How to Transition to New Dog Food

July 7, 2021 3:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a variety of reasons why you might need to consider changing your dog food to a new brand or blend. You might do this to help your dog lose weight, to help them avoid stomach problems or simply to give them the nutrition they need at a certain stage of their life.

Whatever your reason for switching to a new brand of dog food, you can’t just make a sudden switch—it’s unlikely your dog will go for that, and it’s healthier to make a more gradual transition anyway. Veterinarians will usually recommend making the transition over the course of a week, like this:

  • Days one and two: Use 25 percent new food and 75 percent old food.
  • Days three and four: Use a 50/50 mixture of new food and old food.
  • Days five and six: Use 75 percent new food and 25 percent old food.
  • Day seven: Use the new food exclusively.

Other tips for making the transition

Beyond making sure you spread out the transition over a week or more, there are some other important tips you should keep in mind when transitioning your dog to a new type of food:

  • Don’t stay on puppy food: Puppies become adult dogs at around one year of age. At that point, you should talk to your veterinarian and make sure you switch them to an adult food to give them the proper level of nutrition for an adult dog. If they continue to eat puppy food, it’s likely their weight will balloon.
  • Use appropriate food for the breed: Large or small breed dogs should use large or small breed adult dog foods. Breeds of different sizes will have different nutritional needs, so make sure you know whether your dog is considered a small, medium, large or giant breed.
  • Consider transitioning for older dogs: Once dogs reach a certain age, they should transition to a mature adult or senior dog food to give them the proper nutrition for their age. For small and medium dogs, this usually happens at around seven years old or more, and for large breed dogs it typically happens after five years of age.
  • Pregnant dogs have special needs: If you have a dog who’s pregnant, they will also have some special nutritional needs you can meet by switching their food. They need foods that have particularly high calcium contents and are capable of delivering plenty of energy to get them through the physical challenges of pregnancy. During these periods, they may be allowed to go back to puppy food, but talk to your veterinarian about the best options.
  • Using food for particular health conditions: Your veterinarian may have recommended switching foods due to a particular health condition your dog is experiencing. Make sure you get detailed instructions about brands and blends to look for so you don’t accidentally worsen the condition in question.

Interested in learning more about how to transition your dog to a new food? Contact The Soggy Dog with any questions you have about caring for your dog.

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