditions
Health issues like urinary problems, diabetes, and kidney disease often necessitate a change in diet. In such cases, dogs may need more or less of certain ingredients to maintain, manage, or restore health.
4. Allergies and Food Sensitivities
Some dogs have allergies and food sensitivities. Most allergies are due to proteins like chicken, chicken eggs, and beef. However, you may also have to consider your dog’s unique needs like can dogs eat plums, dairy, or soy.
Make the Diet Transition Gradual and Take Note of Any Adverse Effects
When planning on how to transition dog food, make the change gradual and keep a close eye on your dog in case of any adverse reactions. Most dogs won’t have major issues when you try to introduce a new diet but it pays to be extra careful just in case. If you’re consistently having problems in getting your dog to make the switch, you may have to consider other food options or consult a vet.
As you can see, it isn’t hard to learn how to introduce new food to your dog. If there are no issues, it can be done in as little as a week!