How to Switch Your Dog’s Food the Right Way

Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Food

Pet parents are sometimes faced with the need to switch their dog’s food. Young dogs outgrow puppy formulas. Dogs can have adverse reactions to certain ingredients. Or maybe you’ve just realized its time to upgrade your food to provide your furry friend with a more naturally complete diet. Here are some tips to help you make the switch.

Look for Signs it’s Time to Change Your Dog’s Food

Dogs need different vitamins and minerals as they grow, and you may decide to switch their food to ensure your pet is getting a healthy and nutritious bowl of food every time they eat.

In some instances, pets have developed allergies to grains or other ingredients in their food. While you should always check with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and plan of action, switching your pet’s food may help solve the problem.

Your pet may also give you signs that it’s time to change their food. Consult a veterinarian for any serious changes in health or behavior, but switching up the nutrients or type of food they consume can often solve simple problems.

Consider Changing Your Dog’s Food Gradually

How you decide to change your dog’s food depends on your dog’s typical food habits. It’s recommended food changes be done gradually over about a weeklong period to avoid gastrointestinal issues, but if your dog handles new foods very well, you may decide to make the switch more quickly.

A good approach is to mix small amounts of the new food in with your dog’s current food, increasing the ratio each day for a week. PetMD suggests the following formula:

Day 1 – Mix 20% of the new food with 80% of the old.
Day 2 – Mix 40% of the new food with 60% of the old.
Day 3 – Mix 60% of the new food with 40% of the old.
Day 4 – Mix 80% of the new food with 20% of the old.
Day 5 – Feed 100% of the new food.

Pay Attention to Ingredients When Changing Your Dog’s Food

Always review the dog food labels of any new food, and avoid making big changes in the amounts of protein, fat, and fiber if possible. This is especially important if you have to switch your dog’s food suddenly because of a recall. Also in this instance, feed your dog a small meal of the new food at first to ensure it agrees with them before giving them a normal portion.

If you know your dog is getting a diet complete in necessary nutrients that is yummy and satisfying, you’ll feel good too! And remember, table scraps are fine in moderation and if they’re the right type of foods, but nothing takes the place of a well-balanced pet food.

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Comments 1

  1. Nouble

    I should point out that a lot of brands have their own suggestion. I’ve even found one that suggest two weeks! Then again, there’s no set time for switching. If you get a dog fed one food for years (as though that’s healthy), the switch may take longer.

    I agree that you shouldn’t make a big change in the levels of protein, fat, and fiber. If that’s what you desire, build up to it. In other words, don’t make an automatic switch from Iams to Orijen. That probably won’t end well for your pet.

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