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Changing Dog Food Is A Slow Process

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Dry Dog FoodThinking about changing dog food brands or types because it is less expensive? Or maybe your dog has been sick to his stomach and you want to try out a new food. It may even be that your vet thinks your dog is allergic to lamb. Whatever the reason for the change in dog food, you must take it very slow to allow your pup’s tummy to adjust to its new food.

So, the best way to go about changing your dog’s food is to have some of the current food still on hand when making the change so that you can feed like this for at least 5 days to allow for the digestive transition needed to avoid sickness:

  • Day 1: Feed 75% of the current (old) food and mix in 25% of the new food in each serving to start the adjustment period for clean digestion.
  • Day 2: Adjust to feeding 60% of the old food and mix in 40% of the new food in each serving.
  • Day 3: Feed 50% of the old food, mixed with 50% of the new food per serving.
  • Day 4: Feed 40% of the old food, mixed with 60% of the new food per serving.
  • Day 5: Feed 25% of the old food, mixed with 75% of the new food per serving.
  • Day 6: Feed 90-100% of the new food as you should be very close to a clean digestive transition period.

Watch for Sick Stomach Symptoms During Dog Food Transition

Throughout this adjustment period, be sure to keep a close eye on your dog and make sure he or she is continuing to drink a normal amount of water, gas is low and that feces remain normal (sounds gross to look at the poop but it is important to keep an eye on your dog’s stool to make sure it is not too runny as this could raise concerns of diarrhea and dehydration). If you see a great deal of change in these areas, slow down the process and take more time to ease your dog into the new food. This slow process of changing food should alleviate the majority of issues normally associated with upset stomachs in dogs related to food changes.

Dog is not Adjusting to New Food? Consult a Vet

If the dog food transition is not working no matter how slow you go with the food change, consider going back (slowly) to the old food as your dog may be allergic to the new food. If more serious issues arise during this transition, consult your vet for more assistance.


About Michelle Schenker
Since the day she was born, Michelle has lived in a home full of dogs and dog lovers. Her home is no exception with two adorable rescue pups of her own, Bella and Lily. Their unconditional love and never ending tail wags make every day brighter.
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13 Comments on "Changing Dog Food Is A Slow Process"

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Anonymous
Anonymous
I recently decided to change the brand of dog food that I was giving my little guy. The problem was that he did not seem to take very to the change. In fact, he actually refused to eat it for a while. But I continued offering it and eventually he came around (I did provide the remainder of the old brand, but in limited quantities). After reading this article I understand what happened. Dogs are creatures of habit and routine. I should have realized this. At any rate, the author is totally correct that the best way to change dog… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Changing your dog's food may not seem like a big deal to some. I'll admit that I didn't think it was a big deal when I purchased my new puppy. I wanted to feed her something healthier and immediately switched her food, which was a disaster. The poor thing was having to go potty at least 8 times per day and her backside swelled. Next time, I will definitely listen to the rules for switching food. You really do need to add a little bit of the new food to the old food and gradually increase it to prevent your… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Wow, I never put this much thought into whether or not to change my dog's food.  She eats whatever I think is best for her.  She has had food from many major brand names and a few off brands.  When it comes to dry food, she has had a very big variety.  I guess some dogs can get sick when you change their food, but I did not realize that it was this important to watch when you are changing your dog's diet.  Actually, this article made me rethink my loose policy on her food.  Maybe all of these changes… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Many dog owners have decided that they want to make a change in their dog’s diet. Then, they go about implementing this change, only to be met with severe resistance from their beloved pet. It seems silly that a dog would not eat when their brand of dog food is changed, but this actually happens over and over. The problem is that dogs are really creatures of habit and routine. This includes their food. They become familiar with a certain type of food or brand and they know the smell and taste intimately. Even a simple change can often be… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
If you are going to change your dog's food, think about why you are making the change before you do it. Unlike you and I, dogs do not always like a variety in their menu. As someone else pointed out in the comments, they are creatures of habit. Just making the change is going to take some time and effort on your part. If you must do it, try to get the right food for your dog. Most of the time, people change dog foods based on money or health. As in, they buy whatever is one sale or they… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
As many dog owners already know, there pets are creatures of habit. Indeed, dogs thrive on having a regular routine. Normally, this is a good thing. However, there are times when you might want to make a change, like switching to a healthier brand (or type) of dog food. Unfortunately, in many cases, your dog will be resistant to make such a change. There is an easy way to go about making such a switch without causing any alarm in your pet. The key here is to approach everything very gradually. Instead of just one day putting out an entirely… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I wanted to change my dog's food because I did not like the way his coat was looking. It seemed to me that his coat had lost some of its shine and the only thing I could think to do was to adjust his diet. To me, a shiny coat means that the dog is getting all he needs from his food. He obviously was not getting that, so I wanted to switch brands and styles of food. I did it overnight without slowly adjusting the amount of his old dog… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Whenever I went to the grocery store in the past, I shopped for dog food like I would shop for my own self.  Sometimes I would by the dog food that was on sale but I would did not only take price into consideration.  I wanted to get the best quality food for my dog that I could at the best price I could fit into my budget.  However, what I also did that I now know was a mistake, was try to add variety to my dog's diet because I thought he would enjoy it more. My dog never… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anyone who owns dogs or has owned dogs in the past knows that they are creatures of habit. Almost every breed of dog enjoys doing pretty much the same types of things at the same time of the day. Many people are like this as well, but that is another story! When you have decided to change what your dog is eating, it must be approached with caution unless you want your dog to fight you over this. Instead of just all of a sudden taking away their favorite food, try to introduce this gradually. Start by maybe mixing in… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
My dog and my cats have issues. They were all gotten around the same time and they have developed some rather strange habits. Or, at least they are strange to the average viewer. For one thing, they cuddle each other and all sleep together. One of the other oddities is that the cats prefer the dog food and the dog prefers the cat food. I thought it was a bit odd, but was not really worried about it until reading that cat food has fats in it that is not good for dogs. I know he still gets into the… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
If you have been (or are) considering making a change with the food that your dog eats, then I think you will the information and advice contained in this article quite helpful. It is always good to be careful when attempting to make a change with your dog. We need to remember that dogs are complicated animals and they like routine. Also, their digestive systems are very sensitive at times, so when trying to change over to a new type of food, it is best to make this change very gradually. The author suggests making this change over the course… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I am so glad you wrote this. When I was growing up we always had plenty of dog around us. Maybe that's why these methods seem like common sense to me. I don't know how anyone could be confused by this. We feed our dogs the same thing every single day at every meal. I can't even imagine how boring that must get and I am actually looking into changing things up a bit in our routine to modify that. Yes, we love our dog enough to want him to even be happy at meal time. If you ate the… Read more »
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